Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

It was déjà vu…

… Only a different seat, sitting with different people, and different players in the lineup.

Let’s rewind to “Emily goes to her mock opening day,” take one.

So, there I was walking down to Coors Field on Friday, late as usual; I was going to meet up with Tom Walsh from Rocky Mountain Way at the game. I arrive at Coors and look around to find no one who really resembles who I might consider Tom. So, I drop my friends’ tickets off at will call and wait, looking for Mr. Walsh.

First, let me tell you that if you’ve ever been over to Tom’s blog, you’ll know that there are no direct pictures of him. It’s like when it comes to pictures, he becomes all emo or something and you can’t ever see his whole face. So, in reality, I’m clueless as to whom I’m actually looking for. So, I’m waiting around for him and let me tell you, people are very misleading. Lots of them walked by, gave me a smile, and then passed right by me, like it could’ve been Tom approaching me and then it was like, “psych.” Thanks misleading people. For a short period there, I was worried that Tom was this creeper who kept lurking around me; and I certainly wouldn’t want to go up to the creeper and be like, “Um… excuse me… weird question… but is your name Tom and not Creeper, like I’ve so adequately named you?” Anyway, so eventually the creeper went away and IPhoto 9.jpg continued to wait. I waited and watched as the staff brought over the Ubaldo Jimenez t-shirts that I was definitely going to have to snag and thought, “If tom doesn’t get here and I don’t get an Ubaldo shirt, he’s totally going to get a punch in the face.” So, alas, the elusive Tom shows up and we enter Coors Field… and I get my Ubaldo shirt; can’t leave that part out. I suppose I should also not leave out that Tom was not a creeper and looked quite normal when he showed up. Anyway, so, once inside, I took in a little batting practice, Photo 10.jpgwhen who should I spot?!?! None other than the Rockpile Ranter!!! He immediately greets me with a big hug, but then it’s back to business; snagging balls is very serious. He catches a BP home run and without hesitation hands it off to me. Let me say that that was, without a doubt, one of the nicest things ever. I mean, I really just met the guy and immediately he hands me off a ball. So, thank you so, so, so, so much D!!! So, there it is, my first major league ball ever!! Don was gracious enough to give it a quick appraisal, but then it was back to snagging. So, my ball isn’t labeled with anything associated with batting practice, and it’s got a nice big spot on it from where it was hit. Tom asked me if I was going to get it autographed, I said I wouldn’t even have any idea how to do that, and he said it’s easy for girls. So I’ll have to work to get it autographed someday.

On another note Don, thanks for the offer with the nachos, but that game was far too close to get up and wait in line for food that will clog my arteries and eventually be my demise. We’ll have to wait for a more secure lead in the game. 

So, let’s give a quick wrap up of the game. It didn’t start out too well for Cook. He gave up twoAaron Cook.jpgruns in the top of the first and the thought that immediately went through my mind was, “oh no, it’s like a repeat of the April 18th game.” However, after some struggles, Cook closed down the inning and the Rockies came back to score in the bottom of the first. They scored again in the third and the fourth inning and were leading the game!… which didn’t last long because the Dodgers would score in the fifth. The game was pretty quiet until the eighth inning when the Dodgers would drive in two runs and the Rockies responded with two runs. All tied up, 5-5. Into the ninth, the game is tense, but a win is coming. I swore I could’ve felt it, it was my opening day, the Rockies owed me. Dodgers hit a line drive between AtkinsGarrett Atkins20.jpgand Tulo bringing them up a run. As much as I love Garrett Atkins, and trust me, I love Garrett Atkins, I really feel like if Ian Stewart were playing third, he might have been able to make that play. Last season, Stewart made some amazing plays, he had a fielding percentage of 0.944 while playing third. So, no offense to you dear Atkins, Stewart’s just a little more agile than you are. Either way, the Dodgers would win it 6-5. Some good things that happened during that game, Iannetta would raise his BA to above 100 and Atkins would get an RBI. Both of their stats have been suffering this season.

Oh, let me also say that I didn’t even use my Asian intellect during that game at all. Since I walked down to Coors Field, I had to leave my house early and it was warm outside, so I didn’t bring a jacket. Well, that was stupid of me, because the sun went down and it got cold… and so did I.

A score of 6-5 and a lack of intellect. Well, I didn’t like that too much, so I was headed back to Coors Field the next night.

So, we were going to try this again. “Emily goes to her second game where they will hopefully win and she’ll replace that with the awful memory of how they lost on her opening day,” take… two… kind of.

All right, prepared for the cold weather this time, I had on my ball cap, a scarf, gloves, two layers of shirts, plus my Rockies spring training jersey. Bring on the weather and bring on a win!

So… there I was, sitting in the Pavilion watching as Ubaldo Jimenez gave up not one, not two, not three, but four, he gave up FOUR runs. My first thought, it was like watching, it was the April 19th game against the Dodgers, except Ubaldo gave up all the runs a little earlier. Thanks, why don’t you let them score a little more.

That game, I discovered many things… that’s kind of a sentence fragment, but whatever. Onestadium.GIF thing I discovered… I hate the wave. Everyone loves the wave, why? It’s annoying, it totally distracts from the game. For example, everyone was so busy doing the wave and looking for where it was in the stadium that no one noticed that Glendon Rusch struck out Manny Ramirez. Manny Ramirez, who, by the way, was struck out three times. Take that Manny Ramirez, face.

Next thing, I’ve been told twice that Colorado has the worst fans and the most bandwagon fans. I don’t even believe that, but last night, I can guarantee you, I had the most incompetent woman sitting behind me. So, obviously Ubaldo gave up six runs. They brought in Glendon Rusch who, I know I hate, but did really well. So this woman sitting behind me was like, “oh, he’s much better than Ubaldo, they should’ve started him.” Okay, lady, he’s pitching like two innings, did you even see him last season? He wasn’t anything special. Fast forward a little more, Matt Daley coming up fresh from the Sky Sox enters the game. First thing he does, strikes out a guy. Then the woman behind me is like, “he’s clearly the better pitcher, he should’ve been pitching the game.” WOMAN! Do you know what you’re talking about?!?! No, you obviously have no idea. GAH!
The incompetence surrounding me!!!

Garrett Atkins21.jpgSo, we’ll rewind a little bit because I must give credit where credit is due. Who got a home run?!?! That’s right, Mr. Garrett Atkins! He was due for one too. I told him when he came up to bat, because I trust that he has super sonic hearing and can hear everything I say to him, that if he didn’t do something, I would cry… not at the field, but in the privacy of my own home, I would wallow in my misery. So, a home run was exactly what he needed. Unfortunately, his stats don’t represent that of a cleanup hitter, but he’s been doing much better with a bat than it appears.

The game ended with yet another 6-5 loss. It hurt bad. So today I will be watching the game from the comfort of my couch. They better win this one, no more of this sweeping shenanigans.

Also, don’t forget to vote for your All Stars!!! I’m having some difficulty voting for mine though. I’d like to see Todd Helton at first, but gotta do what’s best for the team which means also voting for Albert Pujols. I keep hoping Iannetta will come alive with the bat… so far, no dice. I still have like… 15 votes, I may have to start voting someone else in. In the spirit of doing what’s best for the team, same goes for the Red Sox, Mike Lowell is my old man, but… well, he’s old. Evan Longoria would look much better at third. It’s embarrassing to be voting for Dodgers players after all that… but when push comes to shove…

all Star ballot.png 

1., 2. Photo courtesy: me
3. Photo courtesy: I have no idea. It was just in my previously uploaded pictures.
4. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection
5. Photo courtesy:
6. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection

My lineup

It’s almost here!!! Spring training!!! I am so ready. Sports, my usual life, some how betrayed me: A-Rod and steroids, 103 other players and steroids, Michael Phelps and the whole marijuana thing, Roberto Alomar being sued for not telling his ex girlfriend he has AIDS, Miguel Tejada charged with lying to Congress, I mean, when will it end?

To pass the time, I got a pet. Not as cool as it sounds. I got one on my ipod, and I named his Dustin Pedroia.
Pet.jpgThere he is! My pet, Dustin Pedroia. It was that or Jacoby Ellsbury, those names fit him more than anything else.

I was recently reading an article by Thomas Harding who was talking about the projected lineup for the Rockies. Here’s how he laid it out:

1. CF: Ryan Spilborghs
    BA: 0.313, SLG: 0.468, OBP: 0.407
2. SS: Troy Tulowitzki
    BA: 0.263, SLG: 0.401, OBP: 0.332
3. 1B: Todd Helton
    BA: 0.264, SLG: 0.388, OBP: 0.391
4. 3B: Garrett Atkins
    BA: 0.286, SLG: 0.452, OBP: 0.328
5. RF: Brad Hawpe
    BA: 0.283, SLG: 0.498, OBP: 0.381
6. 2B: Clint Barmes
    BA: 0.290, SLG: 0.468, OBP: 0.322
7. LF: Seth Smith
    BA: 0.259, SLG: 0.435, OBP: 0.350
8.  C: Chris Iannetta
    BA: 0.264, SLG: 0.505, OBP: 0.390

I like it, it’s a good batting order, which is one of the most crucial elements in offense. However, I thought about it and decided that if fate allowed me, I would develop my own:

1. CF: Ryan Spilborghs
2. 2B: Clint Barmes
3. 1B: Todd Helton
4. 3B: Garrett Atkins
5. RF: Brad Hawpe
6. SS: Troy Tulowitzki
7.  C: Chris Iannetta
8. LF: Seth Smith

I didn’t change a lot, but enough that I think it would change things. And I’d like to explain to the world why I did what I did. I really only think Rockies fan would care about this, I’d be interested in hearing about what you think the projected line up should be.

I put Ryan Spilborghs first. It’s very common for him to be the lead off man, however,Spilborghs.jpg he shared his position with, now Reds player, Willy Taveras. I think there will be added pressure for him to perform being in a full time position, and I do admit that I have my concerns with him. He better not perform like he did in the Mexican Pacific League, he ended the season with like… a 0.209 BA. Something very unimpressive. However, I didn’t base my decision off how he performed then. His 2008 season was overall good, Spilborghs is a good slugger and can work the count, an important trait. His biggest fault? He’s no Taveras when it comes to speed, Spilborghs isn’t known for his base stealing ability.

Barmes.jpgClint Barmes is a great player, and he proved it. After he got sent back down to the minors, he worked hard to get back to the show. It was impressive. I didn’t put Tulowitzki at second, and part of that might have to do with the fact that he was plagued with injuries last season which had a devastating effect on his stats. I believe that Clint Barmes is a contact hitter, he rarely struck out last season. It’s true Tulowitzki struck out less, but I think that Tulo doesn’t have the patience that Barmes does. I also think that being sent back down to the minors had a pretty profound effect on Barmes’ attitude. He knows what it’s like to make it to the show and be sent back down, and I think that’s something that makes him want to work harder; and that’s not to say that any player appreciates it less.
Todd Helton rounds in at third because well, he’s the best hitter. The best hitter means that you have the ability to hit, it doesn’t mean that you’re a big slugger; although, Todd is a big slugger. But of the team, he’s the guy who is the best. He can reach base. His stats last year might not reflect his ability but that might be because of all the injuries he suffered. Helton’s a great player both offensively and defensively. In 2000, he epitomized a clutch hitter which brings him higher up in the lineup.

I believe that Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe are kind of interchangeable atAtkins.jpg their spots. They’re both phenomenal hitters and both good in the cleanup spot. Brad Hawpe led the club in home runs and Atkins came in second. These guys can hit big and they can hit hard. Atkins led the club in RBIs, however, that statistic really doesn’t tell us much except that in a given opportunity, he can spread the wealth around to his teammates. It’s difficult to decipher who should come in at the cleanup spot. Putting together a line up is one of the most difficult things because it is so crucial. It’s a well known fact that the higher you are in the lineup, the more at bats you have. For every lineup spot a player moves up, they get see 18 more at bats per season. That’s what makes this so difficult, Hawpe and Atkins are our biggestHawpe.jpg hitters and to bring them farther down in the count means that they see less at bats. However, that’s part of the strategy of the lineup, putting your biggest sluggers in first isn’t going to really accomplish anything, you have to consider all your options: who can work the count, who works well under pressure, who can advance a player? Being a pitcher and facing, what you know as the best player on the team (hence why he’s in the cleanup spot), odds you’ll walk the guy increase. That’s why having the other best hitter in spot number five is so important. The fact that you’ve got another great guy in the lineup is going to put pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes. 

I put Troy Tulowitzki in spot number six. His statsTulo.jpg definitely suffered with an injury prone season; however, like I stated earlier, I don’t believe that Tulowitzki has a lot of patience. He’s a great player and great with a bat, so it’s difficult to decipher where he’s best in the lineup since his performance last year was… well… subpar. If during spring training he shows up ready for the season and not injury laden, his odds of moving up in the lineup will increase. It’s an honor to have Tulo on our team, but he needs to learn one of the most basic rules for a hitter: wait for your pitch. He’s eager, but he’s young. He’s got no where to go but up, and his talent is growing exponentially with every season he plays. Putting him far at the bottom was a tough choice because I do expect great things out of him.
In the seventh spot is Chris Iannetta. Being the catcher
is one of the most difficult positions,it’s hard on your body and incredibly demanding. Despite Iannetta having such a great season last year, putting him farther down in the lineup, in my opinion, is a wise move. The last thing you want is a worn out catcher, especially one as talented as Iannetta. Putting less stress on him is beneficial for the entire team, especially the pitcher. Keeping Iannetta fresh by giving him less at bats makes him better defensively, which is where a catcher is most important.

Finally, Seth Smith. Smith has often come in as PH, which tells me that he’s got some talentSmith.jpg with a bat. However, he’s young and inexperienced. He’s taking over left field which is enough pressure as it is. Having to fill Matt Holliday’s shoes is an incredibly responsibility and it puts a lot of tension on an ability to perform. I believe that because everybody believes that left field is a big spot to fill, it’ll also reflect in batting. Whether real or imagined, Smith is going to feel pressure to drive in the runs like Holliday did regardless of where he is in the lineup. But Smith is young, he’s got a lot to learn and he can make mistakes. I put him in the eighth position not because I believe that he’s the worst hitter on the team, but because he can clear the pitcher’s spot. It’s playing for the betterment of the team and not necessarily for his own personal statistics.

So, there it is, my lineup. It kind of kills me to see Carlos Gonzalez with the number five. That means that Holliday is officially gone. I kind of died a little inside. But now all our players have numbers and it’s officially the 13th which means that I’m one day away from spring training. Not only that, but if Todd Helton isn’t ready for the 2009 season, which it sounds like he might not be, bringing in Ian Stewart will completely change the lineup. While that’s not something that I considered in my arrangement, I’ll have to completely rearrange everything. Bt anyway, tell me about what your lineup would be. I’d be interested in hearing what other people think would be best.

Spring training. Just breathe, it’ll come.