June 2009

The Merry Month o’ June

“I wonder what it’d be like to live in a world where it was always June.” L.M. Montgomery

Right now, that’s the question that’s been stuck in my brain. It’s been a wonderful month of June for the Rockies, and a warm welcome after the tragedy that was May.

Welcome Mat.jpgThe Rockies managed to really turn it around this month winning 20 of their last 26 games, a total 180 from May where they won 12 of 29.

Ryan Spilborghs46.jpgJason Hammel.jpgAaron Cook.jpgDuring that month it was tough to think, “it’s still early, they can turn it around.” It was a hopeful belief, but the way things were going, it was hard to find the confidence to believe such a thing. Well, the Rockies seemed to have no trouble proving the thought right and the doubt wrong. It’s beenJorge de la Rosa.JPG beautiful, three of the top four NL win leaders from the month of June are coming from the Rockies: Aaron Cook, the winningest Rockie; Jason Hammel, who posted a 1.99 ERA during June; and Jorge de la Rosa, who didn’t have a win until the month of June rolled around.

The only series of interleague play that didn’t really look spectacular was against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Rockies swept the Mariners, took the Tampa Bay series, lost the series to the Angels, and most recently swept Oakland.
 Huston Street22.jpg
Matt Holliday.jpgThe Oakland sweep was bittersweet, while it was good to see Matt Holliday again, it was sad to see him sporting the green and yellow jersey. As much as I wanted to see him succeed at the plate, I wanted to see him fail. I wanted to see him hit that longball, but I wanted to see Carlos Gonzalez chase it down. I enjoyed Huston Street pitching (although I wanted him to have an off day before he headed to LA) but I wanted to see a match up between the slugger we lost and the essential closer we gained. While I missed Matt Holliday, the guys we got have proved themselves indispensable, well, at least the ones I’ve seen. I don’t know how Greg Smith is doing.

While in Oakland, Gonzalez had seven at bats, four hits, and two walks. While he is having so much success, it seems that Dexter Fowler has begun to struggle with a bat. Of Fowler’s nine at bats, he has five strikeouts and one run.
 Garrett Atkins66.jpg
Ryan Spilborghs47.jpgToday when Jim Tracy changed up the lineup, I wasn’t too happy. After the success that Ryan Spilborghs had the first game and Garrett Atkins the first two, I was a bit surprised not to see their names. But, who was I to question the skipper? Jim Tracy is 21-7 since he took over the Rockies and that 21st win came tonight. Well, it’s not like I haven’t said it before, but I’m still pulling for Atkins and Spilborghs.

As we approach this series against the Dodgers, hopefully the month of June will continue to stay kind to the Rockies who are now 7.5 games behind the Dodgers.

Rocktober?

Not quite, in fact… it might even be better.

Well… better isn’t really the right word, but if your average Colorado bandwagon fan’s faith is being restored, you know that the Rockies are doing well… or sensational. In the last 17 games, the Rockies have won 16, and it’s been glorious. Sweeping St. Louis, Milwaukee, Seattle, and now Pittsburgh, the Rockies have been on fire!

Colorado Rockies team.jpgAfter an 11 game winning streak, the Rockies suffered a loss to Tampa Bay, but that didn’t slow them down, winning every game since that, the Rockies seem to be an unstoppable force.
Jonathan Papelbon.jpg
Huston Street17.jpgHuston Street has 16 saves in 17 opportunities, despite a very different ERA, those are the same numbers as Jonathan Papelbon (someone who I would consider one of the best closers in the majors).

Seth Smith has become a clutch player with the best pinch hitting BA in the majors with a .455;

Seth Smith.jpgIan Stewart has some spectacular defensive plays as well as a few homers to back up his offense, he leads the Rockies in longballs (also, look at this hilarious picture… at least it’s hilarious to me);

Ian Stewart Peek a Boo.jpgClint Barmes has been sensational since he moved to the two hole with eight RBIs in the last ten games;

Clint Barmes2.jpgTroy Tulowitzki’s bat has started to warm up;

Troy Tulowitzki05.jpgand Ryan Spilborghs has made some incredible defensive plays, and with some consistency, can do some pretty staggering things with a bat.

Ryan Spilborghs32.jpg
So… who has been taking notice? Not a whole lot of people, especially when it comes to the strides our players have been making.

For example, without a doubt, Brad Hawpe should be on that All Star roster, but do you see his name?

NL Leaders.pngDidn’t think so. I voted 250 times, I sat at my computer, unchecked all my friends e-mails for “send me information on my team” (or at least I tried to) all 25 times, and voted 250 times… and I didn’t make a dent in that All Star roster.

Brad Hawpe27.jpgLast I checked, Brad Hawpe was batting somewhere in the area ofBrad Hawpe16.jpg .414 with runners in scoring position, the best in the majors. He’s got 36 extra base hits, 1.005 OPS, seventh best BA in the majors with a .332, tenth best on base percentage in the NL with a .406, and fourth best slugging in the NL with a .599.

So… let me get this straight, Manny Ramirez, a fertility drug taking, Brad Hawpe23.jpg27 game playing, cheater is number six on the list, and Brad Hawpe can’t even make it into the top 15?! Does anyone pay attention?! It’s notBrad Hawpe17.jpg going to be the All Star Game, it’ll be… like… “here’s some people you voted in who don’t  necessarily deserve to be here, but are.” I just want to make a note that I was almost tempted to say “All Star lame,” then I was like, oh god, those would be some of the worst words uttered from my mouth.

Brad Hawpe25.jpgThe point is, I’m aware that the All Star Game is kind of a popularity contest. It was like being in middle school where you knew who the class president was going to be because they were the most popular kid in school. So… is everyone who’s voting still in middle school? It’s called talent, and it’s something that the Rockies have a lot of, and yet, everyone is continually overlooking them, overlooking their capacity.

While the Rockies may be playing like their ’07 counterparts, apparently, it’ll take so much more to get the attention of anyone.

Papelbon photo courtesy: www.sonsofsimmons.com

Emily Tries to Meet a Player… FAIL ensues

FAIL:

Soccer Fail.jpg
Tackle Fail.jpgPhillies Fail.jpg
Catcher Fail.jpg“Come meet Ryan Spilborghs at Honda of Greeley at 10:30 this Saturday the 13!”

Honda of Greeley.pngI always stop whatever I’m doing to watch any Rockies commercial or any commercial with a Rockie in it. So when a Honda of Greeley commercial came on and I discovered I could have the chance to meet one of my absolute favorite players, I practically peed my pants. I could meet Ryan Spilborghs?!?! It was too good to be true.

My friends and I checked the Honda of Greeley website and there it was, saying we could meet Ryan Spilborghs. That was the plan, we were stoked for Saturday.

Tulo2.jpgI fathomed that it would be crowded in the beginning, so we decided to go around 11:30. When Troy Tulowitzki came, he was there for about two hours, so I knew we would be okay if we showed up around that time. We got there and looked around, there was a tent and lots of cars with Ryan Spilborghs on them, but no Ryan Spilborghs.

Maybe he’s inside…

We took a quick peak inside, no Spilly. On our way out, I asked someone if he was here, he asked another guy and the second guy said, “Nope, he left a few minutes ago.”

“Oh…”

“Now, I can’t sign a baseball, but I can get you into a new car.”

“Um… no thanks, I’m far too poor to afford a new car right now. I just really wanted to meet Ryan Spilborghs. The ad said he’d be here at 10:30″

“Well, he’s got a game tonight.”

You incompetent man, do you think I didn’t know that?!
Ryan Spilborghs34.jpg
The high pressure car salesman continued to talk. “Yeah, he came early this morning, and he brought his puppy too. A pit bull named Gibson. He was here for about three hours or so. If you’d’ve woken up earlier, you would’ve met him.”

Are you freaking kidding me, Mr. High Pressure Salesman, who now I think is mean for telling me about how awesome it was when Spil was here and now he’s not?!

Ryan Spilborghs43.jpg“Well, we didn’t sleep in, but we figured he’d be here for at least an hour after the ad said he would.”

“Yeah, he came early.”

Hmm… no kidding.

“Okay, well… thanks.”

“Yeah, you shouldn’t’ve slept in,” he called to us after we were walking away.

Apparently he didn’t get the message that we didn’t sleep in and came when the ad of his dealership said that he would be here.

I managed to meet Matt Holliday before he was traded away (and get a lovely autograph on my Holliday shirt), and so with all the trade rumors about Spilly, I thought it absolutely necessary to meet him.

Ryan Spilborghs is without a doubt one of the coolest players the Rockies have, or so I’ve heard. At this point in time, I can really go off speculation based on the testimony that I’ve been told. Apparently he’s incredibly genuine, charismatic, funny, and really cares about his fans. I would have loved to meet him, but… FAIL. It was probably more like an Epic FAIL:

Cup Fail.JPG

Eleven=Heaven

The 2009 Rockies have now tied their club record for longest streak. For those of us who remember, it was back in 2007 when the Rockies had that run. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Rockies fan… well, that isn’t quite phrased right. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Rockies fan because nobody really seems to appreciate the Rockies. When it comes to this team, getting the attention of the media is like a white person picking out a Korean among Chinese people (I can only make that reference because I know), it just doesn’t happen.

So when I saw this:

Nine Streak.pngI was stoked!

The Rockies are on a phenomenal streak! Two games below .500 and they’ve worked their tail off and are entirely deserving.

It’s unfortunate though that it takes a firing of a manager, an eleven game winning streak, and a team that has some All Star players to get some attention.

Eleven Streak.pngIt’s amazing to see the Rockies on an incredible run! Garrett Atkins was finally in the lineup today, and it seems that all that bench warming gave him some thinking time. Atkins had a pretty successful day of hitting, he looked more like a contact hitter than a power hitter, but right now, a hit is a hit. I’m glad that he’s getting back on his feet and hopefully will have a more consistent swing. I’ve been pulling for him for a while now, it’s about time he showed me that he is still a power hitter.

Garrett Atkins70.jpg

Emily Goes to the Broncos Fan Fair

Recently, I accompanied my friend out to meet some players from her favorite team, the Denver Broncos. It was a lovely Saturday as we headed out for the Broncos Fan Fair, my friend Jenn all giddy with excitement, and I’d like to think that I was a bit calmer. If roles were reversed and we were meeting the Rockies, I’d probably be as crazy as she was that day…

We got there about 45 minutes before the doors opened so we could get into some lines early. Sunscreen was applied, you’ll see in pictures later that I have a lovely farmers tan from a Rockies game I attended. We entered Invesco Field at Mile High and were off to the photo line.

Invesco Bronco.jpg
Unfortunately, when you enter a line to meet some players, you really have no idea who you’ll be meeting. So, once we saw whom it was, we decided that they weren’t very important to meet (I know, we’re jerks) and went off to another line. Now, apparently the Fan Fair was set up a little bit differently than last year and you got autographs and pictures in the same line.

Nic Clemons Kenny Peterson Josh McDaniels.jpgAs we approached the first line, we saw the people who would be awaiting us: Nic Clemons, Kenny Peterson, and head coach Josh McDaniels. To me, pictures are more important than autographs, unfortunately, since things were a little different this season, we realized that we didn’t have anything for them to autograph, except the program.

The line moved slowly as we got closer and closer to Nic Clemons, and my friend Jenn was, well… freaking out is a modest way to put it. We finally got there and being the awkward girl that she is, Jenn yelled at them, “I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING FOR YOU TO AUTOGRAPH!!” as she slid her program toward them. They were a bit taken aback by this, but were perhaps used Fan Fair Program.jpgto crazy people. Then as they were passing her program down to each other she also yelled, “PICTURE!!” Needless to say, it was slightly awkward… for her, hilarious for me though.

I got down to Josh McDaniels and looked at him, what was I going to say? “Way to screw up that situation with Cutler.” “You are quite a young coach.” “You’ll have a lot to prove this season.” “Hi.” Let’s face it, McDaniels, he’s well… he’s pretty good looking, so I decided it might be a good idea to try and make a good impression on him rather than a bitter one. As he passed my program back to me, I smiled at him and said, “Good luck this season,” and then he said thanks… and he winked at me. Or at least I would like to think he winked at me and his eye wasn’t just twitching or something. But my heart almost stopped.

It was all over after that; I was hooked by these attractive football players and was now, although on a far inferior playing field to my friend Jenn, I could at least relate. The first player we got to meet was Brian Dawkins. Before I got my picture with him, all his children were telling him how much they loved him and it was so cute… but also awkward because people were trying to move the line along, but I didn’t want to interrupt his time with his kids.

Brian Dawkins.jpgAfter that, we decided maybe we needed something for them to autograph, it would also help with Jenn’s yelling situation. So, the only “affordable” thing was a hat. The OCD person in me is kind of mad about the blue signature, but oh well.

Fan Fair Hat.jpgLater, we ended up meeting probably one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen in my life. Men aren’t commonly referred to as “beautiful,” but Josh Barrett is an exception. I mean… wow.

Josh Barrett2.jpgJosh Barrett3.jpgAt one point, Jenn got all excited because she thought that he was smiling at her, but then she realized that I was taking a picture. Sorry to steal your thunder, Jenn.Josh Barrett.jpgNext players I got a picture with were Andra Davis…

Andra Davis.jpg… and Ronald Fields (who I totally would not want to piss off).

Ronald Fields.jpgWell, thanks to SPF 30 (I usually never go higher than 8), I didn’t tan at all and still have a farmers tan. Boo.

Who Are These Guys?

In 2007 an issue of Sporting News came to my apartment. On the cover was none other than Mr. Matt “Everyday’s a holiday with you, Matt Holliday” Holliday. The headline from the magazine read, “Who Are These Guys??”

Brad Hawpe29.jpgI think that’s what all of baseball (or at least anyone who has any clue who the Rockies are) are asking themselves right now.

The team that’s been playing right now isn’t the same team that started this season. With the recent sweep of the Cardinals, a series 2-0 lead in Milwaukee, and now two come-from-behind wins, I’m wondering where this team has been all season. I mean, really, a sweep against Albert Pujols’ team?! It’s Albert “I am God” Pujols!! The Rockies have never swept a series in Milwaukee, and I’m certainly not going to jinx it and say they are, but now theGarrett Atkins68.jpg team is playing to their potential, now my boys are playing like they want it.

Except for one. It’s about time for a certain favorite third baseman of mine to get out of this funk. I want him back; I want my Garrett Atkins to be hitting like Garrett Atkins again. I’m glad Ian Stewart has gotten some time at third, it was incredibly deserved and he’s an amazing player, but yesterday he struck out twice and once today. It’s about time for Atkins to get some at bats and get some hits along with those AB. The best I
can hope for: he knows that not everyone is losing the faith in him.

Playlist

Music encompasses a very large part of my life. Sometimes I wish my life were a movie, but only for the soundtrack part of it. Those perfect moments where the perfect song comes on and everything just works. One of the things that’s so great about music is the fact that it’s written to reflect life. Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of a soundtrack for the Rockies right now. When it came down to it, the soundtrack that I had produced would have been really terrible, so, I don’t want to label this as “The Rockies Soundtrack.” Instead, I’d rather think of this as kind of like the music that plays during an episode of some TV series. Like… one about my love of a team and their progression up to this point. Anyway, I wanted to try and upload the songs so you can click on them and they’d play, but… yeah right. I’m not even that blog savvy… or web savvy… or even that savvy in general.

Black Eyed Peas - Monkey  Business.jpg1. Where is the Love? – The Black Eyed Peas

The following three pictures are from the sports section of the Denver Post, June 6, 7, and today, the 8. Notice anything?

Denver Post June 6.jpgJune 6: The Palmer Cup, a golf tournament that took place in Denver

Denver Post June 7.jpgJune 7: Ron Lyle, a famous boxer

Denver Post June 8.jpgJune 8: Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers

The Rockies entered this series against the Cardinals as last in their division with the second worst record in the majors; the Cardinals on the other hand were tied for first in their division.

You’ll see that the Rockies really didn’t make headlines. there’s a side column of June 6 and June 8. The column from the latter only reflects bad news of the Rockies (for me at least, I’ll get to that later though). Basically, the Rockies are one of those uncared about teams. The comparison I’m about to make is kind of an uneven playing field, but when Clint Hurdle was fired, it wasn’t a huge deal, it wasn’t blogged about for days, and the world of MLB moved on with their lives. On the other hand, had someone like Joe Torre or Terry Francona been fired, the opposite would be true. Now, like I said, these are uneven playing fields, Joe Torre has a winning record, so of course, it would be a surprise if he was fired. But even when he was fired by the Yankees, it was a big deal.

The fact is, you’ll find few people who really care about the Rockies.

Copeland - Beneath Medicine Tree.jpg2. Testing the Strong Ones – Copeland

The start of the season didn’t look good for the Rockies. At one point, they were 14 games behind .500 and the only people producing runs were Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe. Our bullpen lacked depth and our usual ace couldn’t last more than four innings without giving up at least four runs. Basically, our team looked sad, struggling to survive in the cruel world of the majors.

I wanted to think of the beginning of the season as testing the Rockies. Could they withstandColorado Rockies team.jpgtheir downfalls? Wold they be able to turn things around and show the world they are a legitimate team?

In the past series against the Cards, the Rockies showed how strong they are. If you were to only see this series against the Birds, you would guess that the Rockies were one of the best teams in the majors. The Rockies came back this past series and turned things around for their team. Suddenly, our bullpen looked great, our pitchers could last more than five innings, the rest of our team stepped up to the plate to produce runs.

Coldplay - Parachutes.jpg3. Don’t Panic – Coldplay

This song kind of applies to both the Rockies and me. On June 5, the Rockies were exactly 1/3 of the way through their season. Their record… not good, let’s leave it at that. I believe the team as a whole was putting an exorbitant amount of pressure on themselves to get the job done. That pressure relayed into theGarrett Atkins60.jpginability to get the job done and an incapability to perform.

“Oh, all that I know
There’s nothing here to run from
‘Cause here, everybody here’s got somebody to lean on.”

Those are my favorite lyrics from this song mostly because it reflects a kind of reassurance. I’m hoping that’s what the Rockies felt too, reassured not to panic; they’ve got 2/3 of a season to improve.

Dashboard Confessional - Dusk and Summer.jpg4. Stolen – Dashboard Confessional

The Beatles - 1.jpg5. She Loves You – The Beatles

Death Cab for Cutie - Plans.jpg6. I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

In 2004 I became a member of the Red Sox nation (before they won the ALCS, just to point that out). The Red Sox were the first baseball team that I was interested in. Once I came to understand more about baseball, I fell in love with the Rockies. Let’s face it, I live in Colorado, they’re Colorado’s team, it wasRed Sox baseball.jpgmuch easier to watch them. The Rockies kind of stole my heart away from the Red Sox. Now, I’m still a Red Sox fan, but I doon’t get to see their games very much or have ever been to one (which may change, but I’ll get to that later too).

I fell in love with the Rockies; after that, the team and the game ofbaseball became a significant part of my life. The Beatles kind of just Rockies baseball.jpgworked in the soundtrack because even though the Rockies were struggling, I still loved the
m… “and ya know that can’t be bad.” The same is kind of true with the song by Death Cab. Fanhood can often be synonymous with faith. As the season progresses, no one knows what is in store for a team, and even though they were and may still struggle beyond belief, I’ll follow them and stay faithful to the team that stole my heart.

Moneen - The Red Tree.jpg7. Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do – Moneen

Garrett Atkins, the guy who was supposed to make up for the loss of Matt Holliday, has been struggling beyond belief when it comes to his swing. Heposes an unthreatening .189 average, a meager 5 longballs, and a disheartening 20 RBIs. Attention was focused on what the club was going toGarrett Atkins63.jpg do about Atkins and whether or not he’d ever be back to hitting a homer, a double, or even getting a hit.

While Atkins hasn’t completely gotten out of his slump, he’s working to turn things around. After the two longballs he hit in the game agains tthe Astros, he showed the people doubting his abilities that he still has the capacity to get a homerun.

Weezer - Blue Album.jpg8. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer

Lately, rumors have been abuzz about possible trades tha tthe Rockies are looking to make. These rumors include the following names: Garrett Atkins, Ryan Spilborghs, Brad Hawpe, Omar Quintanilla, Paul Phillips, and Manny Corpas.
Carlos Gonzalez.jpg
The Rockies recently brought up prospect Carlos Gonzalez and with Dexter Fowler playing,the Rockies now have one of the smallest outfields; the speed of these two players in phenomenal.

Ian Stewart.jpgWith Ian Stewart performing so well and now Gonzalez playing left, the need for Atkins and Spilborghs seems to decrease. I can’t imagine what my team would be like without my two favorite players. It’s this scenario that kind of makes me want to just belt out, “SAY IT AIN’T SOOOOO-OOO-WHOOOOOOOA-OOO.” I’ve been faithful to my Rockies, and right now, I want them to be faithful to me. Atkins and Spilborghs are two fo our most beloved players here. In fact, I had to special order my Ryan Spilborghs t-shirt and then when I went out, everyone was like, “where’d you get that Spilborghs t-shirt?!” “I’ve been looking for one everywhere!” “Oh man, Ryan Spilborghs is so awesome!” That’s not even a joke. Apparently everyone loves him.

Heyday, The.jpg9. Where I Want to Be – The Heyday

I’ll admit that I can be a very materialistic person, and in a lot of ways that’s one of the reasons I admire Tom from Rocky Mountain Way so much. He was able to give all that up to go out and do something that he loves.

I would love to have the courage to give up everything and follow the Rockies around because I love baseball games and I love this team. It seems like they’ve been out on road games a lot lately and I’d love to be at one.

I would have loved to see this past series against the Cardinals, they always have a packed house and it would’ve been such a cool experience because when it comes to the Rockies, “anywhere with you is where I want to be.”

This past series, I would have loved to be in St. Louis, not just for the Rockies, but to see Albert Pujols as well. In fact, I think if it weren’t for the Rockies and the Red Sox, the Cards would be one of my favorite teams.

Muse - Absolution.jpg10. Hysteria – Muse

The last song on my soundtrack is just because 1. I really like it and 2. I’m totally obsessed. The song itself is about being overly obsessed with something. Really, I think it kind of projects a love song… in like… a stalkerish sort of way. But I’m not stalking the Rockies… well… there was that one incident…

Anyway, so now that we’re through all that, remember two of those things that I was talking about that I said I’d talk to you about later. Well, the time has come.

Trade rumors: Don’t trade Atkins or Spilborghs. It’s not just because I’m in love with both of them but because they’re crucial players to this team. In fact, I thought at one point they were talking about trading Torrealba. What happened with that? I really like Phillips. I suppose though that’s part of the game… But seriously. No.

Next, the Red Sox. A friend from high school shot me an e-mail recently and said she had tickets for crappy seats at a Red Sox/Yankees game in August. Say what?! That’s right, I might be out in Boston in August to see the greatest rivalry in sports!!! I’ll keep you posted on that situation. 

 

Garrett Atkins: Triple Threat, Not Triple A

Tonight, Rockies third baseman/love of my life Garrett Atkins proved why he belongs in the majors.

Garrett Atkins45.jpgRecent articles had me speculating if Atkins was going to be traded or sent down to the Triple-A Sky Sox.

Earlier today, my friend called me to wish me luck on my job interview. I told her that my stomach was hurting me, but I wasn’t sure if it was because I was nervous for my interview or because I had just read about the possibility of Atkins heading toward the Springs. Earlier I felt fine, I wasn’t nervous for my interview, I was prepared, and once I read that news, I actually felt sick.

The very name Garrett Atkins used to strike fear into the pitchers he faced. He was the guy who pitchers would walk to get to the five hole. Not the case last night. Last night, Brad Hawpe was walked not once, but twice, so that pitchers could get to Atkins, who struck out both times.

Rockies May 2009 053.JPG
However, tonight was the Garrett Atkins before his season long slump. Tonight was the Atkins that struck fear into the pitchers he faced. Tonight Garrett Atkins played like… well… Garrett Atkins.

Garrett Atkins58.jpgWhen Atkins hit his first longball, I was stoked, practically dancing around like a giddy school girl. FINALLY!! The last time he hit a homer was back in April, April 25th. It was one of the most deserved hits to ever come to a player. 

Garrett Atkins36.jpgThe second homerun, I was elated, euphoric, ecstatic, any other word that is synonymous with those. I was in awe of my favorite player, it may have been just as big of a moment for him as it was for me; most of Colorado may have turned their back on Garrett, but I held the faith. Before this, it was getting to the point where I would have sold my soul to get Atkins back on track. You think I’m joking… I’m not.

Now, by no means is Atkins “cured” of his season long slump, but now he has the confidence that he still has the power to hit a homer. I feel like his problems are similar to those of David Ortiz. The slump that both players have dug themselves into raises the “self-doubt” question in their mind. They know what they need to do, but they’re unable to execute a play, leaving them wondering if they’ll ever get a hit, a double, a homerun, anything. If Atkins keeps this up, he’ll get out of whatever slump he’s in.

Garrett Atkins30.jpg
The Rockies could’ve lost tonight, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t. But it was just as important to me to see Atkins hit those longballs. Had they lost, I still probably would have been as excited as I am.

Now, two homers in a game doesn’t by any means really make Garrett Atkins a triple threat. In fact, really, I just tried to use that as kind of a play on words, that’s about as far as my creativity spans. Since his slump, I’ve been reassuring myself that Atkins is just keeping me waiting for that perfect moment where he’ll hit a grand slam or he’ll do like he did today and get two homeruns. I talk about how much I am in love with him, but I really do value Atkins for the player that he is. In his past seasons, he’s never failed to deliver, and his slump this season makes it difficult. Players go through slumps, and it’s because he’s such a big slugger that it’s like he’s not allowed to. But I trust, through thick and thin, that Atkins will get back to his old self and raise his average to above .200. How unthreatening did that just sound? To above .200? Wow…

Tonight, the 10-3 victory over the Astros was a collaboration of the entire Rockies team. Jason Hammel looked great out on the mound; he’s been struggling in the past, but looked great tonight. Run support needed to come from somewhere besides Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe, and it did. Every position player had a hit tonight and every position player played like they wanted a win. Ryan Spilborghs, my other favorite player, hit a longball and tracked down a ball up the hill of Minute Maid Park.

Ryan Spilborghs22.jpgTonight was exactly what the Rockies needed, a win.

Finally, I’ve been having problems getting online. I was finally able to get online to log into MLBlogs (fortunately, I don’t have to be connected to the internet to just type), had to go unplug and replug my router in order to upload pictures (I actually had to unplug it and plug it back in for each picture), then had to unplug and replug it in again to publish it. I swear I want to read your blogs, but I can’t get online for more than five minutes. Hopefully a new router is on it’s way and then I can catch up on everything I’ve been missing.

Photos courtesy: baseball photos

Emily Goes to a REAL Coors Field Experience

Parking for the Rockies game: $10
Price for the seats we were sitting in: $35 (for whoever actually had to pay for them)
Nachos with questionable cheese: $5.25
A day at the park with the Rockpile Ranter: Priceless.

When I e-mailed Don about hitting up a game together, he had an extra ticket and told me he’d give me the “real Coors Field experience.” Let me tell you, he absolutely didn’t fail to deliver.

It started out with a meeting outside the Rockpile gate. I eagerly walked up to Don excited to go into the park and start my day. He presented me with a glove, this glove:

Emily and glove.jpgMy first ever glove!! Good thing it’s all broken in, because I wouldn’t have any idea what to do. We headed into the ballpark where the people who check bags actually complimented me on my Red Sox jersey bag. WHOA! That blew my mind right there. This was totally going to be a good day because for the first time, I wasn’t harassed about it. We ran up the stairs and were on our way to some batting practice.

Don gave me some tips for catching balls:

  1. Don’t catch it right in front of your face because if you miss it… it’ll hit… well… your face.
  2. Try to stay between the bleachers, you’ll have easier access toward hits.
  3. Catch it in the pocket between your thumb and index finger, because if it hits your hand… it’ll hurt. Bad.

I also learned that there are certain unspoken rules to snagging balls. For example, Don was about to get this ball when some guy stuck his glove right in front of Don’s. Don’t do that. I have more unspoken rules to learn, but I’ll get there someday.

So we’re just hanging out standing there, nothing really coming my way. I stayed in the area where I was because I for sure wasn’t coordinated enough to keep my eye on the ball and climb stairs. Anyway, I’m watching when this homerun batting practice ball comes a few bleachers in front of me. “No way I’m going to get this ball.”

I have a lot to learn about catching a ball first of all. I have no idea what I’m doing. Going down stairs is kind of a big deal because I’m trying to keep my eye on the ball, but there’s stairs… and I always have to watch when I’m going down stairs or I’m going to trip and eat it… hard. So this ball is coming and it bounces off one of Don’s friend’s glove and lands right in front of me. I out race two dudes (not children) and grab the ball. My first batting practice ball that I, myself got… ever! A day in history!!

Emily's first BP ball.jpgDon would also snag a ball and practice would end shortly after that. It was off to the first base line to try and grab some autographs. I really, really, really wanted Garrett Atkins’ autograph, but no dice. In fact, I didn’t get anyone’s autograph. It’s possible I’m too passive aggressive to actually successfully get an autograph. People just kind of cut in front of me and I just kind of let them, plus I don’t just want to shove my baseball in some players face, so I failed to get anyone’s autograph. No big deal, I was standing so close to Clint Barmes, it was amazing (the pictures were taken with my phone… so… they kind of suck).

Barmes.jpg
Barmes2.jpgI could see Garrett Atkins getting stretched. What I wouldn’t give for that job…

Atkins stretching.jpgSome where along the lines, Don got a ticket for seats up by the third base line (the phone doesn’t even do the seats justice)… where a certain, favorite third baseman plays… ehem… So we sat there and I admired Garrett Atkins… I mean the certain, favorite third baseman.

Ball park seats.jpgHowever, for the first two innings, I couldn’t even focus because of how excited I was about the ball that I had gotten… like… two hours earlier. Yeah, I was still excited about that.

The game was pretty tame toward the beginning and Don snagged some great pictures. Unfortuately, he was still moving and had to head out during the seventh inning, so I hung out by myself. At that time, the Padres were leading 6-4. In the bottom of the seventh, the Rockies would tie it up. The ninth inning was where the magic happened.

Rockies May 2009 081.JPGHuston Street gave up a run and the Padres were leading in the top of the ninth. He was able to shut down the inning, and the Rockies came up to bat.

At first it didn’t look too good. Dexter Fowler struck out looking. Clint Barmes came up, who was moved to the two spot and, by the way, has done great there. He singled to left field after which he would steal second. Next up was Sweet T, not to be confused with Sweetie. Helton would ground out to third. Two outs, next up to bat was Atkins. I could only hope that my Atkins shirt would ensure him that he had at least one fan left. Atkins singled to shallow center and drove in Barmes. The score is tied 7-7. Brad Hawpe comes to the plate, Atkins on first. Brad HawpeBrad Hawpe15.jpgdoubled to center, and Garrett Atkins scored!!! At this point, I was screaming like a tween at a Jonas Brothers concert. I was so excited and was text messaging with my friend Mary the entire time. I watched as the Rockies celebrated and then Garrett Atkins was pulled off to the side for quick interview.

I told my friend Mary that he was being interviewed, and she responded with:

“I know! He is talking on TV right now. He said all thanks goes to his best fan Emily.”

Even though it’s pretty obvious he didn’t say that, I smiled the whole walk to my
car… which I ended up searching for for like… ten minutes (I wasn’t smiling during that part).

Don had left me a voice message during the game, but it was way too loud to answer. He heard that Atkins got his hit and I was going to call him back and tell him how amazing it was, but I was actually a little hoarse from screaming.

So, there it is. My real Coors Field experience, all courtesy: The Rockpile Ranter.

Photos courtesy: me

Video courtesy: TheRockpileRanter

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