Spring Training in Arizona.
For some of us, there is no regular season without a trip south just to check things out.
Knowing that sometime in March I’ll be traipsing through the backfield at some team’s facility scouring for baseballs or innocently(wink wink) wandering into a restricted area fill my winter time thoughts.
I know it will be warm and I’ll be wearing shorts, sunglasses and sport’n my trademark Ranter hat.
Plus Arizona has In and Out Burger joints :)…Yeah!
Daydreaming about spring training is what gets me through the Colorado winter. I know for a fact I’m not the only one who daydreams about the southwest sun and cacti.
Rantics, I see your FACEBOOK posts 🙂
Spring Training for the players is intense at times but for me it’s how I decompress from life. I’ve stopped setting goals for myself and I plan to focus on having a good time. Setting goals creates pressure and as I just mentioned that’s not what I’m shooting for. The goal if any is to relax, have fun, hang with baseball friends, make some new friends, catch some baseballs, watch 3 World Baseball Classic games, wander the back fields of random spring training facilities, and take LOTS of pictures.
Then tell you all about it because that’s what the Number #1 Rockies MLBlogger for the last 6 years does 🙂
As far as autographs go I plan to bring some of my pictures along and hopefully get a few of my favorites signed. I have no idea of what to get autographed at the WBC??
Maybe a WBC bat or jersey?
I feel like I crank out some of my best blogs during Spring Training. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m relaxed or because I’m more focused by not being distracted by my normal routine?
I guess stuff is just more fun to write about when you had a blast doing it.
Same as last year I’ll be hang’n with my partner in crime the Rox Addict and there’s usually never a dull moment with us two exploring a ballpark or a restricted area 🙂
We’re sort of a Dynamic Rockies Blogging Duo of sorts.
This year will be my 6th year attending Spring Training in Arizona. So in tribute to that here are some links and a few pictures from my Spring Training adventures in years past.
The Mobile Blogging Unit and Hi Corbett Field. I loved that place.(2009).
Rockies win that first game in the new stadium 8-7.
Next Time Put Up a Sign (2012)
Mike the Rox Addicts first game ball: (2012)…He Snagged the ball Green hat and all
I figured out why I chase baseballs.
As a kid some of my fondest memories were going to hockey games with my pops. We had a local farm team and my thing was I liked to try and snag a puck or two when I was there. This was way before they used nets and pucks would often fly into the stands and kids would scramble for them. I guess chasing baseballs takes me back to a happy place in my childhood.
We all need something like that.
I’m “D” the Ranter
Spring Training brings out the kid in me. Six weeks till I get to play.
See you kids down there 🙂
On my drive into the city this morning I was staring at a beaufiful orange Colorado sunrise and I was thinking about how much things can change from the beginning of a season to the end of it.
For me this season started with the loss of Tom Helmer as part of the Poot Warts team. That one decision probably affected my season more than anything else. For a lot of us Helmer was the face of the Rockies, much more so than Tulowitzki.
Poot Warts claimed they were about the fan..Helmer was our connection to Poot Warts.
Helmer was all about the fans because he himself is a passionate fan who would often let is show.
For the record I have no issues with the rest of the Poot Warts team. In fact they’re a solid group of individuals who I feel for the most part do a bang-up job. Marc Stout “gets it” in my opinion. He’s approachable and he’s close with his fan base.
I’ve never been Anti-Joel Klatt, just extremely Pro-Helmer.
Joel graciously offered to hold my “Bring Back Helmer” sign when we did our protest pre-game at the Rockies last home game of the season. When I actually called Joel on it he said “No” and was kind of a Dick about it but I realize the situation was slightly uncomfortable and I figured I’d give him a break on his attitude because deep down I’m a softie 🙂
I don’t think anyone could have predicted how different this team would look in September or how bad the Rockies record would be. I remember back in March wandering the practice fields at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick full of enthusiasm and optimism.
Recently I wandered around Coors Field the last game of this season full of frustration and confusion. I along with many other Rockies fans have no idea where the Rockies will go from here?
Never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine this would be the worst Rockies season ever.
I’m no baseball genius. I’m just a fan with a cam who really likes to catch baseballs and feel like I’m part of something by sharing my experiences via my blog.
This season I watched the Rox Addict’s MLBlog develop into something special. Mike has a serious passion for baseball and it reflects in his pictures and his writing enthusiasm. Mike scores every game, takes pictures, writes a blog and attends a lot more games than I. Plus Mike’s a Top 50 MLBlogger.
Mike’s fortunate, he has a pretty liberal work schedule, he’ll be the first to admit it :).
In addition to the Rox Addict we now have another Rockies MLBLogger. I’ve known Amy for several years and she writes a blog called “The Take from Blake”. Amy hasn’t cracked the top 50 yet but she has interactions with players that make this”Old Skool Blogger” kinda jealous.
It’s fun having other Rockies bloggers around. We’re all tight and hook each other up when we can with our limited resources.
Other than the Purple Row which to me is the “Holy Grail” of Rockies blogs, I can’t think of any Rockies blogs that have been around as long as the Rockpile Rant 🙂
FYI The “Rockpile Rant” has been a Top 10 MLBlog for over 4 years now.
I normally take my spring training trip each year by myself.
In March this year Mike and I headed south for a 11 day spring training trip to Phoenix. Mike’s a great road trip buddy. It’s not easy spending 11 days with someone (most of it camping), driving all over Phoenix area at a frantic pace in search of baseball adventures to blog about.
Mike and I managed to keep it cool and gave each other space as we needed it. When the trip was over we both had a great time and were still friends and plan to do it again.
I’d say that’s a pretty good trip.
I’d say this was probably my worst year for autographs. I just don’t have the patience or drive anymore to stand outside as the players drive up or wait against the wall as the guys warm-up.
I enjoy the company, just don’t like the rejection I figure. As far as snagg’n stats this season, I snagged 29 batting practice baseballs in 25 games ending my season 3 baseballs short of 200 for my career.
Yes I’m still chasing my first ever regular season home run ball. All I can say is I have shit luck and maybe next year will be my year?
In conclusion I’d like to thank Dan, Mike, Joy, Marianne, Amy, Jersey Geoff, Gary X, Douglas, Robert, Queen Geri, Eric, Danny and Nettie, Randy, Scott, Tom Helmer, Bob the Usher, Barb the Usher, Mary the Usher, Brad the Usher, Dave, Mikey, Stout, Todd C and Family, Eric Young Jr, Jamie Moyer, Chris Nelson, Captain Earthman, and the Rockpile Usher with the beard(sorry bud can’t believe I forgot your name) and all of the:
For directly influencing my Rockies season in a positive way.
To the smelly old son of a bitch that kept sitt’n his stanky ass in my seat perforating the fabric with his body funk…You got yours buddy 🙂
If I forgot ya, doesn’t me I dont’ care…Just means I’m old.
Props to the Rockies for letting us run the bases at the last home game of the season. I’ve never done that before and it was fun.
Rumor is next year the Rockies will have 10 bobble head games? Have I mentioned I like bobble heads?
I’m “D” the Ranter…The Rockies #1 MLBlogger.
Old Skool…But still as cool as the other side of the pillow…”D”
Giants vs Rockies Game 1
Ahh, baseball at Coors Field.
There used to be time when I looked forward to a good baseball game. Now I just hope for a killer sunset so I’ll have some cool pictures to share the next morning.
Rockies batting practice was weird. The players in the outfield were quiet, and seemed unenthusiastic. Their demeanor reflected more of what you would expect had the Rockies lost the previous night.
The Duece was on the field out taking BP and decorated the pavilion with about a half a dozen baseballs.
Speaking of the ole’ 1 + 1…If you enjoy a good laugh at the Duece’s expense…You’ll dig this.
Need more…Click here:
I managed to snag a pretty cool ground rule double during BP. The Giants #99 bobbled a catch close to the outfield wall, The ball tipped off his glove, bounced and I quickly scooped it up. I then found a young Rockies fan and shared the wealth cause that’s how Rantics roll.
I looked at the Giants Roster but couldn’t figure out who # 99 is?
The Rockies suck with or without uncharismatic “Duece”. I must admit, it’s kinda nice not hearing that annoying Tulo chant 4 or 5 times a game. Plus now we don’t have to watch the Duece blow another clutch opportunity, at least for the rest of this season.
Pitching…Can’t even go there…Just f’kn abysmal.
Dex is the man!!
Below is one of the many reasons I habitate in Colorado.
Mike the Rox Addict and Scott…Cool hang’n with ya tonight.
Rockies lose to the Giants 16-4. That’s six of the last seven games lost.
I’m “D” the Ranter…
I love me some baseball, but lately three words keep ringing in my head.
Peyton F’kn Manning :)…Go Broncos!
Mariners vs Rockies Game 1
The Rockies first Interleague game of the season. Hang’n with me today was my buddy Eric. Eric is the guy I’m buying our house in Wondervu from.
Rockies batting practice was a total bust as per usual. Mariners was a bit more interesting but at the end of the day my ball count was still zero.
Mariners were hitting Dodger 50th Anniversary baseballs for BP??
A fellow MLBlogger named Todd Cook and his family(two sons and dad) were visiting Coors Field for the first time. They’re here to support the Mariners on their road trip, get a Coors field ice cream cap, and scratch another stadium off the adventure list.
Really nice folks and Todd writes an excellent blog called:
Here’s Todd and his youngest Keelen, with Hawaii Bob smiling in the background.
Todd’s dad during BP.
Seemed to me Todd had a good day snagg’n. Not sure what his final numbers were but he damn sure did Coors Field right.
Here’s Mike the Rox Addict showing you one more run than the Rockies actually scored tonight…LAME
Check out Mike’s new Jersey.
Dan and Emily
My buddy Eric, he’s a Red Sox fan…Go figure.
Here’s just a few pictures. I figure if the Rockies aren’t going to put forth much effort I won’t either.
This was the only happy Rockies fan I could find and she was way too happy.
This game was straight up boring.
I’m “D” the Ranter…C’mon Rockies…This is the Mariners…WTF??
Rockies vs Padres Game 2
Older than me and making history.
My buddy “B” went with me to this game. We showed up early for batting practice and I was rewarded with my first ball of the year.
A toss-up from Dexter Fowler…Thanks Dex!
I immediately gave that ball away for good luck because if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck in my life right now. I had totally spaced out that Jamie Moyer was the starting pitcher today and when I found out that made the game a lot more interesting.
I couldn’t help but smile for the first five innings. The more I learn about Jamie Moyer the more I really enjoy watching his style of pitch. Plus anytime you hear the words Rockies and winning pitcher, believe me that’s a good thing around here :).
Here are the game pictures I took today.
Rosario gets a double.
Cuddy scores off the double.
I think once you’re past 45 you should get an extra swing at least.
Smooth sailing to first.
Smooth sailing to second.
Strike three Dex.
Seriously…Are you kidding me? I think a tumbleweed race would be more exciting.
Racing Teeth is straight up embarrassing. I can say that because I’ve raced inside a Bud Light bottle before.
If you’ve never seen it…Here’s the blog entry:
Here’s three pictures of Helton’s slide home.
A little closer.
Umpire says safe.
It’s always cool when my pals come up to the Rockpile and hang for a while. The best view is up here 🙂
Rafael…The slowest of the Ninja Turtles.
Slow and steady wins the race this time, here’s the last swing of the game.
Rockies kept it together this time and helped Jamie get his record-breaking win.
You Da Man Jamie!!
I wish you many more wins as a Rockie…Sir!
Best picture I took all night.
I’m “D” The Ranter and now I have a ticket that needs the “Oldest Winning Pitcher’s” autograph on it…”D” 🙂
Rockies Opening Day at Coors Field
Giants vs Rockies
As it has for the last couple of seasons Opening Day starts off with breakfast at the 2oth Street Cafe with a small group of the Rantics.
Left to Right are Mike the Rox Addict, Gary X, Alannah X, Rick, Amy, Drugless Douglas and Jersey Geoff.
The only plan this morning was to try to get Dante Bichette’s autograph before heading into Coors Field for the first batting practice of the season.
Last time I saw Dante he was a bald, not today. Dante was signing autographs and promoting Maxx HD sunglasses.
Dante was cool as a former Bomber should be and was signing multiple items for everyone.
Dante signed a game rubbed baseball for me.
Maybe someday I’ll run into Larry Walker and Andres Gallaraga and I’ll be able to finish up my Blake Street Bomber autograph collection.
I didn’t know at the time but meeting Dante would be the highlight of this day.
Check out the Patio Ride…Yeah I’d rent it, but only if I run that sucker downhill 🙂
Lot’s of Rockies fans gett’n their drink on early on the rooftop.
Batting practice was a total bust. I’ve noticed at times when the Rockies hit really well during BP they hit well during the game. BP today was pitiful and I was hoping that wasn’t an indication of what the game was gonna be like.The pavillion pre-game was packed full of purple Rockies fans hoping to catch a souvenir.
Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen today. Your chances of getting beaned in the head by a stray foul ball were much better. Just ask the lady along the third base line celebrating her 69th birthday at Coors Field. She managed to snag a ball today, the one that cracked her skull.
That’s the first time I can remember seeing a fan hauled off from the field. Normally Paramedics would just carry them up the stairs.
I heard later that the elderly lady beaned in the head was recovering and was going to be ok. That’s cool, a happy ending and a helluva story for her to tell the grandkids.
Unfortunately a trend I’m not liking is continuing from last year. The Rockies ended their BP early thus depriving their fans of the only half-hour they get to watch their team take swings.C’mon Rockies, we wait in line in the hot sun so we can come inside and watch you take swings.
We’re allowed a measly half-hour to do this and you end practice 10-15 minutes early?
Listen, I’m not telling the Rockies what to do, I’m just giving them some insight into how fans think.
Graphmaster Gary X hold’n down the front row as per usual.
Mike the Rox Addict and Amy from “The Take from Blake”.
As an old buddy of mine used to say…That’s a crap-ton of balloons.
Matt Belisle giving us a wave.
The ceremonial first pitch times three.
Tulo was presented his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award from 2011.
Here are the game pictures I took.
First pitch of the game.
Sandoval homers and the Giants are up by 2 in the first inning.
Helton third out toss-up.
Tulo milliseconds before his first hit.
Chacin starting to crumble.
Amy and Jersey Geoff chill’n.
My favorite picture of the day and one of the hardest to get. Cargo breaking his bat with the ball in the picture.
Zito was straight up money today and the Giants embarrass the Rockies on their Home Opener 7-0.
After the beating was over Mike, Gary X, Alannah and I headed over to where the post-game show is broadcast. We said we would do the “Bring Back Helmer” chant and we did.
Here’s the first video. You can see us in the background.
In this video you can hear us chanting “Bring Back Helmer” in the background as the Cowboy is talking.
Here is where I walk up to the wall(you can see my hat) and told them:
“I supported you and you let Helmer go for no good reason, I supported you Root Sports. You ain’t about the fan, You aint about the fan.”
After I finished the cops that were standing there waved me on.
The best video of all was Allannah X. She was able to get close up and got out a “Bring Back Helmer. Nice job Alannah!
We did what we could for Tom Helmer. He’s a great guy and he deserved folks standing up for him for the gutless way Poot Warts let him go.
Hindsight being 20/20, a big ole’ sign would have done wonders 🙂
Let me state for the record, I like all of the rest of the broadcasters in the Poot Warts line-up although I haven’t watched Joel much as I’m boycotting the Post-Game going forward.
The protest had absolutely nothing to do with any of you, it was a protest against your employer. We were standing up and making a statement for a friend who was wronged by a company that claims to be about “The Fan”, but in reality doesn’t give a shit about “The Fan”, simple as that.
I’m “D” The Ranter and let me reiterate, meeting Dante Bichette was the highlight of this day, but it’s nice to know Rockies fans are taking Purple Mondays seriously 🙂
Go Rockies…You’re better than this…”D”
This isn’t the Rockies Opening Day Blog..This is the prelude to it.
I’ve got to tell you about a Denver Post photographer who was so rude she gets her own blog entry.
Rantics meet Helen Richardson, don’t let the smile fool you.
Helen is a photographer for the Denver Post and has the credentials to prove it. Helen’s mission today was to get 200 pictures of Joe Salazar’s mohawk no matter what the cost. If you’ve never seen Joe’s mohawk it’s a fregg’n thing of beauty.
Helen asked Joe if he wanted to be in the paper and the first six times Joe said “No”.
Before Helen had to actually beg Joe for the picture he caved in and let her take a picture of him standing in between three of Denver’s finest. Helen decided she needed to partially stand in my space to get the much desired picture of Joe’s mohawk.
Picture by a rude Helen Richardson of the Denver Post.
So I sat there as she popped off a few pictures. Being a photographer myself I had no issues about that. I was a bit upset that she was in my space and kind of disregarding that fact that it was MY space. After a minute or so of her still taking the same picture of Joe I stood up hoping to give her enough space to finish so I could get back to watching the game.
A minute later Helen was STILL taking pictures of Joe.
The entire time Helen was taking pictures of Joe she was oblivious to the fact that she was bothering me. She didn’t acknowledge my existance or ask if she could share my space. Finally after letting Helen’s “invasion of my privacy” wreck enough of my Opening Day experience I said “Ya Know a couple of pictures is cool, 200 pictures is douche baggery”.
Then she said “Excuse me am I bothering you?” I said “Yes you are, I’m trying to watch the game and take pictures and you’re in my space and have been for a while”.
At that point instead of realizing she had over stayed her welcome and politely leaving, she proceeded to verbally F’ck with me and tossed a few expletives my direction. Finally after enough of being harassed by someone who didn’t even pay for her ticket I stuck out my hand and said:
“Hi I’m D the Ranter and you just made the blog“.
She wouldnt’ shake my hand and just stared at me with a pissed off look on her face.
The look was followed by “Ewwww, are you going to put my picture in your blog?” belted out very sarcastically.
I said “Naa”.
At that point she still wouldn’t take the hint and leave so I got a pen from Mike and jotted the name down I that could see on her press credentials. When Helen noticed me doing that she proceeded to turn her credentials around so I couldn’t see them…
Too late Helen 🙂
I never mess with folks, especially when I’m at a Rockies game. All who know me know that I go to Coors Field to hang with the Rantics, take lots of pictures and cheer on my Rockies. Baseball is my escape from the real world and I’m there to relax, not get all bent out of shape.
I gave Helen plenty of time to do what she needed to do and she abused her “Press Pass” privilege by being a nuisance, not leaving soon enough and by verbally harassing me.
This is professional behavior? Denver Post do you agree? Rockies do you agree?
Helen here’s a tip, next time start off with “Excuse me could I stand here in your space and take a few pictures?”.
Asking is a good thing and is respectful to fans who actually PAY for their tickets and stand in those long lines to get inside the stadium.
Then take a FEW pictures and then get the hell out-of-the-way.
I purposely sit in the front row so I don’t block anyone with my body or my camera lens as I take my pictures. In my wildest dreams I had no idea I’d have to deal with an annoying Denver Post photographer blocking my view in the front row of the Rockpile of all places?
When Helen finally disappeared I asked Mike the Rox Addict who is a professional photographer if I had been in some way out of line with Helen. Mike said she was rude, unprofessional and had abused her media privileges. Good, glad to have confirmation that it wasn’t me.
Helen, here’s a few nuggets of wisdom from the Ranter free of charge.
Remember, it’s not about the picture you take, it’s more about the image you leave.
By the way, I only had to take one picture of Jeff’s mohawk.
Here it is:
You should know better than to mess with someone with RANTER on their jersey.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I may take your picture but I’ll damn sure leave you some elbow room.
Go Rockies!!…Helen, I changed my mind about posting your picture and by the way you and your attitude can…