First, as much as I moan and groan about the Rockies, they really do a fantastic job and this year's Fan Fest highlighted all that makes being a Rox fan worthwhile. I missed last year's event so I was really excited about this year. I didn't really know what to expect and I was somewhat confused by the ticketing process as you had to sign up for specific times but you couldn't sign up for everything in certain blocks. Hard to explain but getting the tickets was the hardest part and my only complaint.
As I have two kids I went for the autographs. I bought two mint baseball (they cost $17.99! who knew?) and told the kids to have at it. As soon as we got to the club level four rookies greeted us including Tyler Anderson, Delta Cleary, Tyler Matzek, and Tim Wheeler. The entire lower and upper clubhouse levels were open with things going on everywhere. I had signed up for the first autograph session and while they kept these sessions hush, hush, we ended with autographs from Tulo and Tommy Field. Not for sure I like the Tulo haircut, come on where is the mullet?
|Buzz Cut Tulo|
Next up was the Executive Board. Again after last's week ripping of management I thought it would be only fair to hear what they had to say. And again instead of shaking my head in disgust, I find that the Rox have some good people in place. O'Dowd was asked questions about fly ball pitchers and second base and answered them with not only baseball mantras but also in some sabermetric terms indicating that he knows a lot more than what I gave him credit for. His assistance GM is also well spoken and it would be nice to keep him around too (I believe he interviewed for the Astros job...we have lost some good folks over the years). Over all I am impressed and perhaps my frustrations are the same that O'Dowd has too. Player evaluation is a lot of luck especially when you have to rely on it to build a team. During this session they also brought De La Rosa and Nicasio on stage. Both appear in good spirits and god willing will pitch this year. Amazing especially for Nicasio. One tidbit of interest was that De La Rosa indicated he had elbow pain in his last 10 starts leading to his actual injury. Fine line of knowing when to pitch and when not to when feeling pain.
After the talk we did the family thing and saw the Rockies Family Feud. Cuddyer and EY Jr faced off against Colvin and Brothers. Colvin's team smoked the competition. Cuddyer reminds me of Mark Grace for some reason. While in the basement, we then visited the Rockies Clubhouse. A first for me and what a sight. Todd's space is like an apartment. Tulo is Mister Shoe and is it weird to have a Jeter plaque at your locker? CarGo has a soccer ball (Rapids anyone?).
Finally ended the day getting CarGo's and Tyler Colvin's autograph. I applaud the Rox for doing this. The rise of payrolls over the years has probably made access to players and teams difficult. Getting a chance to meet them makes them seem more real. I thank the players for taking time as you could tell they probably wanted to be somewhere else. Thanks!
In closing I love this picture and sort of miss the days of big homeruns!
And look at that NL Lineup from the All Star Game in Colorado:
Biggio, Gwynn, McGwire, Bonds, Piazza, C. Jones, Walker (in Center no less!), Weiss, and Maddux. Without steroid issue you are looking at 7 Hall of Famers in that line up.