blogging Colorado Rockies baseball…

Eric Young

Inside the Humidor celebrates Black History Month…

First installment of a long overdue series, Inside the Humidor will take a look at past Colorado Rockies players that made an impact on the team, organization as well as the community. The obvious choice to start this off would of course be Don Baylor, but the Rockies website did an excellent piece on Baylor a few days ago, so I have decided to go elsewhere. So not only are we celebrating Black History Month by profiling some of the Rockies great African American players, we are also celebrating Rockies history and Colorado history at the same time. So join me in remembering some great players in Colorado Rockies history. To kick off this first installment I chose Eric Young Sr.

Eric Young affectionately known by the fans and media as E.Y., enjoyed a 15 year career in the majors. He spent 5 of those seasons with the Colorado Rockies(1993-1997). E.Y. was selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft of 1992 (11th pick) from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

E.Y. batted .295, 30, 227 in his five seasons with the Rockies, while drawing 254 walks and stealing 180 bases. 1996 saw Young having his best season not just as a Rockie, but of his career, stealing 53 bases and batting .324 with 74 RBIs and winning a Silver Slugger award and making the all-star team.

Eric Young will forever be remembered by Rockies fans as hitting the first ever homerun at then Mile High Stadium(1993) leading off the bottom of the first inning, in the teams first Major League home opener.

E.Y. retired in 2006 as a Colorado Rockie and is currently on the coaching staff of the Arizona Diamondbacks, for which we will forgive him.

Second part of the series will be up within a few days. Suggestions on who you would like to see?


Saying Goodbye…

Sunday night the Yankees and their fans said goodbye to Yankee Stadium as next season they move across the street to new Yankee Stadium. Sunday afternoon the Rockies and their fans said goodbye to Coors Field and to a season of great expectations that were hardly fulfilled. Sure the Rockies finish out their season as they started it, on the road and Sunday was the time when we as fans have said our final goodbyes. And based on the number of empty seats on Sunday some fans have already said their goodbyes long ago. So in attempt to bring closure to a season that wasn’t what it should have been, allow me to say goodbye on behalf of the fans.

Goodbye to the 2008 season, early on we basked (maybe too much) on the 2007 season and what transpired, a trip to baseball’s promised land, the World Series. We all relished in winning 21 out of 22 last season and in our heart of hearts we hoped the Rockies had it in them to do it again or something similar in their fight towards this seasons playoffs. I say goodbye to leadership lost. Hurdle failed to lead this years team in the same manner that he had last season. Todd Helton who is the leader of this team by measure of experience was lost in July to injury and up and coming leader, Troy Tulowitzki also failed to lead on the field as he had in 2007. I say goodbye to a bad pitching staff that seemed to only be held together by Aaron Cook and at times Ubaldo Jimenez. Goodbye to Brian Fuentes, literally and fuguratively. Say what you want about Brian but imagine how much worse this team would’ve been without him. It’s almost certain he will get a multi-year deal elsewhere and the Rockies will have to again rely on Manny Corpas next season. Goodbye to Eric Young’s previous team record of 53 stolen bases that was broken by Willy Taveras, who was exciting to watch this season. Goodbye to Livan Hernandez who was brought in to help bolster the starting rotation and it didnt happen. Goodbye to impatient at-bats, inning ending double plays, errors in the field and numerous trips to the mound by pitching coach Bob Apodaca. Very few times this season did the Rockies excel at all aspects of the game at the same time. And a final goodbye to the frustrations of the 2008 season overall as we turn the page to a new season in 2009.

Rockies…Down But Not Out…

It’s not often that you can say the Rockies had better roadtrip than homestand. Well it happened. Rockies were 6-4 on their previous roadtrip and finished this 10 game homestand 3-7 and are now 9 games out of first place in the NL West as they begin a 6 game roadtrip in Washington against the Nationals. With a little more than 6 weeks left in the regular season the Rockies still have a chance, albeit a slim one at the moment if the current lack of production continues to become more of a trend.

Willy Taveras is now tied with former Rockie, Eric Young for the team record in stolen bases in a season with 53. Taveras has said that his goal at the start of the season was 70. Congrats to Taveras on reaching it and let’s hope he gets 70 bases along with some Rockies wins.

Team USA loses to Cuba in extra innings and is now also a man down. Rockies prospect Jayson Nix is out after he suffered a laceration above his eye after trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Nix will miss the remainder of games played by Team USA.

There’s no predicting what this series will be like against the Nationals. On paper the Rockies should win all three, but pitching is suspect, hitting and run production are sparse and both teams are playing relatively bad baseball. So instead I’m going to go right into Following the Leaders for what should be a more entertaining matchup in LA…

Brewers @ Dodgers
D’Backs @ Astros

The Rox need to win in Washington and Los Angeles and can use some help from both Houston and Milwaukee. Who knows? By this time next week the Rockies could be in a better position than they currently are…or not.

Another Series Win, Shirts vs Skins, etc…

Though not as exciting as Tuesday night’s game, it was a win and that’s what mattered most. Last night’s win gave the Rockies their 5th series win in a row and puts them 3.5 games behind the second place Dodgers in the NL West and above .500 at home this season at 18-17. Willy Taveras stole his 31st base of the season last night and is now 22 behind the Rockies team record set by Eric Young in 1996.

Indians fans looked very dejected for the second straight night as the Indians have been outscored so far in the series 14-4. Indians pitching has not been up to par, though last night they were able to keep the Rockies from exploding for another set of double digit runs. This game was closer, and there were numerous wasted opportunities by both teams, but by the Indians especially. The Rockies go for the sweep tonight with De La Rosa (1-3) on the hill.

We’ve all seen them everywhere, the guys usually with the beer bellies wearing no shirt at football, baseball games and most any other outdoor sporting event, just enjoying nice weather (even at Lambeau Field in the winter) and a nice time. I dont know if you saw it or not, but in yesterdays Washington Post there was an article about the Washington Nationals not allowing fans to go shirtless at Nationals Park. If I can find the link I will post it here. I looked on the Nationals website and in their guest conduct policy page there is no specific reference to fans not being able to sit and enjoy the game shirtless. It does state that “Tops, bottoms and footwear are required for admission”.

So it got me wondering as to what exactly the policy is at Coors Field, though I already feel like I know the answer. So I asked an usher what the policy was for fans who want to go shirtless at the ballpark. And the answer I received, that going shirtless is fine anywhere in the stadium except for up on the Club Level. As for the Rockies website there is reference that states, “Obscene clothing or indecent clothing with not detract from the Guest experience.” But that statement you’ll find is on every teams website.