“His Number is Divine.”

The other day I was looking through my profile pictures on Facebook. I came across one that I had posted on April 11th; it was Nick Adenhart.

Nick Adenhart.jpgMy heart felt heavy as I remembered watching the news on April 10th and learning of his death. Learning about his pitching, his 1-0 record, his 6.00 ERA, and his nine strikeouts.

For some reason, on this day, his death struck me with a surplus of grief. He was a few months younger than I was and he was living his dream.

I consider myself to be on a constant spiritual quest, while I don’t claim to be religious nor believe in a god, I contemplated the most pronounced features I knew about Adenhart.

adenhartsad.jpgHe wore number 34. Perhaps it’s a stretch, or merely coincidence, but the numbers three and four add up to seven. Being someone who once considered herself religious, I thought about the number seven and the context it had toward Adenhart, I stumbled across a website that explained it to me:

“When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number, four, and added it to the perfect divine number, three, and got seven, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven – the four square earth plus the divine completeness of God. So we have seven expressing completeness through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God…

“The whole Word of God is founded upon the number seven. It stands for the seventh day of the creation week and speaks to the millennial rest day. It denotes completeness or perfection.”

I sat and wondered if Adenhart had thought of these things, he pitched for the Angels, his number when broken down, was considered divine. Maybe he had, maybe he hadn’t. Had he ever considered himself to be a mark of perfection? I don’t think that anyone ever considers themselves perfect, I don’t think anyone ever considers themselves divine, but had these ideas ever crossed his mind?

Nick-Adenhart-memorial.jpgI pondered the man who had taken Adenhart’s life away from him, away from the Angels, away from us. Had he thought about these things? Did he think about the lives he’d impact when he got into a car with a BAC higher than 0.19? Had he considered what he’d taken away when he plead “not guilty”?

angels-pitcher-nick-adenhart-killed-in-car-crash.jpg I don’t claim to have been friends with Adenhart or even have heard of him before his death; but somehow, it struck a note with me. On some level, I’d like to have the belief that Adenhart’s team and number are no coincidence, and somehow he really does represent that of an angel, maybe watching over his team; but the skeptic in me wants to dismiss it.

The key phrase is “wants to.” There was something very settling about looking at Nick’s picture that day, a calming presence that simultaneously moved me to tears. Like I said before, maybe it was coincidence, or maybe there’s something bigger. Either way, despite not knowing Adenheart, despite not hearing of him until his death, I can’t help but think of him often, linger on what might or might not be, and think that maybe, just maybe, he’s watching over me too. Maybe it wasn’t coincidence that I wrote this blog, maybe it wasn’t coincidence that his number was somehow broken down in my mind, maybe we all need an angel to believe in, maybe Nick is that Angel.

Nick Adenhart 0002.jpg

Five Seconds of Glory

The average Rockies game contains about 20,000 to 30,000 people, probably more lately since the state of Colorado has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Of those 20,000 to 30,000 people, I represent one. I don’t expect that the Rockies or FSN will take note of the lowly asian sitting out in the Pavilion; in fact, I don’t expect really anyone to notice me out there, I blend in quite well with the blanket of Rockies t-shirts out there.

Of the, I have no idea how many, possibly thousands of blogs on MLBlogs, I represent one. One single Rockies blog in a sea of major league blogs; an average blogger whose writing is… well… average. I don’t expect to get noticed for it, although I wouldn’t mind if someone had talked to me before putting up that terrible picture of Matt Daley on the Rockies homepage.

Sleeping Daley.jpgAs a fan, I suppose in reality, we don’t expect to get noticed for our fanhood. We move through the crowds, maybe hoping to catch a homerun ball here or avoid a bat flying at our head there, be apart of the greatest game on earth somehow. As much as I would like for the Rockies to say, “hey, these are some good pictures, and this is a good blog, we should’ve talked to her before putting up that picture of Matt Daley where he looks like he’s sleeping,” the reality of ever actually getting noticed is slim. After all, for each of us as an individual, we are but one fan.

One fan sitting out in the crowd, one fan writing just another blog.

However, this one fan got their five seconds of fame for ten seconds. Make sense?

On July 5th, I received a few text messages from friends saying I had just been on television. That’s right, yours truly was standing in the crowd singing “God Bless America” and was shown on television next to a rather strange looking, “maybe I should stand uncomfortably close to you” dude.

Emily on TV.JPGOkay, so, he wasn’t that uncomfortably close, it just looks to me like he is.

It was my five seconds of glory, which I think we all kind of expect to get one day, the five seconds of catching a ball, the five seconds of screaming on the Rockies post game show and having Tom Helmer stick the microphone out toward the crowd, the five seconds of being the only fan sitting in the stands while it’s pouring and the game is still playing.

Not that I’m letting it go to my head or anything, but it was cool to hit a bar with my friends, JENN AND MARY, and have the bartender say, “Hey! You were on TV during the Rockies game!” (Not as exciting as it sounds, it was a bar that they frequent so the bartender actually kind of knows me.)

Yes, I had my five seconds of glory being on television, but, the fun didn’t stop there for me.

On July 25th, I went to the Rockies Fan Photo Day, which was amazing!! I stood in line waiting for my friends, JENN AND MARY who, to no one’s surprise, were late… and by “no one’s surprise,” I mean mine. A girl later approached me and our conversation went something like this:

“Are you Emily from MLBlogs?”

“Yes!”

“I read your blog!”

I was about to be really embarrassed if this was a person who had commented on my posts and I never commented on hers.

“Oh, really? Thank you so much, that’s awesome! Do you write a blog?”

“No, but I go through and read some of them.”

How did she recognize me?

It was the Garrett Atkins shirt and the Red Sox bag, my indistinguishable trademarks.

It was like one small step for me, one giant step for bloggers!

Giant Step for Bloggers.jpgSo, Emily was recognized by Emily at Fan Photo Day.

Emily squared.JPGIt was pretty spectacular, I was really stoked; and since Emily, I know you’ll be reading this, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for reading, it’s greatly, greatly appreciated. I hope we meet up again at a Rockies game. Look for me in the Pavilion, that’s where I usually sit.

There it is, I had my five seconds of glory for ten seconds. The way I see it, that’s it, I’ve used mine up, so I probably won’t have any more moments of glory in my life.

With that in mind, thanks to everyone who reads my blog! I like writing them, reading and commenting on others, and getting comments. It’s cool to do.

Okay, so Rockies Fan Photo Day was AMAZING!!!

I got my picture with Garrett Atkins, as you may have noticed from my new profile picture. It went down like this:

“Oh my god, he’s coming!!!”

Garrett Atkins 0014.JPG“Hi…”

“Hi.”

Garrett Atkins 0015.JPG“You’re like… my favorite player in the majors…”

“Thanks.”

And that was it. Possibly the greatest five seconds of my life.

I expect that throughout the rest of that time, Garrett Atkins heard, “You’re my favorite player,” or “I’m your biggest fan” at least 400 times. I don’t expect that mine stuck out to him or that he would even remember me telling him. What’s important is that I know I told him, and I actually meant it. That’s not to say that no one else who met him and told him that that day didn’t mean it, but, well, I guess you all know how ridiculously crazy I am about him.

For the most part, Fan Photo Day was uneventful. It was: players come up, take a picture with you, leave. Some things to report:

Ryan Spilborghs is still elusive to me. I was so close to getting a picture with him and then the people running the event ushered him elsewhere. I couldn’t even believe that, he was like, five people away from me. It was a little heartbreaking.

Ryan Spilborghs 0004.JPGI met Tom Runnells, and he was hilarious. I’d heard that he was a really nice guy from Tommy, but Runnells now sticks out in my memory. He approached and I was so excited I was like, “Tom Runnells!” And he was like, “Yes?” And I said, “Oh… nothing, I’m just excited.” So I shook his hand and he was like, “You can stop shaking my hand now,” although I wasn’t really shaking his hand anymore, he was just shaking mine and then kept joking that I wouldn’t let go of his hand, even though it was the… opposite… or… maybe you had to be there.

Tom Runnells.JPGI accidentally stepped on Josh Fogg’s foot and had a mild freako
ut about it. It wasn’t really stepping on his foot, it was more like I kind of tripped on his foot. Anyway, he was cool about it.

Josh Fogg.JPGMy friend Jenn tripped and used Dexter Fowler’s jersey to help hold herself up. I find that far more hilarious that she used his own jersey.

Dexter Fowler 0001.JPGI really wanted pictures with Jason Hammel, Huston Street, Todd Helton, Clint Barmes, Brad Hawpe, and Omar Quintanilla, but they are now elusive to me as well.

Other stuff:

I have decided that I am in need of a vacation from not going to school and, until recently, unemployment. Therefore, I am headed up to New York to see my friend. I was trying to work it out so I could go to Washington DC first, but I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of heading there by myself and having to pay for my own hotel. It’s too bad airports don’t let you store stuff in lockers these days, or at least the ones in Washington DC don’t.

I curse Washington DC for not doing that because I have never been to another ballpark, let alone a ballpark that my boys are playing at! Oh well, plans didn’t work out for that, I’ll survive.

So, since DC isn’t happening, I will be headed straight to New York and once up there, straight to Boston. Up to Boston for what you might ask? A RED SOX / YANKEES GAME!!

Yes, I am going to witness the GREATEST rivalry in the history of sports. I am, in a word, stoked. I will cheer loud for the Red Sox and won’t worry about getting beat up since I’ll be in Boston. I guess the biggest concern is being in New York with my Red Sox jersey bag, maybe I’ll get beat up there. That may have sounded like I was too eager to get beaten up. Don’t be fooled, I am not eager to get beat up.

While in Boston, I hope to meet up with none other than Julia over at Julia’s Rants. It will be EPIC. As disappointed as I am that things didn’t seem to work out for DC, I’m pretty stoked to head up to New York and Boston. Any advice?

That’s my big news. I’ll leave you with Rockies pictures that I got from Fan Photo Day:

Aaron Cook:
Aaron Cook 0002.JPGChris Iannetta:
Chris Iannetta 0002.JPGIan Stewart:Ian Stewart 0004.JPGJason Marquis:Jason Marquis 0002.JPGJeff Francis:Jeff Francis.JPGJuan Rincon:Juan Rincon.JPGYorvit TorrealbaYorvit Torrealba 0002.JPGMatt Daley:Matt Daley.JPGJeff Francis and Seth Smith (quite possibly my favorite picture):Seth Smith 0004.JPG

An Open Letter

I wanted to write anther entry about Fan Photo Day and the awesomeness that ensued and about my upcoming trip to Boston and how I don’t get to go to Washington DC, but in light of recent events, this entry was, as Jeff Francis says to Ubaldo Jimenez in the Dodgeball commercial, “necessito!”

This started out as a regular entry, and then a lot of “I’s” and “you’s” kept showing up, so I ended up having to turn it into a letter, or else it’d sound like I was blaming all of you readers for the PED shenanigans.

Dear MLBPA,

You Suck.

Love,
Me

Just kidding.

Dear Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball,

There’s no doubt in my mind that by now you’ve heard all you can from the fans about the use of steroids in baseball. One by one, our heroes seem to be nothing more than a shattered, broken image. A once famous slugger, a once home run record breaker, a once respected player, now nothing more than a tainted record in the history books.

Odds are, you’re not too interested in hearing about my life, but I’ll tell you anyway. In 2004, the first time I came home from college, I arrived at a house where my father’s belongings were not. I found out my parents were separated and getting a divorce, and that was my welcome home from college. After that, I lived on my own for four years while going to school. Now, I’m living with my dad until I can find a place of my own.

I know that both my parents have worked very hard to provide me with what feels like a home, but neither house is; it’s either my dad’s house or my mom’s house, but not my home.

Since seventh grade, I’ve been in an uphill battle with depression. Since moving down to Denver, I can’t find a job, I have no friends down here, and I struggle with my happiness everyday. Most people you meet will wake up looking forward to the day ahead of them; I can barely get out of bed.

As ridiculous as this may sound, the purest joy that I get in my life comes from the game of baseball. I’ve never been happier than when I’m at Coors Field, the Rockies’ ballpark; even when the Rockies are losing, it’s where I’m happiest, it’s my favorite place to be, it’s where I feel home.

Baseball is like my love affair, it’s my light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the only thing that’s mine that I feel like I have truly fallen in love with. Some people fall in love with men, some fall in love with women, and I fell in love with baseball. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I don’t care about the list of 104 players from 2003; I care about the future of this sport, the future of the greatest game on earth. It’s become abundantly clear that the association is no longer striving to protect the players from themselves, their trainers, or their agents. It’s become abundantly clear that you, as the players association, don’t seem to care about the problem at all.

You and I, we’re a lot alike in the sense that when a problem arises, we tend to ignore it with the hope it’ll just… go away, at least that’s the sense I’ve gotten. Maybe the problem will take care of itself, maybe someone else will take care of it, or maybe sweeping it under the rug will disguise it from everyone else. The difference between you and I is that I’m not a union. I’m one person, I write a blog about baseball, I take pictures of baseball, and I want to stand against steroids. It can’t, and shouldn’t be the responsibility of the fans to take action; it shouldn’t have to be a fan who says, “enough is enough.” It’s time for the words “slugger” and “steroid user” to no longer by synonymous. It’s time that baseball and performance enhancing drugs no longer have a relation. It’s time for you, as the union, to feel the same way I do.

My uncle and I were having a discussion about lying, and he shared with me the quote, “I’m not mad because you lied, I’m sad because I can never trust you again.” I don’t want to have to feel that way about baseball anymore. So players lied, everyone lies, but trust broken can be impossible to gain back. I want to trust the players that I love, I want to trust the sport that I love, and I want to trust you, to keep that responsibility.

I don’t feel like I’m asking too much, I want a win to be a win, I want a record to be a record, and I don’t want to have to suspect either is tainted. I want you as the association to care, I want the integrity of my favorite sport to be in tact by the time I reach 30, and I want a future for baseball, the game that I love.

As far as I could tell, it was a game you were supposed to love too. It’s time to no longer let it be run by a drug that ruins bodies, minds, and records. It’s time for you to remember why you fell in love with baseball in the first place.

Thanks so much,

Emily

The Toddfather

This blog is long overdue, I apologize.

In this day and age, it seems harder and harder for us, as fans, to trust and respect a player. We hear commentators talk about future Hall of Famers like Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds. We hear the rumors of steroids, PEDs, and for some, fertility drugs. While it appears that this is a trend that the world of baseball cannot seem to escape from, every once in a while, we find a few shining stars.

Todd Helton 0011.JPGEvery once in a while, we’re lucky enough to find a player who lives up to the hype, lives up to the demands, lives up to the expectations of the fans – which for no player is an easy feat. We find a player who is a class act, one with a good work ethic, and one who would sacrifice their own stats to see the team succeed.

Todd Helton 0008.JPGThe Colorado Rockies are lucky enough to have a class act like Todd Helton as the player who represents those demands.

Todd Helton 0010.JPGOn July 22nd, 2009, Todd Helton joined an elite club as the 50th player to make 500 career doubles and the 19th player to attain this accomplishment with the same team.

After his 2000th hit, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight dismissed Helton’s accomplishments as a product of the thin air in the mile high city, not because of the phenomenal hitter that he is.

Todd Helton 0013.JPGIn reality, a player like Helton hardly gets the respect that he truly deserves. Although for most fans, when he arrives on the field, he commands respect, not because he’s a player who believes he is god’s gift to baseball, but because he truly deserves the recognition. Helton is a humble player, not one to make a play and strike a pose. If you were to pick up a paper and read about Todd Helton, the article wouldn’t start out as “Todd being Todd.”

Todd Helton 0009.JPGIn an article I read, someone mentioned that Todd Helton joined an even more elite group of Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Stan “The Man” Musial as the only players with 500 doubles, 320 homers, and a .325 batting average since 1900. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s well worth the mention if it is.

Todd Helton 0007.JPGHelton has had the power to return to the game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to relieve pressure on a bulging disc in his back. He’s not just had the power to return, but he’s come back as better than ever, and as far as anyone is concerned, he has more baseball in him.

Todd Helton 0014.JPGHe is the shining star of the Rockies, usually the only player that any bandwagoner can name, and now, he’s accomplished an act that only 49 others before him could. A class act like Todd Helton deserves more baseball, deserves more respect, and as a Rockies fan, it’s an honor to have him play for our team.

Todd Helton 0017.JPG

Hot N Cold

Just a warning, this will be a long one.

I think at some point, we all believe that there’s this one song that was written about us. It fits everything; it’s perfect in every way and describes your mood, the way you feel, like that song and that moment were destined to be together.

Like the lyrics:

Hot N Cold.jpgYou’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down

While I’m not a big fan of this song in the first place, it seems to reflect the way the Rockies are playing as of late.

I had the privilege of going to this entire series against Atlanta, and those lyrics pretty much describe exactly how the Rockies played during that series. So, let’s rewind to day one.

I was scheduled to meet Tom, we would catch some batting practice, and then head to the dugout to try and get some autographs. As usual, I was running late and got to the gate to find Tom waiting for me. We picked up some Rockpile tickets and headed inside. Batting practice was pretty casual, unlike Don, I’m not coordinated enough to catch a ball that isn’t coming right to me (or maybe even catch a ball in the first place, I haven’t been posed with that opportunity yet), so Tom and I just kind of hung out, but ready to catch a ball. They opened up the rest of the stadium and we headed over to the dugout.

It was Tom’s mission to get Todd Helton’s autograph on his picture of the 2000th hit. I had the fortune of being set up with a pretty amazing shot of Garrett Atkins, courtesy Mr. Walsh. Both of us were lusting after these players’ autographs, and lo and behold, neither of us got it.

We sat in some pretty spectacular $4 seats and sat back to watch the amazingness that is the Rockies.

Unfortunately, Cook was a little “cold” that night and was struggling to get outs. He would last 5.2 innings and give up nine hits. However, our hitting was “hot.”

Aaron Cook 0001.JPGTom and I were discussing Garrett Atkins and Ian Stewart, and Tom said that Stewart’s bat needed to come alive tonight, since it appeared he’d been struggling. Stewart didn’t fail to deliver, hitting a longball and driving in Tulowitzki. Well… guess Stewie overheard Tom.

Ian Stewart 0002.JPGIt didn’t take long while all this was happening for me to find none other than Garrett Atkins sitting in the dugout.

Garrett Atkins 0008.JPGYou should’ve seen this one coming.

The game rolled on, and for me, this next moment was the defining moment. Stewart walked, and a pitch hit Iannetta, then, Garrett Atkins came up. “Oh please, Atty, I know you’re good for it.” A lot of people have lost confidence in Garrett Atkins, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you would know that I haven’t, and you would know that I’ve said that over and over with the secret hope that Garrett Atkins will come across it some day.

Garrett Atkins 0006.JPGAnd Atty, well, he didn’t let me down. In the bottom of the eighth, he doubled to deep left and brought in Stewie and Iannetta. It was epic. No “FAIL” on Atty, take that world, Rockies are now ahead, and they would end it coming out on top. Also, as you can see, I was a little too excited for my own good that Atkins was up and couldn’t hold my camera still.

After the game, I couldn’t wait to get back to the ballpark the next day; I was practically counting down the minutes.

So the next day rolled around, and off I was to go meet Mr. Walsh once again. I was also meeting a couple of other friends there; it was a t-shirt giveaway of one of our All Stars, Brad Hawpe. My friends wanted to catch batting practice so we headed over to the Rockpile gate to meet them so I could give them their tickets. Well, there was someone working there who took their job very seriously and wouldn’t let us get in line with our friends. That turned out to be okay because it was necessary to try and get that Todd Helton autograph for Tom.

We got into the stadium and grabbed our Brad Hawpe shirt and headed down to the dugout. Iannetta, as usual, was the first one out. Tom gave me some points on being aggressive to get autographs, I’m way too shy for life. But, I managed to land three:

Chris Iannetta,

Chris Iannetta 0001.JPGClint Barmes,

Clint Barmes 0002.JPGand Ian Stewart.

Ian Stewart 0003.JPGThen, what was this? Garrett Atkins was in the dugout and appeared to be signing some things for people.

“Go over and ask him to sign your picture.” Tom had confidence that I could get Atkins’ autograph, I did not.

“Um… well…”

“Go quick! He’s signing stuff!”

Our conversation was somewhere along the lines of that. So, I headed over to the dugout and was way to shy to try and get Atkins autograph, then the National Anthem started and I was S.O.L.

“You probably coulda had it if you headed over like… five minutes earlier.”

Curse my shyness and me.

Well, yet again Todd Helton’s 2000th hit went unautographed, as did my picture. We headed over to right field to find my friends.

For the night, our pitching was “yes” but our hitting was “no.”

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six innings, which doesn’t sound impressive, but had eight strikeouts during those six innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez 0002.JPGWe lacked in run support and our only run on the board came from a homer from ol’ reliable, Todd Helton.

Todd Helton 0006.JPGThe scary moment of the night wasn’t the lightning, but was when Alan Embree had a ball driven into his leg. He was on the ground, shaking and sweating. He was taken off the field and the Rockies were back to business. Embree ended the night, and possibly his season, with a broken tibia. Although Tracy said he’s making a go
od recovery and may even be back by the end of the season, it’s still up in the air. Get well soon, Alan.

Alan Embree 0001.JPGOn Saturday, it was time for the Rockies to bounce back, and they did… well… almost.

Jason Marquis was pitching, however, his pitching was “out” and hitting was “in”… kinda.

Jason Marquis 0001.JPGMaybe it was the All Star nerves, or the relaxation of being the first pitcher this season to get 11 wins, but Marquis was certainly not on his game. He struggled for six innings and ended the night with 97 pitches.

The Rockies runs didn’t come until the seventh inning, that’s when the bats started to come alive.

Troy Tulowitzki homered to deep left, that kick started the excitement.

Troy Tulowitzki 0008.JPGIan Stewart doubled into deep left center, after which Seth Smith would single to center, driving in Ian Stewart.

Seth Smith 0002.JPGGarrett Atkins singled moving Seth Smith to third and on a wild pitch, Smith made it home.

Garrett Atkins 0009.JPGThat would be the end of the rally, and yet again, the Rockies would take another beating from the Braves.

I went to the game with my mom that day and she scored us some Wells Fargo Club Level seats. Although it was nice to sit up there, I found the area to seem… off. The woman next to me had on pearls, and not that there’s anything wrong with wearing pearls, but they go with a specific type of outfit, so you can guess that she wasn’t in a baseball jersey. Not only that, but she was drinking wine. Maybe it’s just me but… really, who drinks wine at a ballgame? That’s like all those girls who come wearing CFM heels and mini skirts. Who does that?

Wells Fargo Club.JPGWhile I appreciated club level for what it was, I found the setting as a whole to be rather pretentious. Pretentious may not be the right word, but it’s the word that comes to mind. I didn’t really feel comfortable yelling at Jason Marquis or telling the ump he was clearly blind.

I went to bed Saturday night thinking that I wasn’t going to the game the next morning. My wonderful mother had other plans in store for me.

Thanks to StubHub, she had scored us tickets 16 rows behind the Rockies dugout. I arrived at the game, eager to find where we were sitting and see who was playing. To my surprise, Todd Helton was out of the lineup, and who was at first… literally, right by where I was sitting? That’s right, Garrett Atkins. It was… amazing. Having confidence that Atkins would be in the lineup, I wore my Atkins shirt four days in a row, and I was glad to see him so close to me.

Garrett Atkins 0011.JPGSunday was an afternoon that our pitching was “down” but our hitting was “up.”

Jason “Stop – Hammel Time” Hammel had found some great success with the club and was starting to get into the groove of things, except for that day. That day, he looked like an over zealous rookie.

Jason Hammel 0001.JPGJason Hammel pitched a total of three innings and gave up five runs. It was a rough afternoon for him, no doubt.

The Rockies lineup, however, would make up for it. Starting with our All Star Hawper who homered to deep left field.

Brad Hawpe 0007.JPGAtty would bring in Barmes.

Garrett Atkins 0012.JPGTroy Tulowitzki hit a longball to deep right.

Troy Tulowitzki 0009.JPGThe Rockies decided to put in Chris Iannetta and take out Yorvit Torrealba. In the meantime, Ryan Spilborghs did some catching… which looks weird. But, it was the closest I’ve ever been to Spilly.

Ryan Spilborghs 0002.JPGSeth Smith would hit a longball and bring in Barmes with him.

Seth Smith 0003.JPGRyan Spilborghs came into the game, not as a catcher, and doubled to deep right center, driving in Ian Stewart.

Ryan Spilborghs 0003.JPGIn the middle of the ninth, the game was all tied up. Huston Street came in to pitch, and he held off the Braves.

Huston Street 0003.JPGThe rest of the game, well, that was up to our All Star, and he proved why he is an All Star bringing Seth Smith home on a center field walk off double. It was a phenomenal game.

Brad Hawpe 0008.JPGWhat a way to see off Brad Hawpe.

Brad Hawpe 0009.JPGThe Rockies and winning and the Rockies and I, well, I guess it seems like, “we fight, we break up, we kiss, we make up.”

Rock pile 0001.JPGRock<br />
pile 0002.JPG” src=”<a href=http://mlblogsdeconstructingthoughts.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/rock20pile200002.jpg&#8221; class=”mt-image-center” style=”text-align:center;display:block;margin:0 auto 20px;” height=”436″ width=”536″ />

O Captain! My Captain

In the movie “Dead Poets Society,” a poem by Walt Whitman is read entitled, “O Captain! My Captain!”

1996 marked a year that I was in elementary school, close to moving into middle school. It was a time where I began getting acquainted with the Colorado Avalanche, formerly the Quebec Nordiques.

The first year would turn out to be one of the best for the Avs, bringing them the Stanley Cup. The man of the team? Patrick Roy, arguably one of the best goaltenders since Vladislav Tretiak.

Patrick Roy.jpgIn 2001 the Avs would go on to win the Stanley Cup again, this time a new name arose for the team: Raymond Bourque, formerly the longest serving captain of the Boston Bruins. This would mark the first occasion that a player who was not the cpatain would take the first victory lap. It wasn’t just a year for Ray Bourque, it was the year for him.

Ray Bourque.jpg Peter Forsberg was yet another player on the roster of the Avs; another play who would take the spotlight as one of the teams best, possibly one of the best in the NHL. Back then, if you had asked any person who the best player on the Avs was, Peter Forsberg would’ve been their answer.

Peter Forsberg.jpgI used to be infatuated with hockey; there was something about a man with missing teeth and ice skates that was irresistible. While I’ve developed a love for baseball, hockey has been stuck on the back burner of my brain.

Like hockey and my brain, Joe Sakic was often stuck on the back burner of the minds of Avalanche fans. He was like the quiet observer of the team who was always able to pull off an amazing play. He’s played with the Nordiques/Avalanche since 1988, and today, we say goodbye to our captain.

Joe Sakic.jpgSakic led us to two Stanley Cups and was, without a doubt, one of the best the Avalanche had ever encountered. We were lucky to have a captain like him, and although my infatuation with hockey is on the back burner, I will always have a place in my heart for Joe Sakic.

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Roxtars

Well, we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses, drivin’ fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat

Brad Hawpe0004.JPGWhen Brad Hawpe takes the field to hit, he arrives at the plate with that song blaring. The lefty gears up for a swing and more often than not will produce a hit. He’s one of the best players on the Colorado Rockies, he’s got the strongest and most accurate arm in our outfield, he’s a rockstar for the Rockies, and now, he’s going to be an All Star.

On July 5th as the Rockies were being introduced, the announcer said, “2009 All Star Brad Hawpe!!” I was stoked, my Hawper was in the All Star game!! As he took the fieldBrad Hawpe0005.JPG I yelled, “Yeah Brad Hawpe!! I voted for you 250 times!!” The guy in front of me looked at me at first like I was crazy, and then nodded approvingly. I sat at my computer and voted 250 times because in my eyes, no one deserved the All Star game like Brad Hawpe. I didn’t really expect Hawpe to hear me tell him that I voted for him 250 times, and maybe if he did, he would think I needed a life (which is true), but I sure hope he knows that he deserves it.

Yes, I was pushing and pushing to get Brad Hawpe into the All Star game, it was something I put up on Twitter, Facebook, and advertised in my blog. Even if he isn’t a starter, I’m so proud of him for making it to his first All Star game.

Another face we’ll see in the All Star game is Jason Marquis. As of tonight, the first pitcher in the majors this season to win 11 games. Last season, that was the number of wins he had… total. The mesh between the Rockies and Marquis has been unbelievable, and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do for the National League.

Jeff Huson.JPGIn other news, I finally got my own camera!! And… I went a little trigger happy at the games. I ended July 4th and 5th with a picture count of 194. I didn’t take any pictures of the fireworks because I killed my battery taking so many pictures.

On July 4th, I caught one of my favorite guys from FSN, Jeff Huson, doing the Rockies Pre-Game Show… it’s now possible that he thinks I’m stalking him. I was really just trying to get a good picture of him, but then every time I was looking over that way, he happened to look my way, and once he gave me a weird look. He might think I’m a weird creeper now. But just so you know Jeff Huson, I’m not.

Obviously I didn’t put in all 194 pictures, but here are some that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m still working out the kinks of the camera, trying to get the pictures to a smaller size. Until then, enjoy!!

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Ryan Spilborghs0001.JPGTroy Tulowitzki0003.JPG

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Huston Street0001.JPGFlyover.JPGBrad Hawpe0003.JPG
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Todd Helton0001.JPGTroy Tulowitzki0001.JPGSeth Smith0001.JPGTodd Helton0003.JPGTroy Tulowitzki0006.JPG

A Marquee Club

The name of the game is baseball and the name of baseball tonight was Jason Marquis.

Jason Marquis.jpgTonight the Colorado Rockies beat the best team in baseball by a score of 3-0… and it was sensational.

Score.jpgJason Marquis became the first ten game winner in the National League with 86 pitches, giving up two hits, and earning himself a shutout. Dominating. Epic.

Not only was Marquis dominating on the mound, but with the bases loaded and two outs, he drove in two RBIs.

Jason Marquis02.jpgThe Rockies have been playing some fantastic baseball, challenging the 49-28, now 49-29 team, by going 13 innings last night. Even though they received a loss for that game, they put up a hell of a fight.

Everyone’s been asking whether or not this series against the Dodgers will be the definingBrad Hawpe27.jpg factor determining if the Rockies are in it to win it.

Right now, it’s important not to get caught up in the “in it to win it,” what is important is that theRockies are going out and playing baseball. Really good baseball.

Recently, an article was posted about the Cinderella story that is the Rockies. A comment was made that the Rockies will always be either a Cinderella story or a fluke, and that they weren’t talented and deserving.

I was livid when I read that. Undeserving? Are you kidding me? You’re talking about a team that fought back from 14 games behind. A team that swept the front runners of the NL Central and took the series from the Rays, who compete in the toughest division. one of the most unrecognized teams in baseball is playing phenomenally, and you think they’re undeserving? Untalented? A joke to the name of baseball? Okay, now I’m putting words in that persons mouth.

Brad Hawpe25.jpgI always envisioned that I would some day tell a struggling player this: baseball is a game of half a second, half a step, half an inch. It’s the difference between giving up a run and making a jaw dropping play. What the Rockies are doing right now is playing on top of that half a second, half a step, half an inch, they’re playing baseball. Their confidence has sky rocketed and are doing what they’re not only paid to do, but what they love to do. They’re going out and loving the game. Don’t include that last half in there, because that wasn’t really part of the speech I concocted in my head. The speech itself would be much better than what I just wrote you.

Tomorrow is the final game in this road trip the Rockies have been on, then they’ll be home, and I’m ready to see my boys come back to the mile high.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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

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