Monthly Archives: April 2015

So, This Is Awkward…

Welcome to the 106th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where ummm….  I’VE MOVED!

The format of the blog remains the same, but it is now over at the SB Nation Rockies site “Purple Row“. So go there. Now.

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Thanks for all your support the past couple years. Now go read today’s post!

 

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Some Thoughts on The Rockies’ 5-2 Start

Welcome to the 105th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where things are lookin’ up. Let’s get into it…

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Let’s talk some baseball, folks. The Rockies have played seven games and won five of them. They’ve played four games on the road and won all four of them. They are off to an awesome start.

My favorite part of Opening Day and, by extension, Opening Week and the weeks that follow is the free-flowing optimism that permeates most every team and fan base in the league. When the Rockies jump out to a quick start, their fans fit the mold. Hope springs eternal. Optimism overflows.

With that in mind, I’m taking a stance with which I am verify unfamiliar. I’m playing the BringDown card. This is not something I’m wont to do when it comes to the Colorado Rockies, but hear me out.

Last season, sometime in mid-May, I was convinced the Rockies would finish above .500 and were a playoff contender. They finished the year 66-96.

This year the Rockies have to play 155 more games over the course of five and a half months. Things have gone well in the first week, but I’m not ready to move off my prediction of somewhere between 69 and 75 wins for the Rockies.

The reasons will not shock you:  1) Starting Pitching. 2) Injuries.

While it’s encouraging that the Rockies are 5-2 without any contribution from Jorge De La Rosa, the starting rotation is just too shaky and shallow for the team to be a contender. If Kyle Kendrick’s first two starts are any indication, his year will be a roller coaster. Eddie Butler has great stuff but hasn’t really been able to harness it in his two starts. Jordan Lyles has been solid. Tyler Matzek was pretty unimpressive in the Home Opener. JDLR should provide stability when he returns soon, but it’s just hard to envision those five guys leading a baseball team to a winning record.

And of course, the ever-present elephant in the room is hanging above our heads like a balloon we’re all hoping doesn’t pop. Injuries are going to happen. I hate to think about these things, but Precautionary Measures will transition into Day-To-Days, which will transition into 15-Day DLs, which will transition into 60-Day DLs. All we can do is hope the key players don’t miss more than a week or two at a time. If that’s the case, I do think the Rockies can outperform a lot of expectations, including my own. But I’ve learned over the years that a casual scroll of Twitter or an unexpected notification from my CBS Sports app or a text from a friend with similar Rockies-fan interests can quickly ruin my week and change the entire course of the Rockies’ season.

(As an aside, if the Rockies’ shortstop does go down, Daniel Descalso hasn’t done much to instill a lot of confidence as a backup.)

Now I want to be clear that I am not saying you shouldn’t enjoy these games and take pleasure in these wins and wonder What If?. Indeed, the seven games the Rox have played thus far have been an absolute blast. (Well, five of them at least.)

Take for example, the third game of 2015. which brought probably my favorite moment of the first week when Carlos Gonzalez hit a ball really far. I love CarGo’s I’m-pretty-sure-I-just-hit-that-ball-to-the-moon pimp strut so if you need me, I’ll be at my desk watching this GIF for the next few hours. The gorgeous swing! The bat drop! The stare! The strut!

One interesting thing I noticed after watching that about 500 times:  Immediately after the swing, the camera-person zooms out and starts to pan left under the assumption that Carlos is about to, like, run to first. Nah, bro. Not when you bounce it off the scoreboard about 30 feet up in dead center.

The official distance on that homer was 466 feet, but as Drew Goodman said on the broadcast, it sure seemed closer to 500.

But you get my point. That was fun! That’s vintage Carlos Gonzalez, something we haven’t seen much of lately. And vintage CarGo is a treat to watch. If you can’t get pumped and enjoy the hell out of that home run, you’re simply not a Rockies fan.

Through seven games, the reasons for optimism are there. The lineup looks really, really good. (DJ La Maheiu is out there for his defense and even he’s hitting .517!) The non-LaTroy Hawkins bullpen has been pretty much perfect. Walt Weiss is using defensive shifts! Walt Weiss is not messing around! (If you blow a couple saves, you’re not the closer anymore.) And yes, the starting pitching has been more than acceptable.

These are all good things with potentially positive implications, so if you feel so inclined, live it the hell up. All I’m saying is the more level-headed, less volatile among us might also see reasons to curb that enthusiasm and measure that optimism.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to watch that Carlos Gonzalez homer a few more times.

Some of the other notable stuff from baseball’s first week:

The schedule-makers didn’t do the Rockies any favors in scheduling them to play the Giants in the Giants’ first home game since winning the World Series. (The Rox won anyway.) The celebration featured Madison Bumgarner bringing in the World Series pennant… on a horse… on the field… for real.

The Marlins take the postgame interview antics to the next level:

Probably the coolest moment from around the Bigs this week was this walk-off grand slam game-saving catch from George Springer.

And here’s the other your defensive play of the week from Andrelton Simmons. We’re partial to Troy Tulowitzki ’round these parts, but yeah, Simmons is okay defensively.

And let’s hit the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

You might not have heard, but Jordan Speith had a pretty good weekend. This is my favorite moment, when he found his grandpa for a long hug after WINNING THE MASTERS. That’s not something you see too often.

Also studly from Augusta: Jack Nicklaus’ shot in the Par Three contest on Wednesday afternoon.

Douche of the week:

This douche is hilarious. HAM IT UP, PAL! YOU DID IT! … Just maybe wait til you cross that finish line first.

(Fox Sports, FTW)

That WTF look on his face when he realizes what just happened at about the 11 second mark is priceless. What a dork.

Photo/Tweet of the week:

This one pretty much speaks for itself. It is very, very amazing.

NBA Tank Watch 2015:

Only one game remains in the NBA regular season for most teams, so these are likely to be your final Tankandings. The Nuggets will finish with the seventh-worst record in the league. The day Brian Shaw was fired, they were 20-39, meaning they’ve played almost-.500 basketball (10-12) under Melvin Hunt. Before that stretch of terrible wins, they had the sixth-worst record in the league and appeared poised for a push to catch either the Magic or Lakers, or both. Stupidly, the Nugs went in the opposite direction. So much more could have been accomplished.

With the seventh-worst record, the Nuggets will have a 4.3 percent chance at landing the #1 pick and a 15 percent chance at sneaking into the top-3.

  1. Minnesota, .198, 16-65
  2. New York, .210, 17-64
  3. Philadelphia, .222, 18-63
  4. L.A. Lakers, .259, 21-60
  5. Orlando, .309, 25-56
  6. Sacramento, .346, 28-53
  7. Denver, .370, 30-51
  8. Detroit, .384, 31-50

And finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these will not ever get old.

That dad is awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for readin’. See ya next week.

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Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

 

79 Rockies Predictions For 2015

Welcome to the 104th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the dreary winter is officially behind us. Let’s get into it…

As always, the health of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki will be key to any success the Rockies hope to have. (Roy Chenoy / USA Today Sports)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I‘ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”  -Rogers Hornsby

It’s spring. Baseball is back. And as the 2015 Major League Baseball season begins, it’s officially time to turn the page and focus on the past time of America. Despite what you may have heard, baseball is still wildly popular in this country. Revenues are through the roof, attendance is healthy, and the game is going strong.

To kick off this joyous occasion, I’m providing you with everything you can expect from the Rockies this year, from their record, to the broadcasts, to the inevitable injuries, to CarGo’s WAR. Some of these are educated guesses, some are based off of historical tendencies, and some come simply from a gut feeling or hunch. And yes, I realize I’m a day late with this post, but that’s what happens when things take place on Mondays. (Also, I’m pretty much stealing this format from this Will Leitch column, but that’s okay.) Off we go…

  1. The Rockies will begin the season with a 10-0 victory over the Brewers in Milwaukee behind seven shutout innings from Kyle Kendrick and big days at the plate from Corey Dickerson, Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki. (I wrote this one on Sunday, promise!)
  2. The Rockies will improve upon last year’s dismal 66-96 season and win at least 68 games.
  3. The Rockies will not improve all that much; they’ll win fewer than 76 games.
  4. Despite my best efforts, early success from the Rockies will SUCK ME IN and trick me into being optimistic until things fall apart in June. (Or May… Or April.)
  5. When the Rockies are at Coors Field, they will hit the crap out of the ball.
  6. When the Rockies are on the road they will hit less of the crap out of the ball.
  7. The Rockies’ offense on the road will not be as disgustingly-awful as last year’s, which produced at a .228/.279/.357 output.
  8. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 160 games.
  9. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 150 games.
  10. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 140 games.
  11. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 130 games.
  12. Troy Tulowitzki will play in more than 100 games. (He played in 91 last year.)
  13. This will not be enough games to carry the Rockies into playoff contention.
  14. During the 100-130 games he plays, Troy Tulowitzki will be a top-2 player in the game.
  15. Carlos Gonzalez will play in more than 140 games. (He played in 70 last year.)
  16. Carlos Gonzalez will vastly improve upon his completely lost 2014 season (-0.7 WAR) and post a WAR around 4.
  17. Carlos Gonzalez will steal at least 20 bases.
  18. Nolan Arenado will make his first All Star team.
  19. Nolan Arenado will hit at least 23 home runs.
  20. Nolan Arenado will win his third Gold Glove in his third season.
  21. Corey Dickerson will continue to hit and hit and hit and hit.
  22. Corey Dickerson will finish with a top-5 National League batting average.
  23. Justin Morneau will again hit over .330 against right-handed pitching.
  24. Justin Morneau will have fewer than 120 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.
  25. Injuries, overall, will be less of a story and factor over the course of 2015 than they were in 2014.
  26. Keith Dugger will still have pristine hair.
  27. Drew Stubbs, a pleasant surprise last year, will see serious regression at the plate.
  28. Charlie Blackmon will not be good enough against left-handed pitchers to make up for Stubbs’ decline.
  29. This will be a problem for a team that broke camp with just four outfielders.
  30. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at first base.
  31. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at catcher.
  32. It will become clear that Wilin Rosario really needs to be a DH on an American League team.
  33. Nick Hundley’s defense, game calling, pitch receiving, and leadership will help the Rockies’ young pitching staff.
  34. Jorge De La Rosa will be back in his #1 spot in the rotation before May.
  35. Jorge De La Rosa will be the Rockies’ best starting pitcher again.
  36. Jorge De La Rosa will not be as good at Coors Field as he was in 2014 (10-2, 3.08 ERA),
  37. Tyler Matzek will turn into a semi-reliable #3 starter, with some gems and disasters sprinkled among mostly decent starts.
  38. Jordan Lyles will get hurt.
  39. Jon Gray will be called up to the Rox in May.
  40. Jon Gray will make serious and positive contributions to help bolster the pitching staff.
  41. After one particularly solid start from Gray, I will become irrationally excited about the future of the Rockies.
  42. Kyle Kendrick will not get injured.
  43. Kyle Kendrick will put up numbers similar to (but not quite as solid as) his numbers from last year with the Phillies: 32 starts, 199 innings, 4.61 ERA in a hitter’s park on a bad team.
  44. The Rockies will take that.
  45. Boone Logan will be less horrible and less injured than last year.
  46. Boone Logan will still not be worth his big-ass, $5.5 million salary.
  47. Rex Brothers will be called up in May or June, only to be sent back down a couple weeks later.
  48. Nobody will understand what the hell happened to Rex Brothers.
  49. Adam Ottavino’s slider will be the most fun thing to watch involving a Rockies pitcher.
  50. The oldest player in baseball, LaTroy Hawkins, will somehow be a pretty good closer again at the age of 42.
  51. When the Rockies are floundering in irrelevance in the late-summer, watching that infield play defense will be reason enough to tune in and watch a ball game.
  52. Walt Weiss’ new commitment to defensive shifts will be a long overdue innovation and make the Rox’ infield defense even better.
  53. Whenever Rafael Ynoa does ANYTHING I will loudly proclaim, “Ynoa it!”
  54. When Justin Morneau scoops a low throw, one of the Root broadcasters will compare him to Todd Helton.
  55. Ryan Spilborghs will turn out to be the most enjoyable color commentator on Root Sports.
  56. Root Sports will continue to scroll “Toyota Talk” at the bottom of the screen during games.
  57. The person in charge of this decision will not be fired, as he should be.
  58. George Frazier will talk about Oklahoma during a broadcast.
  59. Jenny Cavnar will continue her excellent work in the studio and at Coors.
  60. People on Twitter will complain about Drew Goodman’s play by play even though he’s pretty damn good.
  61. When the Rockies have early success or win a few games or series in a row, about half of the Denver media will prove they have no idea what is going on with the Rockies when they are forced to focus on the local nine for a few days.
  62. The Denver media will be stoked when July rolls around because they can focus on the Broncos’ stretching and jogging around in shorts for a few weeks before playing pretend games for a month.
  63. An employee of the San Francisco Giants will say something stupid about the Rockies.
  64. Dick Monfort will say something stupid about the Rockies.
  65. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Troy Tulowitzki, but the young pitching staff and position playing prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich the team can contend in 2016 with its current core.
  66. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Carlos Gonzalez, but the young pitching staff and position player prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich that the team can contend in 2016 with its current core.
  67. After the year, we still won’t be positive that Jeff Bridich knows what he’s doing, but we’ll all be a little more confident in the guy.
  68. With Bill Geivett gone, we will begin to see Walt Weiss’ true colors as a manager, though I’m not sure what those are yet.
  69. The $2 bag of peanuts I have been buying from the same guy outside of the home plate entrance for just about 20 years will somehow be slightly smaller than last year.
  70. The new metal detectors will make getting in to any remotely popular game any time near the scheduled first pitch an absolute disaster. (Especially on Friday. That’s gunna take hours.)
  71. Some half-drunk 22-year-old will stand in my section at a game and emplore the masses to start The Wave.
  72. I will politely request that this person put a stop to his actions.
  73. The Tooth Trot will still be a thing.
  74. Dinger will jump around behind home plate during the 9th inning.
  75. Dinger will continue to be an embarrassment.
  76. Dinger will conintue to be the worst mascot in sports.
  77. The Party Deck will be packed on a nightly basis with people who literally could not tell you what team the Rockies are playing.
  78. Coors Field will continue to be the most beautiful ball park in the country.
  79. I will go to Coors Field on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon or an impossibly pleasant Friday night and I’ll sneak into great seats and I’ll sip beer and I’ll crush peanut shells with my sandals and I’ll yell things that confuse children and I’ll get looks from people for clapping loudly and I’ll truly appreciate the most beautiful game on earth and I’ll be completely content with everything in my life, if only for a few hours.

No weekly departments this week but a whole bunch of fun stuff worth your time:

We’ll start with a couple videos from MLB to help get you pumped for the new season. First THIS:

And this next one is right up my alley. Player’s acting out Terrance Mann’s famous “People Will Come” speech?! Pretty cool

Everyone’s impression of James Earl Jones sucks.

The MLB Vine of the year might have come out of Washington yesterday:

College basketball happened this week, too!

Here’s the play of the game from the game of the year, when Wisconsin took down Kentucky.

The fun didn’t carry over for Wisconsin through last night’s championship game, though. I present, “Sad Teletubby”:

These do not look like human hands. Jahill Okafor palming a basketball.

Just stop it, Steph Curry. I’m kiddin’ he should definitely keep doing awesome stuff like this. (The behind-the-basket view is the best.)

Here’s the Vine:

This new Nike Golf commercial featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy is pretty damn awesome:

This week’s Sports Illustrated has a nice feature on Garrett Grayson. The story isn’t online yet, but here’s how it looked in the magazine. (Magazines are things made out of paper that people used to subscribe to and purchase at stores. You can read them without any electronics.)

While we’re on the topic of CSU football, here’s the latest “The Grind”. These are still awesome. It’s pretty cool to get an early glimpse into Bobo’s coaching style.

And finally, this video means it is officially, officially, officially baseball season. Pretty strong version this year featuring Ron Hunter falling off his stool and crying piccolo girl.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. If you’re heading out to The Keg on Friday, I hope you have a blast. See ya next week.

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Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should kno