I will forever and always claim that I am the one who discovered Matt Daley… kind of. But I know I’m definitely the first one who started bragging about what a great pitcher he was going to be; therefore, my discovery. Now, I haven’t been around MLBlogs in a while, nor been reading too much of the newspaper, but I am going to go ahead and claim my discovery of Charlie Blackmon. Obviously I use the words “my discovery” loosely. I’m pretty sure his agent would argue with me on who discovered Charlie Blackmon.
To start out, when I heard his name, I was like, “um… who?” I have a subscription to Baseball America, and as far as I could remember, I never saw Charlie’s name. In fact, the top ten prospects from the magazine are Tyler Matzek, Wilin Rosario, Nolan Arendano, Christian Friedrich, Peter Tago, Kyle Parker, Rex Brothers, Juan Nicasio, Chad Bettis, and Hector Gomez, respectively. Did you see the name “Charlie Blackmon?” I didn’t either. So, like I said, “um… who?”
Charlie Blackmon is a left handed outfielder who has made his presence known with the Rockies. After attending Young Harris Junior College for two years, Charlie transferred to Georgia Tech. What kind of annoys me about this is that I have visited Georgia Tech. If I would’ve gone to a baseball game, I could’ve potentially seen Charlie playing, and then when he came to the Rockies, I could’ve been like, “I saw you playing at Georgia Tech!!!” Guess there’s not a lot I can do about that now.
Charlie was originally drafted as a pitcher to the Florida Marlins in the 28th round of the 2004 draft and in the 20th round of the 2005 draft by the Red Sox. He pitched two games at Georgia Tech before moving to the outfield. The Rockies selected him in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft as an outfielder.
He’s made remarkable strides in Triple A with the Sky Sox. He was batting a .325 average with 38 hits, 25 RBIs, and six stolen bases. Not only that, but in 28 games, he hit six home runs.
After being called up on June 8, Charlie has five stolen bases, and although he is batting below .300, Charlie is still working out some mechanics. I can easily see him becoming a 4th outfielder if not a regular position player.
One more thing, does Charlie Blackmon’s batting stance remind you of anyone? The pictures aren’t the best, but he reminds me a lot of the way Brad Hawpe hits.
It has been two years. Time flies.
Although you frequent my thoughts, it’s on this day, every year, that I always wish I could askyou so much.
I can’t possibly fathom the idea of watching your child pitch six scoreless innings, arguably the greatest game he had ever pitched, only to have to bring the lifeless body of him home, bury him, and say goodbye.
My heart goes out to your family. A beautiful life, 22 years of dreaming, cut short. A mistake? What do you call Andrew Gallo’s actions? Careless? He’ll be 72 when he’s eligible for parole. You would be 71. Would you have looked back at your life, a life filled with baseball, rings, and a Cy Young award?
Can you even imagine the life that you could’ve had? Too often, I take for granted the fragility of life. Your life, Nick, like anyone else’s could’ve been, was taken away in a flash. Can you fathom if you had been at that intersection 30 seconds later? Maybe even 10 seconds later. But it was that moment. You had your whole life ahead of you, a life destined for greatness. Could you ever forgive him?
Were you the motivation that got the Angels to clinch the AL West? Or would it have beenanother moment in your potential life? Where would you be today? An Angel? A Yankee? Where would you be in the future? A pitching coach? Managing? A hall of famer?
Two years later your picture is still displayed in the outfield. Your teammates still think of you. I still think of you. I still think of everything you could’ve been, and everything you are not because of someone’s reckless disregard for your life.
Your life, Nick, will not go unremembered.
“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshiped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball… I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.” – Annie Savoy” Bull Durham
The game of baseball is a game of half a step, half an inch, half a second. The difference between making the most amazing play and becoming part of history or falling short.
Tonight was a historical night. Armando Galaragga made history by being the 21st pitcher to pitch a perfect game. But you won’t see his name in the books. His accomplishment won’t be written as a rare feat. In fact, what you will see on record is that he made it through 8.2 innings when he gave up a hit to Jason Donald. Don’t let the books fool you, it wasn’t a controversial call by first base umpire Jim Joyce, it was a flat out wrong call. There shouldn’t have been any question in any one’s mind on whether or not Jason Donald was safe. He wasn’t.
In my baseball life, which I’ll confess, has been short lived thus far, I have never been more upset about a call than I was tonight. Not that final called strike which was clearly a ball on one of my Rockies, not the safe call that was clearly out on one of my Red Sox. No. This call tonight, this blown call by Jim Joyce, THIS was unbelievable.
All those other calls? I’ll get over them. I got over them. It was an isntant that was me yelling at my TV and telling the umpire that I, as a squinty eyed asian, had better vision than he did.
Tonight’s blown call is one that I can’t stop being mad over. Tonight’s blown call should’ve made history. Armando Galaragga’s magic number should have been 21. See, baseball? It’s magical. The passion, the sounds, the smells, the respect, the love, everything that goes into the game is magical. A perfect game, a no hitter? They’re beyond magical. They’re a breathtaking feat that are so rare to see, it’s been miraculous that I’ve gotten to see three, technically four, in my baseball life.
Tonight that magic was stolen when Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe. Jim Joyce’s apology? I respect the fact that he manned up and said, “yes, I made a mistake,” but that’s not going to change the record books. That’s not going to give Galaragga a perfect game. His apology doesn’t call Jason Donald out. The fact is, one of the most amazing and rare feats in baseball, a feat accomplished by only twenty before him, was within reach tonight. On one single mistake, one blind person’s error, his name won’t be found under “perfect games.”
So, what do you plan to do about this, Emily? That’s a good question. I don’t exactly know. I wouldn’t have any ideas. I’ll tell you right now that I’m not one who is on board for instant replays in baeball. In fact, I think if that were the case, too many things would be argued and it could become just a ridiculous circus. But it shows, aftera ll the umpiring mistakes this season, that they’re costing more than just games, they’re cositng us history.
Through all this, nothing made me more proud tonight than to see Armando Galaragga give a simple smile and go right back to work. He’s an incredible representation for his country and a class act. Even when Jim Joyce said, “I cost him that perfect game,” he went on his way and forgave him. You didn’t see Armando Galaragga acting like Carlos Zambrano, you saw him acting like an upstanding player.
So yes, I still believe in the church of baseball, and yes, I still think this is a magical game, and yes, my heart is still broken for the history that was lost tonight. But in my book, Armando Galaragga will ALWAYS be the 21st pitcher to pitch a perfect game, regardless of any asterisk inserted into any books, who will go on record as the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game, or what any blind umpire says. I witnessed history tonight, I got to witness an amazing and rare accomplishment, and I am so proud of Armando Galaragga, and damn proud to have witnessed his perfect game.
According to some of the experts, it sounds like they are already predicting the Rockies to not only make it to the World Series, but to take it as well. Hands down, no hesitation, I want the Rockies to make it to the World Series, I believe they can, and yes, I want them to take it, I believe they can too. However, when it comes to experts and their predictions, I tend to be one of those people who doesn’t like to count their chickens… or… eggs? Count their eggs before… their chickens lay them…? Whatever, you know what I mean.
When we look at spring training and regular season, we’re looking at two very different ballgames (haha, yeah, I did just make that joke). I don’t honestly think you can make any assumption before you see a regular season game played. I mean, why do you think the Cubs always say, “this is our year” before the season starts (that was mean… but true… but still mean)? If you recall the beginning of the Rockies’ 2009 season, no one would have predicted them to go anywhere, and look at what they did.
Now, like I said, I believe the Rockies can make it to the World Series; I’ll hope for that every year. But there are a lot of factors that are going to contribute to the success of this team as well as ones that raise questions.
No doubt the Rockies have an incredible lineup filled with young guys who have shown they can play the game. Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are going to continue to produce. They’re young, talented, and well on their way to becoming five tool players. Gonzalez did some incredible things in winter ball this past season and Fowler has continued to work on his game. Not only that, but the dangerous, defensive combination of these two significantly shrinks the outfield. Todd Helton, despite his age, can also produce hits. While he’s no longer in his prime, the important thing is that he can still play the game and has the passion to do so as well. A lot of stress will also be taken off his shoulders with Jason Giambi as a back up, and Melvin Mora able to cover first. I’ve also really liked what I’ve seen of Brad Eldred this spring training, I think he could play an important role later in the season. Troy Tulowitzki, well, no questions asked, he’s one of the best – young and an elite force on the team.
The Rockies, undoubtedly, may have the best bench in the history of this team. This includes Giambi, Ryan Spilborghs, and Seth Smith. All three can come up with big hits, especially Smith. He was an immense force for the Rockies and came up as a pinch hitter, an incredibly important role. I’ll be honest that I never knew too much about Melvin Mora or Miguel Olivo. While I still don’t know much about Olivio, I like what I’ve seen with Mora. The epitome of a utility player, third base, short stop, second base, and the entire outfield.
Here’s where the Rockies are going to run into some problems. The first and biggest problem is our closer Huston Street has found his way to the DL. Although he hopes for a return on May 1, the Rockies trainer isn’t making any promises. This means that the Rockies need a replacement, with Franklin Morales, Manny Corpas, and Matt Belisle in the running. I’m not big on any of these options, but one has to be chosen. Franklin Morales acted as a sub last season when Street went to the DL, and while his performance managed to get the job done, I just didn’t feel comfortable seeing the ball given to him in the ninth. Manny Corpas needs to get back to his 2007 self if he wants to be a really, truly viable option; however, he could also be considered as a set up man for games. Matt Belisle could also be an option if a few righties are coming up to bat.
Jeff Francis is also heading to the 15 day DL. While he hasn’t made a pitch in a major leaguegame since September 18 of 2009, I was excited to see him start. I really trust Jim Tracy and if he had Francis in spot number two of the rotation, then I was going to let it ride. I am, however, very excited to see the potential of Greg Smith. When we acquired Street, Gonzalez, and Smith in the trade for Holliday, I knew we had to be getting a good deal. That paid off as far as Street and Gonzalez; and while I’ve wanted to see Smith make his debut with the Rockies, it has yet to happen. We’ll see how things go.
Here’s what could make the Rockies dangerous: discipline. They need discipline at the plate, discipline in commanding pitches and focusing on the pitch at hand rather than worrying about the runner, and discipline when it comes to stealing bases. That will make the Rockies a truly threatening team for this upcoming season.
Recently, I received this note from my favorite Cardinal loving Chicagoan:
Goddamn it, it’s January 13th already and you have yet to write in 2010, Emmy. Get on it! With love of course :-)
It was like getting a threat-mantic e-mail, threatening, but written with love.
So I figured, “I guess I should get on this.”
Welcome to 2010 fellow bloggers! We’re almost through the offseason! We’ve almost made it! I guess BSAD hit me a little harder than I thought, most of my days are spent working and when I’m not working, I can be found beneath my flannel penguin sheets (yes, I have penguin sheets, don’t judge) catching up on m Z’s.
Some big names like Matt Holliday and Jason Bay have now left our hot stove discussion, and for the most part, it seems as though the Rockies have remained fairly quiet in their quest for free agents. Their biggest move it seems, signing catcher Miguel Olivio, and if you want to call that news… well… I don’t have anything witty to say about that.
Right now, one of hte biggest priorities for the Rockies is locking up Huston Street. Oh, wait… they did that already? Okay, then they’ll need to try and come to a deal with Ryan Spilborghs to expand our outfielders and avoid arbitra… oh… they did that too? Well, seeing how the Rockies were the only club in 2009 to have five pitchers with double digit wins, it’d be nice if Jason Hammel stuck around with them… are you serious? That happened too?
So, here’s the deal, fellow bloggers: I was writing this entry all about how the Rockies need to spend their money wisely, because, let’s face it: the Rockies are a relatively cheap team. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, which really doesn’t sound nice at all, but the Rockies don’t have the deep pockets that we’d all like to see.
So here I was, talking about how after a very disappointing end to the 2009 season, everyone was like, “it was all Huston Street’s fault!” And I went on this rant about how wrong these people were and comments like that were made by ignorant bandwagon fans, and if it hadn’t been for Huston Street, the Rockies wouldn’t have even made their way to the playoffs in the first place. Street was clutch for the team during the regular season, and it was clearly defined in the chemistry that he had with them.
Yes, this long rant now wasted because he’s signed with the team. So, yes, Jefferson, once again, you were right (is that guy ever wrong?), I should’ve been blogging a lot earlier.
Things now seem to be coming together for the Rockies who have reached deals with Clint Barmes, Chris Iannetta, Jorge de la Rosa, Ryan Spilborghs, Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, and Jason Hammel; the latter four of them had filed for arbitration and now the four of them will be sticking around. Our startingpitching rotation could be interesting with Jeff Francis returning after missing a significant portion of 2008 and the 2009 season. In 2007 he was thought to be the ace of the Rockies and it was projected that a Francis vs. Josh Beckett matchup would be the ultimate showdown. Obviously we know how that worked out. After not pitching for almost a year and a half, I’m interested in seeing how he’ll perform.
Our starting infield is also looking good with Todd Helton, Barmes, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ian Stewart. The name that’s missing? Yeah, you know it: I’ll miss my dearest Garrett Atkins, I stood by his side during the worst season of his career, constantly cheering for him and celebrating just as much, if not more when he hits his heartbreaking nine homers. That’s right, he didn’t even hit double digits… and I can hear a certain Chicagoan snickering about that at this very moment! Yeah, it’ll break my heart not to see him in those beautiful purple pinstripes, but best of luck to him with the O’s.
Most likely, our projected outfield is Brad Hawpe, Dexter Fowler, and Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez had a fantastic season with the Eagles during winter ball in Venezuela. The Rockies have speed with Eric Young Jr. as well as Ryan Spilborghs and a powerful bat with Seth Smith, also known as Mr. Clutch from last season.
Most important to the team is the return of manager Jim Tracy, who had incredible chemistry with the team and turned around a rough start to their season.
Last and probably most important, Haiti is still in need of our help. Imagine if every person in the world donated $1 to help out. It’s so little, but adds up to so much. So if you can, please donate, there are many organizations out there.
The last comment my friend Jefferson gave to me was, “Emmy, don’t slack.” I thought, “yeah, no problem Jefferson, there’s tons to write about during the off season.” So, what was the first thing I did after I read that? If you’re thinking, “you went and wrote a blog,” you would be wrong. No, I slacked. And slacked. And slacked a little bit more. So, while my dear readers were busy keeping up with me, I was not busy keeping up with them. My sincerest apologies, oh dear readers. I appreciate the love you’ve shown me by stopping by here still and making me number eight on the latest leaders board (holla!).
So, while I’m here, let us talk about the atrocity known as the offseason.
Some time ago, I was messaging on my handy dandy… Blackberry!! (In case you didn’t get the reference, that was from Blue’s Clues… and I had to talk about my newest little gadget that has also become my newest obsession.) Anyway, I was messaging with a friend of mine who lives down in Venezuela and has the pleasure of covering winter ball for the Caribes. From what I’ve been learning about winter ball, it’s completely amazing, but the Caribes… they’re like the equivalent of the Washington Nationals.
So, we were messaging about this one game, and it was completely crazy: extra innings, bench clearing brawls, a manager ejection, and a high scoring game (Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Emily, that’s nothing like the Nationals, a high scoring game? Maybe only for the opposing team, you liar” to which I would say, “hey, even the Nationals get their day… someday…” (but that’s beside the point)). Just reading the messages, I couldn’t help but get excited waiting for the next one. He kept me updated on the count, who was on base, who was up to bat. I was sitting there, glued to this little screen on my phone thinking, “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!?!” It didn’t matter that I didn’t know any of the players, that I didn’t know anything about the teams; no, it was wondering what pitch, where it’s located, did he swing? I was on the edge of my seat just waiting to read what would happen.
I spent Thanksgiving with my friend and her parents who live down in Colorado Springs. The Broncos game against the Giants wasn’t broadcast (for some ridiculous reason) so we had to listen to the game on the radio. Listening to any game on the radio is very different from watching a game in any sport (well, I guess I really only listen to baseball on the radio, that football thing was only once). When you listen to one on the radio, you hear something like, “here’s the pitch…” With a fastball, it takes approximately 0.4 seconds to travel those 60 feet six inches to get to the plate. But waiting to hear what will happen after the, “here’s the pitch…” waiting that 0.4 seconds is like agony. When listening to the football game, waiting to hear if Kyle Orton’s throw was completed or waiting to hear if Eli Manning completed… anything, playing that waiting game makes you so… anxious… I think that’s the word I’m looking for.
So waiting for that message, waiting for that pitch count, “3-0… 3-1… 3-2… swing and a miss.” Waiting for that was like listening to the radio… only harder.
To get to the point, I didn’t realize how detrimental the off season is to my health until I found myself huddled around this tiny screen waiting for a message about a pitch, to a player I’d never heard of, on a team I didn’t know anything about, in a country I’ve never been to, on a different continent.
So, while we’re on the subject of my health, let’s talk about something that I’m about 99% sure I have right now. Have you ever heard of seasonal affective disorder? It’s basically how people react to the amount of sunlight in their environment. The typical pattern is that people have a tendency to become depressed during the fall and winter seasons (when there’s less light) and then kind of normalize in the spring and summer.
I’m all for getting sunlight, I mean, Colorado is a state that does have all four seasons. But… is it possible to have seasonal affective disorder for baseball? I mean… granted, it does coincide with the timing of… regular.. seasonal affective disorder (I don’t know if you’d call it “regular” since I don’t really think “baseball seasonal affective disorder” would be found in the DSM).
However, I think BSAD could be a legitimate medical condition, and I think I have it. So, how does it compare to the regular SAD? Like I said, SAD is about the amount of light that you’re getting in your environment; therefore, BSAD would be like the amount of baseball you get inyour environment.
Let’s think about it this way, in Colorado, at least lately, we’ve been having like… sub zero type temperatures. Now, since it’s Colorado, it’s possible that in a weeks time it’ll be sunny and somewhere in the 60s. So right now, it’s always overcast, dark, and in general, kind of gloomy. Then there are those sunny days where things are a little bit brighter, nicer, it’s a day where you want to be outside.
Same thing with baseball. Right now, I don’t have any, it’s gloomy, dark, and in general, a bit depressing. But there arelittle things that can only keep you satisfied for so long, like MLB Network or messaging with my friend covering winter ball. I mean… it’s not having baseball, but it’s as close as you can get. It’s like that one sunny day out of the week of crappy ones.
So during the off season months, I lust after that spring training date or that opening day date. I mean, when we’re talking hot stove, it can get a little repetitive. So I roam through the days in this… zombie-esque manner, waiting for that warm, sunny spring day in April. Granted, “zombie-esque manner” is probably not a politically correct way to describe someone with BSAD, or SAD for that matter, but I trust you’ll get over it.
Being on Twitter, being surrounded by baseball fans, and being someone who received their BA in psychology, I feel qualified to diagnose most of us with BSAD. We’re all… well… a little depressed right now just waiting, counting down those days until spring training arrives, and the sun comes out and the snow melts away (at least for Colorado). The days where the sun shines perfectly on that baseball diamond, where a beer and nachos (or for most baseball goers, a hot dog) is the only food you need that day to be content, where the sound of a ball hitting the sweet spot on a bat is just the best sound in the world. Yes, we lust after those days, and like anyone with SAD, we have to wait. Wait for the cold, harsh winter to be over, wait for the sun to show its face again, and wait for the day where we won’t have
to say, “Man… I miss baseball,” because baseball would already be here.
Yes, dear friends, until that time comes, we must be the artificial light in each others lives while we wait for that day in spring. We will suffer through our BSAD together while we wait for that day that it seems we can only dream about.
First, whoever is the first to comment on my blog will be my 600th comment. So, congrats and thank you in advance. Okay, onto the entry.
On November 3, 2008, I began writing a blog. Little did I know what I was actually getting into.
Let me fire out a small warning, because it is my blog birthday, this may turn into a slightly sappy entry. I do not know right now how it will turn out because I haven’t started it yet. But right now, you’ve been warned, so you have nothing to complain about if by the time you reach the end of it, you’re like, “Emily, that was sappy and stupid.” Because you’ve been warned.
When I go back and read some of my old entries, I can see a lot of growth from where I started to where I am now. I have, what I would like to think is my best entry written and somewhere in the last year, my worst entry.
I recall my constant rants in the beginning on why Huston Street should be the closer and not Manny Corpas. Why we needed Garrett Atkins on the team (hmm… obviously that worked out well this season) and the Rockies would be fools to trade him.
A lot has changed in a year, and I think it helps that I’m surrounded by people who are just as passionate about something as I am, if not more. Being apart of such an amazing community as MLBlogs is really, one of the best things that has happened to me.
What I love about this site is what it’s become to me. I think at this time last year, I didn’t start writing about baseball with the idea that I was going to meet some of the most incredible people In fact, I’m sure most people don’t expect themselves to go out and meet random people they met on the internet. I mean, c’mon, unless you’re internet dating, it’s a little sketchy. Apparently, not here… at least, not for me. I’m sure most people don’t expect to meet a person who puts everything on the line to follow their dreams, or a die-hard Boston fan, a person who’d be a huge sports influence, or even someone who becomes like a little sister (minus the sibling rivalry). I mean, when this was created, did anyone think it’d become what it has, at least, what it has for me? Not only that, but I’m going to go on and meet just as amazing people.
To be honest, until I joined up here, I didn’t know anything about anyone else’s team. I think it’s so cool when I go to the ballpark and can be like, “I think that’s insert ballplayer’s name here” because I read someone’s blog.
Being someone who lacks confidence in their abilities, it was cool to log on on January 20th and be the featured blog! I want to remember that moment, how much it made me smile. It’s been so cool to be able to log onto the cover page and be like, “whoa… it’s me!”
I’ll never forget that on April 30, I got to meet Tom and the Rockpile Ranter. That was probably one of the best days of my life as I got to know people who care about something as much as I do. Tom had great and amazing life experiences to share with me, and I was honored to hear about all of them. He had such incredible stories and was completely fascinating to listen to. Growing up, I had a father who liked to garden and a mother who liked to shop. I never had a sports influence in my life, it was something that developed on it’s own. However, after coming to this site, my love of the Rockies and baseball was nurtured by the Rockpile Ranter; the man who gave me my first glove, who handed me my first major league ball, who taught me how to catch a ball. I mean, you’re talking to someone who had no idea how to throw or catch a ball. Don was a huge sports influence on my life I’ll never forget when Tom and I were on the cover with the picture Don took, because that really was an amazing day.
I’ll never forget being next to the President while being the featured blog, being in a little square right next to Andre Ethier (because, well… he’s one of two Dodgers that I like),
when Coors Field was on the cover page. These are things that have stuck with me.
I’ve even been featured on Matt Daley’s fan page! Which is either because people think that I’m a big fan of his or they think I need a restraining order… one of those… hopefully not the latter. I’ve loved being able to write about how amazing I think his pitching is and share that with people and turn them into high sock, Dora the Explorer backpack, crazy pitching style lovers too! I can’t express how great that is to be able to share with all of you about my fanhood.
The first comment I ever got on my blog was from Kaybee, a die hard Padres fan. I remember how excited I was to actually get a comment! I was like, “oh my god! Someone read this!” My best guess is that my first comment was on the Rockpile Ranter’s blog. I’ll be honest, I’m too lazy to go back and see when I stopped being shy around here and actually commented on someone’s blog.
It took me forever to do, but I went through and checked my latest leaders stats, and here’s where I’ve been:
January 29 – February 4 #41
February 5 – 15 #35
February 17 – 23 #47
February 24 – March 2 #28
March 3 – 11 #41
March 12 – 27
March 28 – April 14 #50
April 15 – May 18 #13
June 2009 #13
July 2009 #6
August 2009 #4
Regular Season 2009 #7
I can’t say enough how cool it’s been for me to be apart of something like this. To be apart of the greatest game on earth and be apart of your lives. I appreciate every person who reads my blog, really, I do. I know I don’t show it a lot, ya know, going almost a month between blogging, but it’s been awesome to be here. So thank you all so much for reading and putting me on the leaders board, I am really honored to be up there among some amazing and incredible writers.
I’ve had a great time writing here, and I hope to continue writing and I hope you’ll continue reading. So, since I haven’t said it yet, happy belated blog birthday to me!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s baseball is very superstitious. Todd Helton is not only the Toddfather, but the Father of Superstition as well. For example, he recently shaved off all his facial hair. Most would accredit this to his 0-15 slump, however; Todd will tell you it was a mistake he made while shaving. Todd’s had the same facial hair for quite some time, but… I guess everyone can make a mistake, although I’m not entirely sure it was one. Now, he grew it back, but he did get a hit that day.
Since watching baseball, I’ve begun to become a little superstitious myself. Let’s rewind to two days ago, the first day of the postseason:
I was set. 12 hours of baseball and an HD TV.
The only thing that was missing was the beer. Of course, being a lightweight, 12:37 was a little early to start my drinking, so it wasn’t terribly missed. Yeah, sometimes it pays to be asian (cheap date).
I sat down; ready to watch the Rockies take on the Phillies. 12 hours of baseball meant I wasgoing to sit in my pajamas and my new Rockies sweatshirt.
“Bring on that Rocktober magic.”
No doubt, there was magic… that is, up until the fifth inning of that game. The Rockies gave up five runs between the fifth and sixth, suddenly, the magic entering the game seemed to fade. The Rockies faces lacked the luster they had when the first pitch was thrown, and the sheen of being the team to start off the playoffs right was deteriorating before my eyes.
“Wh… what is happening?!”
However, the brilliance of Cliff Lee certainly did not lack. Credit must be given where credit is due, and that guy? He was spot on. Giving up six hits and one run, throwing a complete game.
If we’re taking the Harold Reynolds approach, “here’s a guy” who wasn’t even talked about during the trade deadline. It was all about Roy Halladay and the possibility of him moving to the Phils. So, Cliff Lee? That acquisitioin seemed to pay off (possibly understatement of the year).
My beloved Rockies would fall to the Phillies that day, and it hurt. Bad.
I had looked so forward to this moment, to this game, and now that the Rockies had taken such a beat down… it was like my soul hurt.
“It’s just game one… it’s just game one.” It was like being in the Wizard of Oz and reciting tomyself, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” We can come back… we have o come back.
The Rockies have been on fire at home, so in reality there really is “no place like home.”
Next up was the Twins and Yankees game. For the most part, I didn’t care tons. Sorry TWinkies, but the Yanks are a damn good team, I don’t see many beating them out despite my dearest friend’s opinion.
However, I was cheering for the Twins. With the Red Sox, being my number two team, there is certainly no room for Yankees cheering.
Although the Twins would strike first, the Yankees would be quick to respond. I watched, yet again, as the team I had hoped to see win fell.
I have one more chance for redemption. The Cardinals are my number three team.
“Please don’t fail me.”
How could they? An ace on the mound, Albert “God” Pujols, Matt “Everyday’s a holiday” Holliday, no way, the Cards had to win.
However, I faced disappointment. Again.
The Dodgers would not let up, pushing runs, pushing defense. Both teams had amazing scoring opportunities, in fact, they had a combined total of 30 men left on base! But the Cardinals just couldn’t catch a break.
I couldn’t catch a break either. All three teams I wanted to see win lost that day. After that Rockies loss, it was like adding insult to injury.
My sweatshirt had failed me. “How can this be?” The first thing I did when I got it was sprayed linen spray on it and called it “not smelling like it came out of the maufacturer’s ten minutes ago.” You know, that new clothes smell, but not nice new clothes…?
When I first got my Matt Daley shirt, I went and watched the game with my good friend after being super domesticated. It was that day when Rafael Betancourt gave up a grand slam.My shirt had failed me that day, but after washing it, it’s won every time I’ve worn it.
The same had to be done with my sweatshirt. It needed a wash; the stench of loss is far worse than any “new sweatshirt” smell. I was confident in my sweatshirt’s winning capability after the wash. I was ready for game two.
And what a game two it was.
The Rockies came out swinging, and before I knew it, we were up 4-0. Aaron Cook was on fire! Which was good considering it’d been some time since he pitched. However, worry struck in the sixth inning when Cook’s sinker was no longer sinking and the Phillies would start a rally that felt like it wouldn’t end. Huston Street came into the ninth inning and was able to shut down the Phillies, and now the series is tied after a nail biting 5-4 win.
Next was the Cardinals game. I felt confident in the ability of my sweatshirt after that. The Rockies won after I washed my sweatshirt, it was like my Matt Daley shirt. “Cardinals, don’t prove me wrong.”
The Cardinals, however, would. But I can’t be entirely sure it was my sweatshirt. When I left the Cards to hit the grocery store, they were up 2-1. I didn’t want to leave, but my dad needed me to go get dinner since he was sick. I returned to find the Cardinals had lost, not only that, but Matt Holliday had a huge error.
Suddenly, I realized… it was my fault. I left at a critical point in the game. How could I do that to the Cardinals? I left, wearing my sweatshirt, to go to the grocery store. I failed the Cardinals… and now they’re 0-2.
I had to move on, it was time for my number two team, and I couldn’t go into it feeling guilt ridden. However, I would miss various portions due to eating dinner and putting together a shelf. The Angels would win the game 5-0. Once again, I left down another team, this time my beloved Red Sox.
So, the sweatshirt would win the Rockies game for me… but I had no one to blame but myselffor the other losses. I should’ve known better than to leave a game at such a crucial point. I should’ve waite
d to put together that shelf.
It’s superstition, and it’s gotten the best of me. Suspicious of my sweatshirt, my Daley shirt, my baseball socks, all these things.
I may not adjust my batting gloves after every pitch like Troy Tulowitzki or take my hat off and readjust it on my head like Huston Street after he throws a pitch; but everyone’s got their quirks, their habits. And now, I have mine.
I decided that I needed something to blog about during the off-season, which is why I’ve held off blogging about my trip to Boston and New York. So, in the meantime, you’ll have to deal with my other ramblings.
For those of you that don’t know, I am now a working person. It’s not like I have an upstanding “adult” job or anything, but I guess I’ll take what I can get right now.
My friends always told me, “Emily, you really need to get a job at Coors Field.” Well, in August, the concessions that go through Coors, Aramark, happened to be hiring. I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. Well, lo and behold, I was hired as a club level food runner.
I’ll tell you right now, it’s not the best job in the world, but the reason that I really love it is that I get to be at the ballpark everyday… well, everyday that the Rockies are playing.
I get to watch the Rockies take batting practice. I get to see Matt Daley with his socks in the outfield during BP. I get to see the players messing around before the gates are open. I get to see guys from opposing teams hug each other because they’re old friends. I get to be there when homeruns are hit, when the most unthinkable plays are made. I love every moment of being at the ballpark. It’s not the job that keeps me coming back, it’s the Rockies.
Well, while working this fantastical job, like any job, it’s had its moments.
One day I was taking food out when I walked by this guy. I knew this guy, but I couldn’t place him for the life of me. The teachers and professors that usually stick out in my mind are my math teachers. I was trying to remember if I had him as a teacher in high school, I thought about my math classes. “Was that… Mr. Tolmachoff?” No, it wasn’t him; this guy wasn’t as heavy set. Who is it?! I couldn’t think, so I let the thought settle in the back of my mind. I left work, still thinking about how I knew this guy that I had walked by, in fact I slept on it. The next morning I woke up, still thinking. It was going to drive me crazy, this had been on my mind for the past 12 hours. Finally, it struck. I know who that guy was… it was Clint Hurdle! Yes, like a rookie, I passed by Clint Hurdle without even recognizing him. And if you’re wondering, Jeff, no, he wasn’t glowing orange. I couldn’t believe what I’d missed. Rookie.
Everyday, there’s a door that I walk by… twice. When I’m walking into work and when I’m leaving work I walk by this door. I know what’s happening on the other side of this door, but nonetheless, it’s got this huge lock on it. Some days when I’m leaving work, the door is just cracked open enough that you can see inside, the only thing you can see though is a wall of vines. I’ve dreamed of just walking in this door and visiting, perhaps if I was giving a lesson in “How to get a restraining order 101,” then I could just walk into this door.
Yes, when I arrive at Coors Field, I have the honor of walking by the Rockies bullpen (yeah, the picture is only a little blurry), obsessed with the opportunity to just go in and talk to my favorite relieving pitchers. “Hey Matt Belisle… your socks are pretty fantastic.” “Huston STreet, you’re such a phenomenal closer!” “Matt Daley… you’re like… my favorite reliever!” Yeah, but like I said: how to get a restraining order 101.
There was one day where I walked by the visitors bullpen door when the Rockies were playing the Padres and the Padres bullpen catcher and someone else were standing outside of it. I was very tempted to approach them and say hi, but then decided that it might be weird.
When I was waiting for my supervisor under the stadium, I once thought I saw Manny Corpas walking by. I have no idea if it was actually hiim or not, because it was when he was injured, so I don’t know what he’d be doing walking around the stadium and not dressed out. And if you’re wondering, no, I haven’t wandered around trying to find the dugout or the locker rooms; I do have some dignity.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the Rockies are going to the playoffs?! Yeah, old news, but it’s Rocktober… take two!! You know what that means? The state of Colorado has decided that it’s okay to be a Rockies fan again, NLDS tickets are totally sold out, so if you’re looking to get into a seat for the post season, prepare to pay a boat load of money from scalpers!
A big crowd will be good for the Rockies esteem. Right now, the wild card seems to be a pretty good place for them. Although it would’ve been ideal to see them win the division and have home field advantage, the point is, we made it. What I love about the wild card is that it’s just that… a wild card! We’ll see what the Rockies are capable of when it comes to the game!
One more thing, I love getting to know people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter, really I do. But it’d be great if you could le tme know that you read my blog when you send out a friend request, just so I know who you are.
Where have you been?
That’s a good question. As you can see, I haven’t blogged in quite some time.
Let me tell you, I’ve developed quite a larger respect for those of you who can work a full time job and write a halfway decent blog as well. I work a part time job and can’t find the time to do much of anything.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’d know that I spent the end of August in Boston and New York. Well, I took about 700 pictures at the Red Sox game and another 700 at the Yankees game. I, by some miracle, managed to edit the Red Sox pictures down to 214; however, I have yet to start on the Yankees pictures. So you must still await the time when those will be posted. But, here’s a quick preview with a couple pictures:
Okay, so my Yankees pictures didn’t turn out great, I certainly don’t claim to be a photographer.
After checking the latest leaders board, I was surprised to see that I had moved up to the lovely number four. It’s a HUGE honor to be among that number, I have the utmost admiration for the blogs above me and often lust after having the capacities to write as well as they do, I lust after being able to write as well as many of you out there. So, I figured that since all of you have helped me to attain number four, it was about time for me to stop being so lazy and actually write something up.
So, I thought about it… and thought about it… and thought about it. It wasn’t just work keeping me busy, it was writers block. “These people put me at number four, they’ve been reading my stuff, how can I possibly live up to their expectations?” I admired my last blog, it was written with heart, I could post up anything, and it just would lack heart, passion, and thoughtfulness. So I pondered over this more, “Think Emily, think.”
Finally, it struck. How could I have not thought of this before?
My blog is about baseball, mostly about the Rockies. The answer had been sitting in front of me the entire time. The Rockies were in a slump before this event occurred, I’m in a slump. The Rockies managed to get out of it, remember how?
It was none other than the new skipper, Jim Tracy.
By a stroke of genius, the very man who helped get the Rockies out of their slump could help me get out of my slump, and it works out, he sits in the dugout with the number four sewn to his jersey.
Yes, a stroke of brilliance that I actually owe to our skipper.
I remember looking at Twitter when I read the news that Clint Hurdle was to be released by the Rockies. I can’t say I was surprised; rumors were swirling about the fate of his career. I haven’t ben a baseball fan long, so when Jim Tracy stepped up to the plate to take Hurdle’s spot, i had no clue who he was.
With that in mind, I won’t give you the history of Jim Tracy, his career, or where he’s been with his life. Instead, I’ll tell you how I feel about him. I’ve had about three and a half months to get to know our dear new manager, and I immediately was in awe of him.
Despite the fact that he was at Coors Field and I was sitting at home, I could tell the demeanor in the dugout was different. Do you know what I mean? It’s like when you get bad vibes from someone, you don’t have to talk to them to be getting bad vibes from them, you just know. That’s how it was with Jim… only, not bad vibes, just a different feeling with the players in the dugout.
The best thing about Skip is the exuberance he shows for his team. When I look to a baseball team, I see brothers; they’re more than teammates, more than friends, they’re family. I love to see the joy in Jim’s face when the Rockies win it in a walk off. He doesn’t hesitate to show the love for his team, he’s genuine.
During the post game show, you’ll see him talking to the press and he never fails to give credit to the other team when credit is due. “They outplayed us,” “we were outplayed,” “we didn’t play good baseball.” Tracy shows a large admiration for this amazing game, and I have grown to have the utmost respect for him.
He’s a powerful feature in the clubhouse. When he came in on May 29, I had no idea what to expect. A change in the middle of the season can either make or break it, and fortunately for the Rockies, he made it. It was a whole new ball club, a winning ball club.
I can’t help but admire our skipper. He’s calm, collected, and that’s what’s important in the clubhouse. If you stress out down there, you’re going to be putting stress on your whole team. I’ve seen Jim thrown out once, and anyone could see that the Ump was wrong, even the other team had to know the Ump was wrong. He’s a legit guy, and I am absolutely a fan of this man and the demeanor that he brings to this team. It’s obvious he’s turned them around to be a winning team, one that is a threat and contender for the post season.
One last thing to note: I have quite the favorite relieving pitcher, and the numbers on his jersey happen to add up to four. So, I have to give a shout out to him as well. Since Tom Runnells is a bench coach and the Rockies don’t have a 13, it must be 31… MATT DALEY!!
Yes, if you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know that I have a special place in my heart for this pitcher. As I flew into LaGuardia Airport, I looked down and actually SAW Citi Field!! Then I thought of Matt Daley, I know, nerd. When in New York, I attempted to get into Citi Field, but apparently I do not know the lingo of scalpers (you’ll hear more about that later). Anyway, on April 25 against the Dodgers, I watched as this 27-year-old pitcher that I had never heard of pitch… like a weirdo.
“Um… who is this guy?”
Have you seen the way Daley pitches?! It’s completely unconventional and completely phenomenal.
I have so much respect for Matt Daley when I see him take the mound, I mean, the guy wears a pink Dora the Explorer backpack… and pulls it off! We also know that I’m a sucker for high socks and Matt is always rocking the high socks. Because of my love for Matt Daley, I know I have turned some of you into Matt Daley lovers as well.
It is times like these where we need to unite as fans of Matt Daley, and what better place to do so than on Facebook? An entire fan page devoted to the amazingness of Dora the Explorer backpacks, high socks, and unconventional pitching; a page devoted to the amazingness that is Matt Daley. I feel like after that sentence there should have been one of those like… sound effects and sparkles so it was like, “SHING!! Sparkle, sparkle.” I guess that’s how I’d spell out that sound effect.
So, I would encourage you to join this group, because Matt Daley, well, he’s fantastic.