Tag Archives: Rockies

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…

On Instagram straight flexin'. #OpeningWeek

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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.

***

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.

***

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

Recapping A Wild Week In Sports

Welcome to the 65th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the sports world is providing a wealth of material, meaning I didn’t have to write too much this week. But I still have a big post for you. Let’s get into it…

I’ll start with a few words on the Rockies, who lost 15 of 18 games before winning five in a row, including an incredibly unlikely sweep of the Giants in San Francisco via three consecutive late inning comebacks. (They lost to the Dodgers last night.) So here are those aforementioned words on the Rockies:

I have no idea what to think about the Rockies.

But hey, this was an exciting moment:

On to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

In a week with a ton of options for this category (Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Greg Popovich, Alec Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes, Martin Kaymer, That Soccer Guy and the late Tony Gwynn) some random dude in San Fransisco gets the honors. We’ll get to those other studs in a bit.

Giants fans are generally huge douche bags, but this guy made perhaps the most impressive home run catch ever yesterday. Coming out of the tunnel, in stride, bare hand, and he played it cool like it was no big deal. But the coolest part? He did all that while holding a small child in his non-catching hand ON FATHER’S DAY.

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Here’s the GIF:

That doesn’t even look real.

Picture(s) of the Week

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Great shot of Tim Duncan as his mind-bogglingly incredible career keeps rolling along. And here’s one of Duncan and his son on Father’s Day, from the postgame presser:

Vine of the week:

Yoenis Cespedes made the best throw of the year against the Angels this week. MLB made a pretty sweet Vine of the occasion.

Just look at that throw. That’s absolutely one of the best plays of the year in 2014. Look how casual the catcher is! Then he did it again the next night.

MLB

That led to this awesome tweet from the official Angels account.

See, guys? Baseball is fun!

Tweet of the week:

Rick Reilly’s retirement rolled right into making Hitler/Nazi/Holocaust jokes. So that’s always a smart move.

Douche of the week:

Remember when O.J. Simpson killed those people? That was pretty douchey, huh? That chase took place 20 years ago today.

I don’t like to put nine minute videos in here, but I couldn’t stop watching that. What a fascinatingly strange moment in American history. And I’m proud to say I DO NOT REMEMBER where I was when this went down. Maybe all those old people who tell me I’m not that old are right!

A couple links worth sharing:

I’m sure you’ve heard the very, very sad news of Tony Gwynn’s passing. A lot of digital ink was rightfully devoted to Gwynn yesterday. It’s impossible to read all the different pieces but here a few that are worth your time:

Jeff Passan took a look at the two new videos that MLB released of their new advanced media tracking system. They are amazing. Yasiel Puig can run 21 mph on grass while tracking a baseball with a glove on his hand. Andrew McCutchen takes a nearly perfect route (99.7 percent efficient) to a line drive in the gap. These guys are absolute freaks. Anyway, this stuff is awesome and is about to further change the way we consume baseball. Highly recommended read here.

I’m always quite interested in the 50 athletes who made the most money last year.

And a bunch of other fun stuff from the week:

Hockey is over:

Great call (or lack thereof) from the great Doc Emerick as well.

Zach Johnson made a hole-in-one during an otherwise boring-as-hell US Open. Then he did this, which is pretty cool. I guess.

Remember the Jim Harbaugh Wal Mart pants story from a few months back? Dockers has some smart marketing people and Harbaugh has a funny wife:

I feel like we haven’t had anyone falling on their face in a while ’round these parts, which is a shame.

The GIF is even better.

Let’s double up on the “people falling down” category!

That stuff will never get old.

This young man was a bit startled

I wish Jimmy Kimmel would do one of these every week:

Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo!

And finally, here’s a ball bouncing off of a guy’s head into a large net.

Apparently a lot of American folks cared about that ball going in that net. I have to admit, this video is pretty awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. 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 know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

 

What’s Going On With The Rockies?

Welcome to the 63rd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’re talking some Rockies in a pretty big post. Let’s get into it…

Adam Ottavino, the Rockies’ best reliever, gave up a walk-off homer to a dude that doesn’t hit homers Sunday. It was a fittingly nonsensical and brutal end to an absolutely horrendous road trip. (Tony Dejak/AP)

A while back I mentioned how tough the month of May would be for the Rockies, highlighted by a perilous nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Sure enough, things went quite poorly. How ’bout a quick recap?

It was a bad trip before it even started.

The Thursday before the Rockies headed east, they hosted the rival Giants for a crucial rubber match day game. The game was suspended in the sixth inning after heavy rain, lightning, thunder, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wild fires, El Ninos, cyclones and nor’easters moved into the Denver area. The stormy skies would prove ominous.

Suspending that game meant wasting a start from Jorge De La Rosa, arguably the National League’s best pitcher in the month of May and taking away a very winnable game and series against the Giants. It also took four and a half hours to wrap things up on a getaway day before traveling to the East Coast which, of course, cost the Rockies two more hours.

So yeah, it was literally a crappy road trip before it even started.

Then in the second inning of the first game– THE SECOND INNING OF THE FIRST GAME!– Nolan Arenado, a would-be all-star and one of the most important players on the roster, broke his finger diving into second base. It seemed like a huge loss at the time. It would seem larger and larger after each of the next eight games.

The Rockies would win one of three against the Bravos. Honestly, not all that bad considering the Rockies are 3-88 in Atlanta the past ten seasons.

The Philadelphia series sucked. Started with a blowout loss. Then a fairly comfortable win (in which the Phils’ Ben Revere hit his first Major League home run in his 1,566th plate appearance. I’m tellin’ ya, this road trip was weird.). Then the third game was a gruesome kick to the nuts. And shins. And face.

The Rockies played like crap but got a miraculous go-ahead, eighth-inning homer from DJ Lemahieu– his first of the year (weird!). With a one-run lead, the Rockies committed two egregious errors in the ninth inning (weird!). Closer LaTroy Hawkins was removed with two outs in favor of Boone Logan for the lefty-on-lefty matchup vs. Chase Utley (pretty weird). Game tying single. Walk-off three run homer.

Games like that are difficult to come back from. The Rockies didn’t.

They went into Cleveland and got swept, utilizing two more dramatic kicks to the nuts on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, Adam Ottavino served up a walk-off to Michael Bourn. Adam Ottavino has been the Rockies best reliever all year. Michael Bourn had hit one home run prior to that one. That was, like, the last thing I expected while watching that at bat. Anyway, it was a fitting end to the road trip because it made no sense and was just brutal for the Rockies and their fans.

Just about the only thing going well for the Rockies is the pitching of De La Rosa. The other four starters were pretty much awful for the entire trip. So were Cargo and Tulo and the rest of the lineup. (They went an astonishing 7-62 with runners in scoring position in the nine games. SEVEN FOR SIXTY-TWO!) The bullpen was also bad.

So now the Rockies come back home for ten games at The Keg and I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this homestand. I could easily see the Rockies going 9-1 and making everything feel swell again. Or I could see them going 3-7, calling it a year, proving the naysayers correct and allowing the Denver media to do what they love to do and focus on the Broncos’ OTAs all summer. Make no mistake, the next ten ballgames will go a long way in determining whether the Rockies hang around this season.

Eddie Butler struck out 25 batters in 27 2/3 Double-A innings.

The time to see Eddie Butler in a Rockies uniform is approaching quickly. (Rich Crimi/Tulsa Drillers)

The hottest topic surrounding the Rockies is what to do with the rotation. One way or another, Franklin Morales absolutely can not be allowed to make another start. Juan Nicasio is a very shaky fourth starter. Jhoulys Chacin, the Rockies best starter last year, looks like a shell of himself. There is help waiting in the minors, but whether or not the young guns are ready remains a foggy picture.

Jon Gray is the Rockies’ most prized prospect. It sounds like they’re not ready to call him up, which isn’t all that surprising. People seem to forget that a year ago he was pitching in the College World Series. That’s a long way from Coors Field.

Eddie Butler is the other young hype machine in Tulsa, but he’s had a bumpy road of late and it’s clear the Rox want to exercise caution in how they handle his ascent to The Bigs.

Tyler Matzek was making a push as the most likely call-up from Colorado Springs, but he threw a wrench in that plan by getting lit up Sunday.

Here’s what I’d like to see:  Immediately move Morales to a long-inning relief role and call up Matzek to take his place in the rotation. Matzek doesn’t have quite the potential of Butler and Gray so there is less long-term risk if he flames out. His last AAA outing was rough, but who cares? Let’s see if the guy can make a positive impact.

If the homestand starts out shaky and the third and fourth wheels look like they’re about to fall off (the first two are long gone) call up Butler and move Nicasio to the ‘pen in place of Morales or Nick Masset. At that point the season would be teetering towards irrelevance. At some point you have to say Screw It and throw your cards on the table. Butler could be your ace in the hole. You have to play that card while you’re still sitting at the table. Butler (and maybe also Gray in a couple months) could have the impact that Gerrit Cole had in leading Pittsburgh to the playoffs after he was called up in early June last year.

If Morales makes another start, you’re insulting every player on the team and sending a horrible message to your fans. So call up Matzek right away and be very, very ready to pull the trigger on Butler.

But the biggest problem the Rockies have might not have much to do with the Rockies. The Giants never lose. They just win… like, every game. They have baseball’s best record and are 17 games over .500. Their hot streak coupled with a Rockies’ 2-7 road trip means the Rockies are very suddenly 8 1/2 games out of first place. If that getaway day game doesn’t get suspended and the Rockies win, Colorado would have been two games back. That’s a very dramatic turn in less than two weeks.

Being 8 1/2 back on June 3rd is not a desirable position, but it’s not a death sentence either. I remain convinced the Giants will come crashing back to earth in a big way. (Statistically, they are incredibly lucky.) So all things considered I’m not ready to quit on this club. June is the time to make a move, with 16 of the next 27 games at home. Even after that stretch, the Rox will still have played 5 more road games than home games.

So the schedule has been pretty rough but if the Rox are as talented as I’m inclined to believe, things should improve now. Pretty much every team in baseball will go through a rough stretch involving a tough road trip. The response to that stretch is what’s important. The Rockies need to respond right now.

But really, let’s just be glad that damn road trip is over.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

Lance Stephenson tried really hard to get inside LeBron’s head in the Eastern Conference Finals. He made it into LeBron’s ear, but that’s about it.

via @cjzero

I’m not exactly a LeBron fan, but his reaction here is just perfect. Kills me every time.

And don’t worry! The ear-blowing was the most famous incident, but Game 6 provided us with two more great Stephenson GIFs.

Just slapping people in the face…

@_MarcusD_

Udonis Haslem wasn’t entertained and notified Stephenson, saying, “I’m going f*** you up. That’s Real.” (Sorry for the coarse language inside that tweet, I can’t change those letters to asterisks.)

Thanks for douchin’ it up, Lance.

Speaking of the NBA, a couple weeks ago I predicted the Spurs would beat the Heat for the title. I’ll stick with that. It’s hard to root for either team, but it should be an awfully entertaining series. The Spurs are a truly unbelievable organization. I have no idea how they keep doing this every year, and neither do you.

Stud of the week:

I don’t care what anybody says, that kid is a stud. He’s also now a rap star with his own version of the latest really popular and annoying song. I can’t decide if this video is horrible or awesome:

I guess I’ll go with awesome.

Which reminds me… I used to love the Spelling Bee. It generally came on unannounced sometime during my first week out of school, meaning daytime television was not yet depressing. Sleep in until about 10… Watch The Price Is Right… Flip to ESPN… Ohh look it’s that magical day when weird nerds take over the sports channel! I would sit on the couch on a beautiful summer day and watch those twitchy little homeschooled freaks for hours in awe of this certain population of the world I did not know existed. (Remember this seductress?) I still kind of don’t believe those kids are real people.

This was also pretty funny.

Tweet of the week:

Just in case you haven’t vomited yet today.

 

Vine(s) of the week:

This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

And here’s the fellas over at Purple Row using a Vine I made of a displeased Michael Cuddyer:

Apparently reading athletes’ lips as they cuss is an important theme this week.

And finally, I think somebody got into Daddy’s special water bottle.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. 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 know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Your Weeekly Roundup From The Sports World And Internet

Welcome to the 62nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I have a shortened post due to the holiday weekend. I was too busy eating burgers and steaks and drinking (lots and lots of) beer the past few days to be a productive blogger. Oh well. Let’s get into it…

We’re jumping straight into weekly departments.

Douche of the week:

Giant’s color commentator Mark Krukow accusing Troy Tulowitzki of cheating is as douchey as it gets. This story is now a week old, but it’s still annoying. Of course, it was longtime Giants’ broadcaster Jon Miller who accused the Rockies of cheating by switching out humidor balls with non-humidor balls a couple of summers back. And now we have another instance of someone on the Giants’ payroll publicly ringing a bell that can’t be unrung. Calling into question the integrity and reputation of an orginization and player should not be taken lightly. These guys seem to do it whenever the Rockies win a few games over the Giants.

What bugs me the most about all this is the way the Giants, their (mostly new) fans and broadcasters all act like they are suddenly God’s gift to the game of baseball because they won two World Series. They’re now as bad as Cardinals fans (and broadcasters) in thinking they are baseball royalty.

Obviously the easiest retort to these bizarre accusations is to bring up the size of Barry Bonds’ head. Miller and Krukow didn’t have much to say about that when Bonds was cheating his way to record-breaking seasons.

Everyone associated with the Giants is pretty much a douche bag.

Stud of the week:

Never let a foul ball interrupt a midgame snack. This super chill bro is how we should all aspire to catch a foul ball, complete with the Oh hey I got you this to the ladyfriend.

Tweet of the week: Dick Vitale’s Twitter account remains awesome because of stuff like this.

He’s the best, BABY.

Vine of the week:

You might need to watch this a few times before realizing what you’re looking at, and I’m not talking about Ian Desmond or his bat.

Gross, dude. That head-snap is no joke.

This is another pretty cool way to catch a foul ball. Not as cool as our snack-eating stud, but still worth a spot this week.

The end of this Lance Stephenson flop is just hilarious.

Check out this classic 5-6 putout:

And finally, we can all use more angry Charles Barkley in our lives.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. I should have more for you next week. See ya then.

***

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 @MitchDHahn.

How To Sneak In To Better Seats At Coors Field

Welcome to the 59th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the NFL Draft is approaching quickly, which means people will finally stop talking about the freaking NFL Draft. I hope. I honestly think people analyze the Draft more than Super Bowl. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Anyway, I’m in baseball mode these days and I’m here to impart some wisdom. Let’s get into it…

Coors Field is awesome. But don’t sit in the third level like a loser. (Getty Images)

If you sit in the third level at Coors Field, you’re doing it wrong and you’re a chump. Similarly, if you’re paying face value for tickets in the first level, you’re doing it wrong and you’re a chump.

Sneaking into good seats at Coors Field has been a Colorado summer tradition since 1995. My personal battle with the mostly-elderly, purple-clad ushers has been well-documented among my fellow attendees and generated plenty of useful experience.

Illegitimately sitting in the first level used to be quite a bit easier than it is today. Something changed in the mentality of the ushers around 2007. For some reason attendence went up around that time and the higher-ups at Coors decided you should have to pay good money to sit in good seats. I disagree with that philosophy. Lucky for you, the most experienced of sneakers-down (I’m going to use that term a lot) is opening up and sharing his complex secrets with the rest of the world.

So buy some cheap tickets and follow this guide on how to watch some Major League Baseball from legit seats in the nation’s most beautiful stadium.

Before diving into specific strategies, let’s discuss some general rules of thumb. These are important.

  1. Only attempt to sneak down if you are with a small group. I’d say the maximum number of sneakers-down is three, maybe four if you’re all experienced. (Even then, I’d go one or two at a time). If you’re celebrating some drunk girl’s birthday with nine other people, you’re probably out of luck. Head up to the Party Deck or Rockpile. It’s not like those drunk girls care about the game anyway; it’s your fault for attending with them.
  2. Be realistic. Only expert level sneakers-down should even attempt to sit in the sections behind home plate or the dugouts. The ushers posted up at these sections take their jobs way, way too seriously. I’ve seen old ladies grab dudes by the back of their shirt. These seats are occuppied by season-ticket holders that give the ushers hugs and show them pictures of their grandkids. It’s a whole different world back here. Similarly, you shouldn’t really try to sneak down at certain games. Don’t bother for any of the 2014 playoff games or other sellouts. Too crowded. You can pull it off with big crowds, but attempting during an actual sellout is a little too ambitious.
  3. Be aggressive and put the pressure on the usher. Like rounding third with two outs, sometimes you need to force the defense to make a play. Never make eye contact. Keep  your head down. Move quickly. It’s also a good strategy to have your hands full so retreiving your ticket out of your pocket seems like an unnecessary hassle for everyone involved. You want to see my ticket? Okay, but I’ll have to hang up on this person I’m pretending to talk to and hold my beer in my mouth and you have to take my other beer and this hot dog.
  4. Don’t be too afraid to get caught and have a back up plan. If I get asked for a ticket when trying to enter a section, I generally say something along the lines of Oh yeah my buddy/mom/dad/whoever has mine they should be coming over soon. Then I stand there with a quizical look on my face scanning the fans for my pretend companion before slowly drifting back into the concourse crowd like Shoeless Joe in a cornfield. The usher leaves the park that night gazing at the moon and wondering if I even existed at all. Now, if I’m already seated and an usher comes to give me the boot I usuallly hand him or her my $4 Rockpile ticket with confidence and annoyance as if to say Yeah old man, I know what I’m doing. Here’s my ticket. I usually get quite a kick out of the usher shaking his head, turning and pointing across the stadium at the Rockpile. What? You mean this four dollar ticket doesn’t grant me access to this 2nd row aisle seat? Oh. I’m sorry. Honest mistake.
  5. Be prepared to be stuck at your seats. If you’re content with your seats and don’t feel like bouncing around different sections, you’re not going to want to go to the bathroom every couple innings unless you’re confident in your re-entry abilities.

Okay, now you’ve got a feel for the methodology of the situation. Let’s talk about a few of my favorite specific strategies.

IMG_2892.JPG

Don’t be fooled. This is the face of the enemy. (Found that very random picture here.)

  1. “The Piggyback.”  This is probably the most effective method I have for you. At the end of every half inning as the crowd files in, there will be a pile-up of people waiting at the top of each section while the usher waits for an at-bat to end. This is a dream come true for sneakers-down like you and me. It’s pretty simple:  Smush yourself into the crowd away from the usher and merge down unnoticed as he or she checks the others’ tickets. In the right situation, it’s nearly impossible for an usher to actually check the legitimacy of each person’s ticket. Again, it helps to keep your hands full. And keep your head down without eye contact. Sometimes I flash the back of my ticket at the usher, but that’s mostly for my own entertainment.
  2. “The Bolt.”  This is the ballsiest (cool word!) of all my methods. Attentively wander the concourse near the ushers’ posts. Keep an eye on each point of entry and be ready to make a dash at a moment’s notice. If an usher engages a fan in a friendly conversation or is grabbing a less fortunate sneaker-down or is getting really into the Tooth Trot or is just like eighty years old and out of it… BOOM, down you go. You have to be quick and fairly nimble to pull this one off, especially if you’re holding two full beers. And you have to keep moving. Linger around a single usher for more than an at-bat and you’re on their radar for the rest of the night.  This strategy is tough for more than one or two people to execute, but a few highly-experienced sneakers-down can get it done.
  3. “The Friendly Usher.” A few years ago this dude out on the pavalion would wander his aisle spraying fans with water from a squirt bottle every half inning on warm days and nights. He was the best. I must have sat in his section 10 times that summer. I’ve also heard rumors of people simply asking the usher very nicely if they could sit in their section (what a concept!) but I cannot verify the legitimacy of these rumors. These kind of things seem to be increasingly rare, but if you can find a lucky spot or get to know the tendencies of a particular usher, you might as well take advantage.
  4. “The Shift.” This method is used for improving your seats once you’ve already snuck down. It’s also fairly simple, but can really improve your vantage point. After each half-inning (or pitching change) get up and move down a few rows and over a section or two. Some of the more self-important ushers will be keeping an eye on this from their post atop the stairs, so you’ll want to blend in with the crowd. Again, this won’t work for highly-attended games and sometimes you might have to jump up or down a row of seats to avoid annoying the entire first level, but when executed correctly can move you from the foul pole to behind the dugout. Seriously.

So baseball fans, I hope you’re able to use such important advice in the near future. Never let the ushers win. If you know of any other strategies I’m neglecting, hit up the comment section.

On to the weekly departments…

Tweets of the week: (Hopefully you have noticed what Troy Tulowitzki is up to.)

(Those numbers went up after last night’s performance.)

(The mathematical impossibility of the last one means he’s joking.)

For me, the bottom line with all of this is as follows:  If Tulo stays healthy, the Rockies have a shot to make the playoffs.

Stud of the week:

We’ll go with Damian Lillard because of this moment. A walk-off SERIES WINNER! (And perhpas the best Vine ever.)

 

Wes Welker handing out hundred dollar bills from a giant stack of cash at the Kentucky Derby is also studly, mostly because of this picture, in which he is dressed like a munchkin:

For The Win

Douche of the week:

A new (very) douchey picture of Tom Brady surfaced this week, so that’s exciting!

Picture of the week:

This dude picking up hats on the ice is enjoying some of the perks of his fun job.

Getty Images, The Big Lead

And some other stuff, starting with this poor guy:

If I had any of my embarrassing moments with the ladies immortalized in GIF form, I would never surface again, Bartman-style.

This made me laugh.

Here’s a video of a dog. You people really like dogs.

And finally, she probably said yes once the segment ended.

That guy is a real-life version of Andy from Parks and Recreation. And he’s awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Somebody tell me when the four Colorado State players get drafted, because I will be watching something else, like actual sports probably. 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 know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

The Avs Go Seven; The Rox Are Hot

Welcome to the 58th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I have a bit of a lighter post for the second straight week because I write these on Monday nights and for the second straight week the Avalanche are in an intense playoff game on Monday night. It’s awfully difficult to put one of these together with one and a half eyes on the TV screen. (Update: I worked on this instead of working at my job today… Not that short afterall!)

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Aaaaand it looks like Denver will host a Game Seven tomorrow night at The Can. Game Sevens are a lot of fun. But only if your team wins. If I’m in Vegas, I’m not betting on a Game Seven because there is an element of unpredictability involved. One random bounce can end a teams’ season.

But I do think the Avalanche have a lot going in their favor.

  • They’re at home.
  • They have the better goalie.
  • Matt Duchene did not look limited at all in Game Six. In fact, he played more than Roy said he would and looked pretty sharp. Duchene is possibly the Avs’ best player and he will make an impact tomorrow night after knocking some rust off on Monday.
  • They’re not afraid to rest their genitalia atop various eating surfaces.

So I’ll pick the Avs … But who the hell knows?

I have a feeling it will be intense, entertaining, and a whole lot of fun. If you have a couple free tickets, feel free to throw them my way.

We also can’t forget about the awesomeness of Saturday night, when the Avs pulled off a trademark “Cardiac Kids” victory again, scoring another goal after the goalie had been pulled and winning again in overtime.

And again, you need to listen to the calls from Mark Moser, the Altitude radio guy. Here is the game-tyer. And here is the winner. I think he enjoys his job.

Don’t look now, but the Rockies have won nine of their last 13 games and sit just a half game back of the Giants for first place in the NL West. As we all know, strong starts from the Rockies can fade quickly, but I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s okay to get little optimistic about this team as April turns to May. That’s part of the fun of the long marathon of a baseball season.

The past week was an encouraging one for the Rockies. They went 4-2 against the Dodgers and Giants– the two teams that have killed the Rockies’ seasons the past few years. Winning the series in Los Angeles could turn into a huge statement if the Rockies continue to play well.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the Rockies’ April:  Things have not gone all that well. They have managed to pull off this impressive start with their best starting pitcher (Chacin) on the DL and their third best starter (Chatwood) missing a few starts, and their main offseason acquisition (Anderson) going down and their most reliable position player (Cuddyer) hitting the DL and uncharacteristic struggles from perhaps their best player (Gonzalez) and another of their best starters (De La Rosa) and two of their supposed better relievers (Belisle and Brothers).

That’s a lot to overcome.

But the rest of the roster has exceeded expectations. Tulowitzki and Blackmon (more on him later) are both Player-of-the-Month candidates. Morneau has been incredible. Arenado has improved. Jordan Lyles and Franklin Morales have turned in a number of quality starts out of the blue. Ottavino has been blowing people away with his slider (which is fun as hell to watch).

If nothing else, you should be watching this team just because of the defense of Tulowitzki and Arenado on the left side. They are just ridiculous. Arenado might have been the difference in both the wins in Los Angeles with run-saving plays like this one:

So proceed with cautious optimism, Rockies fans. Yes there’s 135 games left, but allow yourself to be optimistic. It’s okay.

Stud of the week:

Charlie Blackmon’s beard. (And Charlie Blackmon too I guess.) If there wasn’t 135 more games left in the season, Blackmon would probably be your National League MVP. Coming into Monday’s game, he led the National League in Slugging Percentage, On Base Percentage, OPS (obviously), Offensive WAR, Hits, Runs Scored, and is second in total bases. He’s been very good defensively too.

Coming into the year, center field was a major question mark for the Rockies. So was finding a lead off hitter. Blackmon has put those concerns to rest in a way that has far exceeded the expectations of literally everyone in the world. With Michael Cuddyer going on the DL and Carlos Gonzalez struggling, Blackmon’s performance has been beyond essential to the Rockies solid start.

He also has a sweet Twitter handle @Chuck_Nazty. So there’s that.

Blackmon is starting to get a little love nationally with articles on Grantland and Fox Sports this week.

Douche of the week:

Donald Sterling in a no-brainer. I don’t have much to add to this story. It won’t be going away any time soon. The best things I read on the topic were this scathing takedown by Dave D’Alessandro of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s strong take for Time.

Tweet of the week:

The ugly Donald Sterling thing created this scene in Oakland, which was pretty funny.

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And we actually have another stud in Dani Alves. I guess he is a Brazilian soccer player, presumably in some kind of soccer league somewhere. Anyway, Donald Sterling is not the only racist person in the world and some enlightened hooligan threw a banana at Alves. His reaction was pretty much gold.

Maybe he just needed some potassium. Or maybe that’s the best possible way of saying “I don’t care about you ignorant idiots.”

A few links I enjoyed from the last week:

Dr. Jack Ramsey died Sunday night. On Monday morning his son published this touching piece on ESPN.com. It’s worth your time.

Jason King of Bleacher Report: “Remembering Lacey Holsworth: How 8-Year-Old with Cancer Captured America’s Heart”. Unbelievable story in so many ways.

These interactive maps on the borders for baseball fandom are interesting and enjoyable.

I’ve often said that in another life I was destined to be a guy waiving a towel on a basketball team’s bench. So I found this goofy video to be particularly entertaining.

This bit from Fallon aired last night. It is simply brilliant.

(This was updated Tuesday night. I originally posted the boring interview segment of Cano on Fallon. My bad.)

Carlos Gomez is generally kind of a douche, but this was a cute moment.

And finally, graduation season is approaching fast. I’m all about doing awesome stuff to bring attention to yourself when leaving the stage. This guy’s super-awesome backflip is right on the money.

Nailed it!

Happy Tuesday everybody. Enjoy Game 7 tomorrow night. Put your balls on a table for me. Thanks for reading. 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 know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.