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
2-26-09 8:33 AM
Andy and I showed up early (6:30 AM) and were the first ones here. Yesterday we were the only ones here all morning and we didn’t go after the morning autographs. Today at around 7 am a group of autograph hunters showed up. Things were really slow at first and I had a few players turn me down.
Then Chris Frey showed up and was kind enough to sign for the group.
Next was # 23 pitcher Greg Smith.
Taylor Buchholz signed and was real friendly.
Here’s # 48 Jason Hirsh, he signed for me yesterday too, nice guy.I didnt get pictures of all the players who signed my bat. Sometimes taking pictures and chasing down players doesn’t work so well together. I can tell you I was hoping to get a few autographs on the bat today and I ended up with 16 signatures.
Garrett Atkins, Troy Tulowitzki, Omar Quintinilla, Carlos Gonzalez, Ian Stewart, Taylor Buchholz, Franklin Morales, Matt Murton, Greg Smith, Glendon Rusch, Ryan Spilborghs, Michael McKenry, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Miller and Steven Register. One I’m still trying to figure out.
Best two hours of autograph collecting in my life, un freggin believable. The Rockies are awesome for taking care of their fans.
I saw Todd Helton going in, I couldn’t catch him and he wasn’t signing this morning. Tomorrow morning I’m making a sign that says “Mr Helton I’ve been trying for 8 years to get your autograph, will you please sign my bat” I hope it works.
12:27 I’m back.
Look who I ran into.
You’ll never guess what he did for me.
I also obtained autographs from Brad Hawpe (whom I’ve never managed to get before) and Chris Iannetta, both on World Series balls. I’ll post all that later. Time to go watch game two agains the White Sox.
Oh, I got some video of Helton at batting practice and he was killing it. He hit farther than all the other players. He looks healthy and strong to me. Todd was cool to me when he signed my baseball. All I had time to say was “It’s an honor and thank you very much”.
What a day, and it’s not over. Finall, I snagged my favorite players autograph and watched him take BP ten feet away from me. I’m so glad I made this trip this year.
As I look out my window it’s about 20 degrees outside and it’s snowing. In my mind it’s 78 degrees with a few small clouds in the sky and I’m rubbing aloe vera on yesterday’s sunburn.
Hey, help me out here. You know how I’ve been doing the “This is not the Mobile Blog Unit” thing for the last six months. I’ve officially exhausted my source of wacky RV pictures.
So for fun, if you have a few spare minutes see if you can find an RV picture that I haven’t used yet, make it a good one and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to do a blog entry of everyone’s RV choices. Then at the end of it I’ll show you the REAL Mobile Blog Unit. If you send me a RV picture I’ve already used I’ll let you know.
If you read this blog and you’ve never commented before, here’s your chance to shine. This is a creative group here don’t let me down. Hit me with your best RV picture.
If you’d like, you can name your RV picture.
I ready y’all, fresh haircut and a beard trim. The final walk through of the MBU is complete all systems are go. I feel like I’m on the verge of something really special.
Despite being smart and incredibly good looking, I’m not a wealthy man. It’s taken me all year to save for this spring training blogging extravaganza and it has been on my mind since my drive back from spring training in Tucson last season.
How often does a guy get ten days off with no wife, kids or responsibilities to go watch baseball. I’ve spent my whole life living vicariously through other people.
For ten days you can live vicariously through me. Unlike television and water I’m still free.
Come along for the ride in the MBU, you get the couch and don’t try and use the bathroom when were rolling 🙂 …D
I haven’t written anything in a couple of days and it feels like an eternity.
Let me tell you the weather is beautiful and I’m working on a good tan.
A friend of mine Betsy has been working on www.rockpilerant.com. Right now It’s just a cover page that links back to this blog, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally up and accessible.
I would like a permanant page within that website that contains all of the “Rockies Fan Profiles”, maybe a page with videos and a baseball collection page which will get updated weekly as new items are acquired.
Props go out to Sue over at Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts for winning the first ever…
“Which Rockie Am I?”
Here is Sue pictured with announcer Harry Kalas.
Sue asked that I give props to Jen from Phillies Phollowers for taking this picture of Sue at last year’s Baseball 101 for women event.
Here are the facts I gave you from yesterday.
He played basketball in High School.
He’s a switch hitter.
Sue guessed Dexter Fowler. He attended Milton High School where he played basketball. He’s 6’5″ tall, and is a switch hitter.
Nice job and congratulations. I did make that one kind of easy :).
I’m going to continue on with the “Decide the Ride” suggestions and questions.
Next question is from Julia of Julia’s Rants . She’s the writer of the Number one fan blog here on MLBlogs.com:
“D — how about earliest memory about baseball. That “ah -ha!” moment when you knew you were hooked!.
Julia, I played team baseball when I was really young (7-11) and then only in gym class in Canada through my teens.
I always played first base because it sees a lot of action and I’m a bit of a show off when I’m good at something.
I love the feeling of making that really good play at first or scoring the game winning run.
Everyone loves being a hero, even if it’s only for a brief moment.
Zack Hample and the Rockies got me hooked on batting practice. If I can’t make BP I usually don’t make the game. Spend an hour at BP chasing baseballs hit by your favorite players and see if that doesn’t get you excited about seeing a baseball game.
I’ve said this before, batting practice is Zen for me. When I’m there I’m “In my Zone” and NOTHING else matters for that short period of time. Had I not read Hample’s words and lived vicariously through his blog, I may never have taken a chance and attended a Rockies BP.
Next suggestion is from my Pops in Arizona:
“How about writing about the insane salaries they pay. No wonder these guys get in so much trouble. Too much too fast. You and I are paying for all this when we buy the product of the sponsors”.
Your totally right Pops I can’t argue with that statement. What I can tell you is not every player makes the “Big Bucks”. For every player that signs a multi-million dollar contract, there are twenty other MLB players who make much less than a million.
Teams have farm systems that are full of young ball players trying to make it to the big leagues. Most players spend several years in the farm system honing their skills, hoping for that break, and working part-time jobs to supplement their income and support their families.
Other than that, I got nothing. Thanks for your comment dad 🙂
Which do you think is more detrimental to a team, paying certain players enormous salaries or trading players around like playing cards.
On a more fun note, what was your first car and what is your dream car?
Marianne, this one is short and sweet for me. In my opinion paying the enormous salaries is more detrimental to a team because when you lock in a player for more than a couple of years and it’s for big money, it limits your moves financially. In some instances it can cripple a team if say,..the player is injured or had surgery and can’t play? (That in no way was a slam on Todd Helton).
Helton can do no wrong here in the Rockpile Rant.
Trading players often isn’t a great move either. But here’s my take on that. Most players (key word being “most”) wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t professionals. By professional I mean they should be used to seeing players come and go.
King of Cali had a good question:
“If you were the GM of the Rockies what would you have done this off season?”
This is a touchy subject for me. On one hand I have a lot of ideas of what “should” have been done as I’m sure a lot of us do. But I don’t want to mention any names at this point because I’ll be standing in front of these guys in mere days asking them for an autograph.
K of C..You feel me on this one?
So lets just say, I was hoping for a big name pitcher and was willing to lose one as partial payment for another. Infielders, outfielders and coaching I’m ok with. A big name hitter would have been nice, but I’m anxious to get rolling with the players we have and see what we’ve got.
Thanks for your comment brotha..Matter of fact, thank all of you. The last time I told you that the Rant has been getting crazy page hits I moved one spot closer to first.
Well, the Rant’s been getting crazy hits again…I’m just saying…D
I breeze through life not trying to upset any more people than I make happy.
My point is this: Things are good with me right now, really good. This blog “The Rockpile Rant”, came in at number five. For months now I have managed to stay in the top ten. Thank you regular readers, Rockies fans and other bloggers.
I put a lot of work into my blog, (because I’m NOT a writer). If I was a writer this stuff would come a lot easier to me.
I’ll keep reading yours, you keep reading mine. Together we’ll all get smarter.
I’m friendly competitive sort of guy, but competitive nonetheless. I’m sure you’ve gathered that by now.
There are numerous ways to plug your blog and get page hits. Mark Newman has his J-Blog School up and running which is a wonderful thing..
HOWEVER, you can be the best writer in the world, but how will anyone know it if they don’t get to witness your amazing writing skills?
My ideas will be fresh and not a repeat of the same thing…because I’m cool like that.
Have I mentioned that I will have constantly updated material each day when the MBU is in Tucson?
That means that everytime you check-in with the Rant there will be something new there to see and read..all of it,… free to you.
I’m glad the Rockies avoided an arbitration hearing and locked in Garrett Atkins for another year. Congrats Garrett on snagging 7.05 million.
Just don’t forget to keep those RBI’s flowing.
It looks like the Rockies have added another outfielder to the mile high mix.
Say goodbye to Cory Wimberly (a Minor League infielder) and say hello to Matt Murton.
The Rockies acquired Matt from the Oakland A’s, before the A’s he was a Cub
Now we’ve got a whole bunch of outfielders and only three positions. Spring training is going to be everything I expect and then some.
Battle it out dudes,… that’s what it’s all about.