From the Clubhouse
In the course of a year, so much has changed. As true Rockies fans know, we live each game and series on Rocky Road. (No, not the ice cream… though I do have a sweet tooth ) We can go for stretches along relatively smooth dirt roads (they’re never paved, except the stretch along September/October 2007). Each dip and pothole represents our struggles and dings. Storms wash our road out, but we trudge on. Uphill climbs represent our quest to compete, especially with those around us. When our team tanks, the road goes downhill… as if we’re headed towards Hades. Bandwagon fans jump on our bus along our smooth portions, and hop off with each bump. But who paved this road? Oh, I see the sign now:
So we’re on this road. But the bus ahead of us has the Rockies players. Who got on and off of this road? Let me go through a few out of random:
- Seth Smith: Our project manager (Jim Tracy) told him he couldn’t play when there’s a lefty pitcher starting. Then he was dropped off at Union Station* to catch the California Zephyr to Oakland. Here’s a sample of his stats (given in games/plate appearances/batting average/OBP):
2012: 15/ 52/.195/.386 Small sample size as the season has just started.
- Chris Iannetta: Never found grace with Tracy, usually passed for the “catcher of the year”. Frustrating since I adopted him as my favorite Rox. When he was playing, it was almost never above the 8-spot. He was told this offseason if he wanted to see stars to take I-70 (and I-15) to Anaheim. Stats:
2010: 61/223/.197/.318 (You’d have to look up his stats for a better size.
2012: 15/ 46/.268/.348
- Ian Stewart: Granted, in the offseason before 2011, he developed an attitude on Twitter that hurt his actions. But he really tanked under Tracy. This offseason, O’Dowd gave him a Greyhound ticket* to Wrigley Field to give him some fresh (*cough cough*) air. His stats:
2011: 48/136/.156/.243 (This counts only his times in Colorado.)
2012: 16/ 61/.196/.262
- Mark Ellis: He drove his Porsche* into town to help out the Rox last year. Though he was a great contributor in an otherwise lost season, he must have seen something in Tracy. He said “no” to the extension, and drove down The 5 (SoCal talk for I-5) to Los Angeles.
2011: 70/286/.274/.317 Colorado stats only
2012: 15/ 64/.264/.391
- Jason Hammel: Though you can’t say starting pitchers are usually affected by managers (including Tracy), you may have to wonder on Jason. His performance in 2011 tanked to the point where he was pulled out of the rotation and placed in the doghouse, er, bullpen. We dropped him off at DIA with a Frontier Airlines* ticket to Baltimore on Larry the Lynx’s plane. We picked up Jeremy Guthrie at the same time from Flip the Dolphin’s plane. Maybe these numbers may surprise you (record/innings pitched/strikeouts/walks/ERA):
2010: 10-9 /177.2/141/47/4.81
2011: 7-13/170.1/ 94/68/4.76
2012: 2-0 / 19.0/ 18/ 7/2.37
- Ubaldo Jimenez: Yes, that’s #ubaldouche. I heard him and Troy Tulowitzki got along like me and my brother did. And boy, did we quarrel, just like they did in 2010**. They got in a big argument in 2011, and Ubaldo pulled a Dottie Hinson and asked out. O’Dowd promptly dropped him in Cheyenne and told him, “Fine, you’re headed to Cleveland.” Ubaldo didn’t have a hitchhiker’s thumb, and his hand never recovered in time for the rest of the season. But he sure got revenge in 2012, during Spring Training that we’d all love to forget. His stats:
2010: 19-8 /221.2/214/92/2.88
2011: 6-9 /123.0/118/51/4.46 This is Colorado stats only
2011: 4-4 / 65.1/ 62/27/5.10 This is Cleveland stats only
2012: 2-0 / 18.0/ 11/11/4.00
I could go on, especially with Ryan Spilborghs, Huston Street, Aaron Cook, etc. But how about those we have currently, like Charlie Blackmon and Jordan Pacheco? When the bus stopped at Johnson’s Corner***, they got off, and were asked to wait until we needed them (with the Sky Sox team who was also there at the same time.) Little brother Nolan Arenado tried to follow the Rockies bus on his bike, but had to take the frontage road (wait, do dirt roads need frontage roads? ). At Johnson’s Corner, he got a phone call to stay there until we needed him, and the Drillers team was there at the time he entered the cafe.
So Rockies fans, as long as the Dan O’Dowd and Jim Tracy project is building this Rocky Road we’re on, please buckle up, and try to enjoy the ride. Unless you are a bandwagon fan, of course.
* All modes of transportation may not be real. It’s all part of the humor.
** While the Jimenez/Tulowitzki spat in March 2012 is real, any earlier mentions may or may not happen. Take it with a huge grain of salt.
*** Johnson’s Corner is a truck stop on I-25 exit 254. They have good cinnamon rolls… and I’m getting hungry now. lol
While I could not use all of our conversation, Thank you to @RyanSev23, @Townie813 and @RockiesReview for contributions.
This is a new segment (please do not confuse it with RockSocial, the relatively new program started by the @Rockies last year for tweetups) where I point out tweets, links and the like that you might find interesting. I’ll start with 3 today. If you have a good tweet or link to an article, feel free to comment, tweet me (@druidlove) or send it to email@example.com These are notable reads:
- Offseason Moves playing dividends for the Colorado Rockies. Finally, an unbiased review by David Martin why Michael Cuddyer is Colorado’s best deal.
- Jamie Moyer earns his place in the history book. A bit older, but I believe Mark Townsend says it best with this review on Jamie Moyer.
- With more pitchers breaking down, time to rethink modern bullpen. Tom Verducci has a great article explaining what’s going on with pitchers, especially ones like Brian Wilson who needs a second Tommy John surgery.
Thank you Brian for agreeing with me here:
@druidlove Moyer is something special.
— Brian Smith (@gorox1983) April 23, 2012