Tagged: Brad Hawpe

Being in the Cellar Aint’ So Stellar-With 120 In We’re Ready to Win

Day 120

Ah April.

 

MonthAprilWd.jpgWhat a month. You get excited because baseball is back and you remind yourself it is still early. Anyone can win and someone must always lose. If you are winning, you pinch yourself and say it will last all season. If you are losing, you punch yourself and hope to wake up from the dream.

I won’t be punching myself…yet.

Come to think of it. I don’t really care for April. I mean you may get winter weather, you may get summer. Snowstorms, rainstorms, bring a jacket, freeze or sweat your you know what off. It’s like a giant rollercoaster ride. I don’t think I even know any nice or pretty girls named April either. They’re usually unsightly and mean (sorry to all the Aprils who are opposite I have not met).

Some people disregard April in baseball, and although it is also said seasons can be won and lost in April, does anyone really know?

The Rockies are a stellar 8-12. What does that tell me? Does it mean the season is over because they have a losing record ending April? Can’t they come back in May or June even?

See that’s my point. April is well, like that boyfriend who won’t marry you and is afraid of committment for one reason or another..not that I know anything about that. It’s the start of something, but I really don’t place a lot of stock in the end of April records.

Take for instance the Rockies. If you are not looking closely at the team, you may think they suck. If you look a little closer you would see the Rockies have lost five games decided by a run. Turn those five loses into wins and the Rockies are 13-8. A huge difference. All of a sudden they are almost tied for the division if not leading it! Maybe tinker with the pitching and those five losses are avoided in May.

Players like Troy Tulowitzki are probably pretty happy April is ending. The starting
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 is batting a sweltering .200 and was benched for a “work day” this week to try and help him regain his swing at the plate. Does his April mean he should be benched in May and his position handed over? Absolutely not!

Can we assume Garrett Atkins with his team leading 77 at bats and underperforming .247 is a lost cause? No way!

But should we be careful in assuming say Brad Hawpe’s .328 will drop and slump? Maybe. There might be a slight drop off in production but the guy is a career .284 hitter so it could go either way.

I’d like to give Dexter Fowler the award for most stolen bases this season, but it would be ridiculous to do so because anything can happen.

So what do we do with April? Should we give the Cardinals the NL pennant because they are coming out of April 15-7? Probably not nor would we assume the second from last Mets will stay in the bottom of the east all year.

April is like that appetizer that just starts to get you filled up for the main course. If you got a great appetizer and you’re excited for the meal, awesome, but the meal could suck. And if you got a bad appetizer and are excited for the meal, great, because it could be stellar.

All I know is with 120 days in the Colorado fans are ready for some wins. You can be sure we’ll be rooting for May to go our way. And yes I am a poet and didn’t even know it…

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First Results Outstanding- Baseball Across America Looking Good

Day 99

Colorado

If I was a scientist, I would have to say the opening results for Baseball Across America are a smashing success. With each and every test, the results are in and you will get no complaints from this baseball fan.

Starting off, I would like to thank the X-factor of this experiment- some of the people of this country. Mainly Ari, Jimmy, Kyle and Nick (the quiet one) of Tempe Arizona who took a complete stranger in and couldn’t have been a nicer group of dudes to kill some down time with. If the future of America is in the hands of it’s youth, I look forward to seeing what the minds of this group bring about.

Arriving in Tempe, how I could I not love a group of music lovers? In their recessed living room you knew there was some serious jam sessions going on with guitars on stands and cords from mics and pedals taking up the floor. Keyboard, drums, tables these guys were more than guys strumming around with a guitar to impress chicks.

Bachelor pad extraordinaire, the big screen and the rumored three X-box 360s might have clued you in. It wasn’t the sweet Vespa Ari likes to cruise to the university for class or the idea of jumping in their pool out back that made the visit nice though.

 

DSCN0017.JPGThe varying personalities and the idea they would let someone, they had not known the prior day, crash in their pad was what made it great. Like many college students and hard working youth, they had their credo and it cracked me up but I couldn’t disagree and will keep their mantra safe.

DSCN0021.JPGThe guys took some “family” style photos at the studio and were awaiting the arrival before I left. I hope Ari sends me an autographed copy so I can chronicle the guys of the PTP household.

——————————————-THIS JUST IN——————————————-

There couldn’t have been better timing. After completing this blog I was suprised and happy to learn the photos were in. With no further ado I give you the PTP boys!

 

arifamily.jpgOutside of the kindness  of the PTP boys, the game of baseball was also a success. The Rockies managed to take two of three from the D’backs and my time at the ballpark was well spent.

The third game of the series found the Rockies pounding the snakes 9-2 but it also gave me a chance to really wrap up my initial thoughts of Chase Field and the Diamondbacks fan base as a whole. I am going to put all my opinions out there in a separate post so you don’t fall asleep reading this one with it’s length!

Before the game it was nice to really hone in on the experience and get my thoughts together before my drive back to Colorado. The Rockies Roadster had performed exceptionally well in getting me there and all the time and effort I put into it was rewarded.

The people I met had been great to that point and I couldn’t help but think of all the people I would continue to meet. I even managed to chat with a familiar face around the MLBlogs and the contributor to the first “Pro-edition” of Timeout at the Plate- Thomas Harding. Proud papa Harding was happy to say he was glad to be getting back to Denver after talking about recently taking a weekend off to see his son play lacrosse. I was glad to see the man getting back to his family because they were obviously important to him. But the man had to do his job so I snapped a quick pick getting a comment or two from Todd Helton.

 

DSC05854.JPGGetting ready for the game, I couldn’t help but laugh at Spillborghs taking the chalk bag before batting practice and throwing his hands up like Lebron James. It cracked me up. Good thing the skipper didn’t see it because he seemed in that serious coach like mood.

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Speaking of serious, Todd Helton would be sitting today as that is the plan of Clint Hurdle to get everyone on the team, even backups, some quality playing time. Walking over I wondered if he was itching to say something to the skip being the gamer he is and never wanting to sit.

 

DSC05839.JPGThere was some serious power behind some of the balls being hit into the stands and I was hoping this guy could add to the two homeruns he already had in his first two games. So Kylie here’s a picture for you as I know you think Tulo is so dreamy. He’s looking very good this season.

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I had not heard before the game the decision had been made to send starting pitcher Franklin Morales down to the minors to make room for the newbie from Tampa Bay. He pitched a pretty good game and I hope he has the opportunity to show himself again in the show. I was glad to be in attendance to see you get a win Morales and good luck in Colorado Springs.

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If you read my other two blogs from Phoenix, you know I was one of the few Rockies fans in attendance. I was actually pretty proud of that. I tapped a nice Yankee fan from Arizona to snap a quick pick of me before the game started.

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Sitting down, I saw something I have never seen before in any game I have ever been to. With the first pitch of the game Dexter Fowler hit a homerun. I stood up and started clapping not sure I had just seen what I’d seen. It was so quiet a pin could drop and I was trying to not be “that” fan. I knew I was in the visitors park and I was happy to clap and I think I let out a “holy crap” blast as I stood up, but I left it at that. The holy crap changed a bit in the text I immediately sent off to people!

Overall it was a great game and there were some great plays. “Hawper” made a great play to catch the ball and everyone around me wanted to pat me on the back like I had done it!

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The Rockies looked solid and I liked the idea of getting everyone some playing time to keep them fresh. I got to personally witness history watching a young Dexter Fowler take one to the house on the first pitch. I found some great food and I talked to a great D’back fan Calbert, who I will talk more about on Saturday when I do my breakdown of my impressions of the Diamondbacks.

I will let you know what to expect if you get to Chase Field, the good the bad and the ugly.

As for tomorrow, I am taking the parents to see opening day at Coors Field. Later that night I will be going to the Bruce Springsteen concert taking my mom as a gift. Right now, I’d have to say that despite all the obstacles, life if good. Thanks for dropping in and if you’re not already- let’s root, root ,root for the Rockies!

 

Photo credit – Tom Walsh all, minus self portrait and PTP family photo!