Here are the next batch of pictures Robert sent me from Tucson.
Jorge throws a strike.
Iannetta at bat.
I’ve had enough cold, I’ve had enough snow, I’ve just had enough. Jack Frost can kiss my a-ss and take a long walk off a short plank.
I can’t tell you how much it sucks to have sweet dreams of baseball then waking up at 2:15 AM and driving the icy snowy mountain roads an hour to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live. I’m just extremely ready for some sunshine.
Ok, I’m gonna go a little deep here….
For some folks baseball is a nice way to spend an afternoon in the sunshine. Those people are easy to spot as they are the ones with seats behind home plate and spend the entire game texting their friends. No worries somebody has to buy the expensive seats right?
For others they follow baseball so they have something to talk about around the water cooler. That’s ok too, I like good baseball talk.
For some baseball is their life. For 6+ months a year most of the spring and summer is spent preparing for and attending games. Their baseball stadium becomes their second home. When their team is out of town their extra time is spent making signs, watching the games, checking stats, hitting the team forums, you know trying to stay in the loop.
These people are baseball lifers. These fans are what holds baseball together and enables the sport to continue to exist through all it’s ups, downs and player controversies.
Lifers are the reason baseball WILL flourish in the post-steroids era.
Baseball owners take note: Take care of your lifers. Throw them a bone whenever you can. You should consider lifers as “Messengers of the future of Baseball”.
Give them something good to say and they will spread the word. Case and point is my pops. Until last year he and my mom had never been to a professional baseball game. This year they attended a Rockies spring training game.
So that makes me think that maybe my passion for baseball rubbed off on them and that’s why they went to the game…You see, spreading the WORD.
Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and they were bored and wanted to kill a nice afternoon?
Coors field in the spring and summer definately feels like a second home to me. I can tell you that it bothers (just a little) when I’m not the first one inside the stadium.
I love that feeling of being the first one to enter the Pavilion. Completly empty ‘cept for one solitary Usher.
The first few minutes of an empty stadium are surreal. It’s exciting working my way over to my favorite spot in the bleachers. Knowing that any ball hit into the pavilion in the next few minutes will most likely end up in my glove, and then in some lucky kids hand.
When you are the first one into a stadium there is that moment when you see the players and they look over at you.
Thats when you smile and think to yourself ” Yep they know me and they know I’m here to support them” That’s a cool feeling. Acceptance and appreciation from your team all wrapped into one short moment.
Then again it could all be in my head….Either way it feels real so I’ll roll with it.
I’ll tell you a secret. There’s a reason I prefer my sports live. I don’t watch a lot of TV and I really have trouble watching baseball on TV. At times it’s way to boring and I feel like I’m wasting the day watching TV.
I prefer baseball on the radio when the Rockies are out of town or if I’m not at a game. I will however go online and watch the hi-light clips if I hear a play on the radio that sounded cool.
I still for the life of me can’t figure why the Rockpile Rant continues to hold onto a top ten spot. I mean look who holds the top spots. You’ve got an accomplished professional writer in Jane who writes “Confessions of a She-Fan” and has a couple of books. Red State Blue State has two writers and both are top-notch and feed off of each other.
Then there’s my fellow Ranter Julia. She’s a baseball lifer and she works MLBlogs like pro. She’s witty, funny, creative and the Red Sox biggest fan bar none.
In case you didn’t know it (I’m a fiddle player too, kidd’n), “The Happy Youngster” is my favorite MLBlogger. I’ll tell you why….As passionate as I am about blogg’n, snagg’n and tagg’n, Happy is me times two with a list of accomplishments to back it up. He’s a family man, a baseball lifer and has rised above a bunch of bull-sheet that happened to him last year and is a better person for it.
I enjoy reading Happy’s take on things as they are quite often similar to mine and he always “Tells it like it is”. I respect the hell out of that.
I can tell you which MLBlog will slide into the top ten if we ever have another “Latest Leaders List”. That would be another lifer known as the Rays Renegade. His blog is top notch and is filled with baseball history and written by guy who knows this sport inside and out. He’s an avid reader of other blogs and always has a bit of trivia or a kind comment to leave when he visits someone’s blog.
Guess what I’m saying is it is an honor to blog on this platform with such talent and fellow lifers. Each of us brings a different take on baseball to the masses and it’s fun to see who is willing to push the limits on what an MLBlogger can do.
Write On baseball freaks…Spread the Word
D..The Rockpile Ranter
3/17/10 HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY
FYI…As good as this video is… This is not my entry 🙂
Time for the Canadian to get back to work.
Thanks to Robert for the pix and thanks to “B” for the Tix.
Here’s a shot of a young fox we saw close to the house chill’n in the sun.
He was humble and seemed quite happy to be there.
“Q” attended Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, where he led the city of El Paso in home runs, RBI, and was elected to the Texas All-State shortstop. When he finished High School he received a scholarship to the University of Texas, Austin. While there he played second base, third base, and shortstop. In addition he appeared in two national championship games, winning one.
Quintanilla wasted no time as he was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round (33rd overall) of the 2003 Major Leage Baseball Draft. . In 2003, he played for Low-A Vancouver and High-A Modesto hitting .358 in 40 games.
He started 2004 with Modesto as the A’s 7th ranked prospect and after hitting .315 received a late-season promotion to Double-A Midland.
“Q” began 2005 with Midland as the A’s 8th ranked prospect and on July 15, he was traded along with Eric Byrnes to the Rockies for pitchers Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick.
The Rockies assigned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and promoted him to the majors in late July.
He made his debut on July 31 and went 1-3. In each of the next five seasons, Quintanilla would begin the season with Triple-A Colorado Springs and make his way to the majors.
“Q’s” highest batting average was .238 in 2008. As a Rockie he’s a career .220 hitter.
Dante Bichette, Ryan Spilborghs and Omar Quintanilla are the only players in Rockies franchise history to end a game of 12 or more innings with a home run (Bichette did it twice).
Quote from “Q” in 2009….”You never know and especially my role, the utility role, you never know when I’m going to be needed.”
On Feb 12, 2010 “Q” was invited back to attend Rockies Spring Training.
Props to you brotha and welcome back. You’ve got to admit “Q” lives a pretty good life as a Utility Man… 🙂
On a totally surprising and cool note I got a call from my pops today who informed me that he and my mom were in Tucson. I said “Whatcha doing there?” and he informed me that they were at Hi-Corbett watching the Rockies/Mariners game.
I was floored and jealous. After I hung up that got me to thinking. Robert is at that game too and he could take a picture of my parents for me. Sure enough I called Robert and asked him to do that for me and he said “Sure”.
So I may not be there representing in Tucson but you got the next best thing.
D..The Rockpile Ranter
Remember a few weeks back I did an entry about Robert Harmon and his girlfriend Bennie who rolled their VW Bus named “Jim Morrison” in New Mexico?
Here are a few pictures in case you missed it or forgot.
Not a pretty sight.
Both walked away virtually unharmed. “Jim” however was wee bit f’cked up. Once the bus was turned upright Robert was able to get “Jim” running and hobbled him back to Colorado…Amazing.
I visited Robert shortly before he left for Rockies Spring Training in Tucson and was amazed at how much better “Jim” looked. Most of the dents were banged out and he had replaced the windshield.
I received an email from Robert this morning that contained a few pictures from Tucson and more importantly Hi-Corbet Field and the Rockies.
Below is a shot of ‘Jim” looking all pretty. Well..Ok here’s a shot of “Jim” in front of Hi-Corbett Field. A testament to a well built automobile and a
cheap thrifty VW bus lover.
Props to Robert for making it out there and representing..And for sending these pictures for us to check out. With a little luck, I’ll have my VW bus ready to roll, by Spring Training 2011.
So as far as Spring Training goes if you’re a baseball fan it’s not how you get there it’s just that you get there.
If I was there yesterday I would have had to watch that painful 9-2 loss to the Giants who seem to have everybodys number lately…Go figure…The Giants…WTF?
I have an idea…Sort of a “Pitch Your Team” mini-commercial.
I mentioned in a blog entry a while back how I thought it would be a cool idea to let MLBloggers do little promotional spots on MLB TV to promote their team. You know what I mean…Those little 5-10 second clips where they say “I’m so and so and your watching such and such”.
MLBloggers could do the same thing..Like…Mine might be something like..”I’m D the Rockpile Ranter and this is Rockies Country“..I would never use something quite that dorky but you get what I’m saying.
Participants could do this clip however they wanted…and it would be judged here on the Rant by a voting poll inserted into an entry.
Or…Maybe someone from MLBlogs.com would be interested in judging the entries?
Time to let your team loyalty and personal creativity shine. There is absolutely no promises that MLB will/would ever use these video clips but you never know right?
Show the world and your Team what you’ve got. I’m gonna let this contest run for a while..At least until the All-Star Break. That way everyone will have time to get their ideas together and maybe shoot some footage from their favorite ballpark to include in the video clips.
I think it would be cool to have two contests.
One for MLBloggers and one for readers of the Rockpile Rant. The winners will each win an autographed ball and mini-bat from various Colorado Rockies.
Remember folks these do not have to be Rockies video clips.
YOUR VIDEO SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR TEAM.
Let me know if you’re interested in participating in Pitch Your Team.
I think this could be fun.
D..The Rockpile Ranter
Happy Youngster, you were right.
Maryvale Baseball Park where the Brewers do their spring training is the nicest baseball park I’ve seen this trip. The concessions are actually cheaper than anywhere else, and the outfield has grass that is perfect for snagging baseballs.
The gates opened 1 1/2 hours early and we were there early as usual.
No big surprises going through the gates. The Ushers were friendly and informative. With me today were Andy and my father-in-law Joe.
The crowd today was a little over 2000 and most people sat around home plate leaving the outfield unpopulated. Upon entering the stadium I immediately headed for the beautiful grassy outfield.
As I was fast-walking (running to hear Andy tell it), over to the outfield I saw two BP homers get smacked over to left field. I debated going over there, but for a change I decided I’d give the right side of the field a try. A wise move on my part, but I didn’t know that yet.
It wasn’t five minutes and I found myself chasing after two BP homers in a row. Neither of which I was able to catch. I slightly misjudged both and they sailed over my head by mere inches.
Both of my BP homers were snagged by teenagers standing directly above me in the grass. Both were great catches.
The first baseball I snagged was tossed to me by Dexter Fowler. Thank you Dexter, I didn’t even ask him for it.
The next three baseballs that came to right/center field were mine. I was able to snag two of them after they had bounced in the grass and were rolling.
My last BP homer I caught on the fly which is how I prefer to snag them 🙂
Total batting practice tally = 4 baseballs.
I did something today I’ve never done before. I was snaggin in bare feet. I had already slipped a few times with my sandals as the incline is a little steep. I removed them and the grass was cool and soft and gave a solid grip in bare feet.
Cheering for the oversize sausages had me wishing Hunter and Mylee were with me.
Check out the scoreboard. Don’t quote me, but I believe this lead was the only Rockies lead in the first seven games of spring training.
One of my goals was to Get Clint Hurdle to sign my Sports Illustrated 1978 issue with him on the cover. Andy and I had met up with Clint and Don Baylor outside Hi Corbett a few mornings ago and Clint told me he would sign later for me.
This was my last opportunity to snag Clint’s autograph during my vacation. I noticed Clint walking over to the outfield and when he was about 50 feet away I yelled “Clint you said the other morning that you would sign my magazine, do you have time now?
He immediatly walked over and autographed it for me. I had my opportunity to mention to Clint how much I enjoyed my time at Hi-Corbett how friendly he and all the Rockies have been to us. He said he was glad and they he/they were fond of Hi Corbett too.
So are you thinking that the Hurdle autograph on the Sports Illustrated was my holy grail?
Not even close, in the sixth inning I happened to be looking in another direction when I heard a loud crack. Just then my father-in-law Joe said “there’s one” I looked left and up, and spotted the baseball.
In nanoseconds I was up and off like a bat out of hell jumping over and clearing two dudes who were laying out. Then I ran down the hill past a lady who also was going for the home run ball and I scooped the ball up as I was sliding down the hill on the grass.
I have the grass burn to prove it and Andy and Joe as witnesses 🙂
I also hyper-extended my right arm as I slid down but it was worth it.
Injuries heal, I’ll be buried with that baseball.
2009 is mine.
Here it is folks, my first live home run ball hit by Daniel Ortmeier in the sixth inning at Maryvale Baseball Park.
This was Daniel’s first live home run as a Rockie. I’m proud it was this Rockie fan who snagged it. I’m also glad that my first live home run ball was from a Rockie, but in all honesty I wouldn’t have been choosy.
Guess what else happened at the bottom of the eighth inning?
Trot Nixon of the Brewers hit a right field homer and I missed it by inches. The ball bounced on the outfield wall edge, then bounced on the sidewalk and then landed in a bush three feet outside the ballpark fence.
Andy found a stick to try and poke it loose but it wouldn’t reach. Just then a couple were walking by and Andy took a chance and asked the guy if he would hand him the ball. The guy did and Andy snagged his first live home run ball.
All I can say is what a vacation. I did everything I wanted to do and then some.
I was able to see four Rockies home games, and this road game against the Brewers. Right now the Rockies are 0-5 for the games I’ve watched and 0-7 for the season.
The final score of this Rockies/Brewers game was Brewers 8, Rockies 6….Dammit
On Monday at the Rockies game I saw that some of the players were out signing so I walked over to the Rockies dugout. I saw an open spot and I squeezed into it. Once positioned I looked to my left and standing right beside me was Baby Paul and his dad Mark. I knew they were supposed to be at this game but up until that moment I hadn’t seen them.
Mark and I chatted and snagged a few autographs. I don’t know Mark that well but I can tell he’s a good guy. I was able to meet Marks’s wife and I believe it was Mark’s mother and father.
Super nice people and I was floored to find out that his mom is a regular reader of the Rant.
Baby Paul was a little bit grumpy when I met him but it was blistering hot that day and I didn’t blame him. Everyone was sunburnt, it was hot even for Tucson.
Just before we rolled out of Tucson I had met Baby Paul and family outside and they posed for a picture in front of the Mobile Blog Unit. How freggin cool is that?
I also got a phone call from Robert Harmon telling me he was arriving in Tucson with a VW bus running on 3 cylinders just as I was about an hour north of Tucson headed for Phoenix.
Thanks Mark, it was a pleasure to run into you again and an honor to meet your family.
That’s a wrap from the Rockpile Ranter’s Mobile Blog Unit and our Rockies Spring Training adventures. I will be writing a final spring training recap and I will be updating Rockpile Ranter’s Picture Blog over the next week with pictures and video that I haven’t used in my spring training blog entries.
Realizing there is only so much time in a day, and that a blogger can’t possibly cover everything. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could have done better?
Or what about things I should have our shouldn’t have done?
I love feedback and would REALLY value your opinions.
This was the best vacation of my life. I just want to mention that 99% of the Rockies were extremely kind to us and getting to meet Todd Helton and watching him autograph my bat and World Series baseball meant more to me than I can really put in words.
Let me just say, he is as cool in person as you would think he would be.Right now the Rockpile Rant is the # 1 Rockies snagging blog in the world 🙂 This blog has really taken a life of it’s own and matured into something that is fun and that I’m really proud of.
My thanks to all of you for taking a few minutes of your time to see the world through my eyes.
Your faithful Rockies Blogger…”D”…The one and only, very sunburnt Rockpile Ranter.
We arrived 6:45 AM at Hi Corbett field and as we were driving up to the stadium we saw Clint Hurdle and Don Baylor returning from their morning walk/jog. We parked real quick and ventured out to meet up them on the street.
Me with my 1978 Sports Illustrated magazine and Andy with an Inaugural Rockies program with Baylor’s picture on it.
Clint refused(he said to catch him later), but I was able to plug the Rockpile Rant with Clint listening and he thanked me for my support.
That was pretty cool. On a sour note, twice now Vinny Castilla has blown right by me and refused to sign. Today as I held the RPR banner out with twenty other Rockies autographs on it Vinny said to me again “I’m not a player man”. He wasn’t very nice about it either.
I might understand his refusal if I was one of those guys standing there with fifteen baseball cards and wanted him to sign each and every one of them(believe me I’ve seen that here).
But that wasn’t the case, I was standing in front of him with a hand drawn TEAM banner.
He deserves a full fledge Rant but I’m on vacation and that takes way too much energy.
So Vinny, keep your autograph. It means more to you than me.
NOTE: This blog was not created to slam individual players. However I am a reality blogger and when somone is in your face rude, that’s REAL to me.
Here’s a closer look. There are twenty autographs on this banner in this picture. I’ve added two more since I took the picture. Josh Fogg and Glendon Rusch.
In 40 minutes we’ll be heading over to the practice fields to see what kind of trouble we can get into…More later…D
I’m back from the practice fields. I was really lucky today.
Not only did I get 22 autographs on my banner this morning I managed to get 4 more autographs on my World Series ball. I had one baseball that Jason Hirsh signed in the wrong place so I decided to turn that baseball into a team baseball.
While I was watching batting practice in the practice fields, I decided to head out into the outfield and see if I could catch one of Helton’s BP homeruns. I was standing out there about maybe twenty minutes and then Helton hit one over to my area but it didn’t go over the fence.
Ian Stewart came over to pick it up and I asked if I could have it. He looked at me and said “Don’t worry he’ll hit one over. Not two minutes after he said that Helton hit two in a row to me.
One I caught on a bounce and one I snagged while it was still rolling.
My day gets better…After I snagged these two baseballs I headed over to get my ticket for the game. It was T-shirt day and I wanted to make sure I got one.
After I picked up my T-shirt and headed back to the practice fields to watch the rest of batting practice. When it was finished I saw my opportunity to get Todd Helton’s autograph on my bat and I took it.
Mission complete. I am now the proud owner of one Todd Helton autograped Big Stick bat and one Todd Helton World Series baseball.
Rockies vs Dodgers
This was the third pre-season Rockies game I have been to this season and it is the third loss I have witnessed. Here’s a breakdown of the hitters and I’m not even going to go into pitching.
Final Score: Dodgers 13 Rockies 5
Eric Young 0-4 with two errors.
Scott Podsednik 0-3.
Troy Tulowitzki 0-3.
On a bright note, Matt Murton went 2-3 with one run and Joe Koshanski 1-2 with one home run scored and two RBI.
Two more Rockies games while I’m down here. One more at Hi-Corbett and one against the Brewers at the Maryvale Baseball Stadium. I need to see a win. I’ve pretty much accomplished what I set out to do down here and it would be nice to drive home buzzing with a win.
It will happen, remember I’m a BELIEVER.
Are you ready for a picture show of epic proportions? I swear I could do this for a living.
All of the pitchers doing their morning warm-up stretches.
Some of the big hitters warming up, I like this picture.
I heard him say at batting practice after hitting a couple of nice hits “I got those but I couldn’t even hit a foul yesterday.” Big Sal (who’s also a blogger), Todd Helton and Ian Stewart.
Big Sal and Chris Iannetta.
Helton or as he’s known here “Sweet T” betcha didn’t know that.
Barmes about to scoop up a grounder. He has been extremely cool about signing stuff for me this trip. Thank you Clint. He hit really well today.
Taking a break.
Clint Barmes rubbing his bat.
It’s getting late and I haven’t even posted the game pictures that I took today. I’ll go ahead and do that tomorrow. I can’t let this entry end without letting you know how the Vinny Castilla thing turned out can I?
If you remember Vinny was a little rude this morning and tried to play me for a chump. It’s too bad because up until today I really liked Vinny Castilla.
As I was walking past Vinny’s Porche I saw something sticking in the window.
Sorry Vinny you can’t play the Ranter…Back atcha tomorrow…D
I’m killing some time until tomorrow morning when I’ll be back at Hi-Corbett. Here are some more pictures from yesterday. Enjoy…D
Garrett Atkins out there having a good time.
Helton and Hawpe at batting practice.
Some more pitcher pictures, say that three times fast.
Rockies catcher Michael McKenry.
Another Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.
Here is everything I’ve managed to get autographed this trip minus my Big Stick bat which currently has 16 autographs on it. I have one more black Big Stick bat and my plan is to get Todd Helton to sign it tomorrow. I’m not greedy so if it doesn’t happen I’m ok with that.
I attend a lot of games at Coors Field and I’ve never been able to get Todd’s autograph. I’m just never at the right place at the right time as far as he’s concerned. With other players I have been very fortunate.
If it’s ever going to happen twice (getting Helton’s autograph), this place (Hi Corbett), is the place to get it done.
Jorge De La Rosa signing my WS baseball.
I have to tell you about something I witnessed the other morning as Andy and I were hanging out in the parking lot of Hi-Corbett for the player meet and greet. We noticed that baseball card collectors actually whip out a whole page of cards and the players will usually sign most if not all of the cards on the page.
I watched Juan Morillo sign nine baseball cards for a collector. This collector had skills and has mastered the art of “player small talk”.
Here’s # 46 Ryan Mattheus pitcher signing my baseball.
I suck at “player small talk”, but it’s something I’m working on. It’s not that I get starstruck (except for Helton), it’s that I’m not great at initial small talk with anyone.
Give me five minutes and I’ll talk to you like I’ve known you for years. Don’t believe me, just ask anyone who’s known me for more than five minutes.