Tag Archives: Coors Field

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.

***

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

The Greatest Game Ever Played

October 1st, 2007

Remember this? I do.

Five years ago tonight Scott Hairston hit a 13th-inning, two-run homer to lift the San Diego Padres to an 8-6 lead over the Rockies at Coors Field. I don’t think I can remember a more devastating moment in my career as a sports fan. I was crushed. The Rockies were riding this unbelievable miracle of a winning and streak and were going to come up just short of the playoffs.

That devastation didn’t last long.

In comes Trevor Hoffman, only the greatest closer of all-time. Kaz Matsui doubles. Troy Tulowitzki doubles. Matt Holliday steps up to the plate.

Five years ago tonight. It’s pretty wild to think about the different directions our lives take since that moment. Anyway, that is, without a doubt, the greatest baseball game ever played, so I felt it appropriate to take a look back.

Coming into tonight the Rox had unspeakably won 13 of their past 14 games to somehow force a tiebreaker play-in game against the Padres. Josh Fogg (the Dragonslayer) vs Cy Young-winner Jake Peavy.

It’s easy to forget the deflating grand slam by Adrian Gonzalez in the 3rd inning. Or Todd Helton’s solo homer in the 3rd. Or how dominant Matt Herges and a young Heath Bell were for three innings. Or the Garrett Atkins home run that just sneaked over the fence but was incorrectly ruled a ground rule double. (Note: He would not score in that inning, so if anybody gives you any crap about Holliday not touching home plate, they can just shut it, because we had already been screwed by the umps and that game shouldn’t even have gone into extra innings, even though we’re all glad that it did). It’s easy to forget Holliday badly misplaying a game-tying double in the eighth.

That 13th-inning though, that one is easy to remember.

Up comes Holliday, a homegrown fan-favorite and a lock for the MVP (in my mind at least). Deep fly ball to right. Replays show that Matt thought he hit it out. Not quite. Giles goes back… jumps. This exact moment is one of the most vivid memories for me. From my seat down the third baseline I saw Giles jump and there was this split second of not knowing. Homer? Catch? Off the wall?

Then the ball bounces back toward the infield and Coors Field goes absolutely wild. I’ve never seen a venue like The Keg at that moment. Until Jamey Carroll’s at-bat after Helton was walked.

You know the rest.

Line drive to right. Holiday tags. Dives. Faceplants. Michael Barrett drops the ball. Tim McClelland stands there like an idiot for a few seconds and finally gives a half ass “safe” sign. Rox win. Playoffs. Rocktober. Miracle completed. Bedlam. Did that just happen? That just happened. How did that just happen?

Just look at that freaking crowd. Look at Helton’s reaction to the safe call off first base. And look at that freaking crowd.

And this is a great clip of Todd (and the ESPN crew) trying to make sense of what just happened (they can’t):

The Rockies are trying to avoid losing 100 losses this week with not much relief in sight. The franchise is essentially a laughing stock. But we should probably all brush that aside tonight and remember, try to relive, the greatest baseball game ever played.

Because October 1st, 2007 was awesome.

There’s Just Something About Opening Day

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field. This game. It’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”

There’s just something about Opening Day. For one day each year, the game of baseball provides us all with reprieve from our daily lives. Opening Day is magic.

The pageantry of Opening Day is is hard to top.

Say what you will about baseball and professional sports, but on Opening Day stories like Ryan Braun’s testosterone level, Joey Votto’s outrageous contract, A-Rod’s purple lips and Ubaldo’s beef with Tulo take a back seat to the crunching of peanut shells, the encouraging tempo of the organ, the pop of the catcher’s mitt and the warmth of sunshine on faces. Opening Day is simple. Opening Day is pure. On Opening Day, if only for a moment, everything makes sense.

The inner-child in all of us comes out on Opening Day. It should at least. We should all remember getting yanked out of school at 11 in the morning in our favorite team’s gear, slapping on a ball glove and taking in the pageantry of Opening Day with wide eyes and full hearts. Across America little hands will be raised with pride and excitement when teachers ask which students won’t be at school on the day of the ballgame.

The grown-up equivalent of this takes place when bosses question fake coughs and roll their eyes at hoarse voices as adults play hookey from the office to imbibe a couple beers and hope that this is their team’s year.

Hope. If there’s one theme of Opening Day it’s hope. Eternal optimism. For one day (in theory anyway) every team is in first place. And not in some kind of lame everyone-gets-a-ribbon-on-field-day sort of way. No, on opening Day everyone is in first place because, on that day, everyone deserves it. This could be their year. Our year. On Opening Day, every fan of every team has a right to dream.

Those dreams are welcomed with pomp and circumstance. Flyovers, fireworks, all-out national anthems and bunting all are on display on Opening Day. (Bunting, the red, white and blue decorative semicircles displayed in stadiums across the country, not the physical act of tapping the ball softly with the bat. You know what I’m talking about).

Put away the hoodies and gloves and boots. Get out your sandals and shades. Baseball is back.

Few things can cause me to write and speak in such romanticized terms and I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly brings it out of me.

There’s just something about Opening Day.

**And here’s the video of the quote used in my intro. If baseball has ever been a part of your life in any capacity, this is automatic goosebumps.

I’m no Roger Ebert, but I’m pretty sure that ginger beard represents our daily lives. Commitments, deadlines, bosses, etc., tugging at us in various directions. James Earl Jones is that voice inside of us saying, “Not today. Not on Opening Day.”

Happy Opening Day to all.