The tentative Major League Baseball schedule has been released and has the Rockies opening the 2013 season on the road in Milwaukee with a 3 game series against the Brewers beginning April 1st. The Rockies home opener falls on April 5th against the Padres. Schedule highlights at Coors Field will be the Rockies hosting both the Yankees(May 7-9) and Red Sox(Sept 24-25). Rockies schedule here.
The Rockies have the day off today coming after yesterday’s postponement due to inclement weather against the D’backs. I’ve never really agreed with the idea of starting the season, playing a 3 game series then the team having a day off. Coming out of spring training teams should play at least a week before having a day off. Unfortunately for the Rockies the extra day off before the Dodgers series means the Rockies cant get into any sort of groove going into the series. While the Dodgers have 4 games under their belt already after a 7-5 victory over the Giants on Sunday night.
HOT and NOT’S – A brief look at who’s hot and who’s not coming into this series.
HOT LIST – DODGERS
Matt Kemp – 5 for 12 against the Giants, a .533 on base percentage, .417 batting average, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBIs.
Clayton Kershaw – 1-0, 0.00 ERA through 7 innings.
Jonathan Broxton – 3 saves in as many appearances.
NOT LIST – DODGERS
James Loney – 2 for 15 against the Giants with a .133 batting average
HOT LIST – ROCKIES
Chris Iannetta – 3 for 6 against the D’backs, 3 runs scored, .625 on base percentage, .833 slugging percentage
Carlos Gonzalez – 4 for 9 against D’backs, 5 total bases, .556 slugging percentage.
NOT LIST – ROCKIES
Troy Tulowitzki – 0 for 8 through first two games.
Jhoulys Chacin (0-0) will go up against Clayton Kershaw (1-0) Tuesday evening at Coors Field, game time 6:10pm
EXTRA BASES – The Denver Post this morning reports that a Major League Baseball “Authenticator” will be on hand at each Rockies home game to monitor baseballs from the humidor to the game. Story here. I guess the crying sessions the Giants put up last season got them the result they somewhat desired.
Also Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes about catcher Chris Iannetta taking ownership of the catcher’s position. Honestly Iannetta had no other choice. Time will tell as the season moves along. Iannetta who batted .197 last season is currently batting .500, going 3 for 6 in the teams first two games of 2011. Last season after the first two games of the season Iannetta went 0 for 6.
Maybe it’s time to give credit to the Rox new hitting coach Carney Lansford or maybe, just maybe Iannetta is channeling Yankees catcher Thurman Munson with his new mustache and hair growth. Tell me I’m not the only person who thought upon seeing Iannetta’s new look this season that he didnt remind you right away of Thurman Munson. If channeling Munson improves Iannetta’s batting average this season, I’m all for it! Munson who also played catcher was a lifetime .292 hitter over 11 seasons with the Yankees before a tragic plane accident took his life in 1979.
Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez both have had a better week than most. Wednesday both were awarded the first Gold Gloves of their careers and Thursday both received their first Silver Slugger awards.
EXTRA BASES – Should we really be surprised that the Yankees have an interest in Jorge De La Rosa? The Yankees have an interest in every player in the league to be honest. The N.Y. Daily News is reporting the Yanks interest, should things fall through with Cliff Lee. Story here.
Dont laugh at the possibility, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that the Rockies are looking into the possibility of Yankees first baseman Lance Berkman being an “impact bat” (a term used by manager Jim Tracy) in the Rockies lineup. Apparently there is some interest from Berkman, but we all know that interest is gonna be based on whether or not there are offers from other teams besides the Rockies. So it’s not like the Rox are at the top of Berkman’s list of teams to go to in the offseason. While I must admit I do like the idea of adding Berkman to the roster, in order for him to be the “impact bat” that Jim Tracy refers to. Berkman will need to play alot of the time in the starting lineup and not just simply in the role as Giambi mostly played in 2010 as “the big threat to come off the bench in late game situations.” Which as we all know, worked out well at times and other times not so well.
EXTRA BASES – Yesterday Try Renck also had a story in the Denver Post about the Rockies “Decisions loom on Francis & Olivo”. I dont really care much for Jeff Francis anymore and to bring him back for the sake of saving money is OK, but if that’s the only reason the Rockies are wanting to bring him back, then please assure the fans that he is going to be the pitcher he was in 2007. I think we all know that wont be the case.
Now as for Olivo, why is there any hesitation on this decision? Sign him! It seems like we go through this almost every year. We did this crap at the end last season with Yorvit Torrealba and here we are again. Olivo had a monster first half of the season in 2010 for the Rox and yes should have been on the all-star team. Olivo is speed on the basepaths, has a better batting average at the plate, and is better able to handle the pitching staff than “catcher of the future”, Chris Iannetta. It is apparent that O’Dowd is a poor scout when it comes to catchers in the Rockies farm system. Whenever you hear O’Dowd mention the phrase “catcher of the future” you should turn and run the opposite direction. How about this for an idea, package Francis and Iannetta together, sending Jeff home to Canada for a few pounds of Canadian bacon and a couple of kegs of Molson or Labatt Blue. Drink responsibly.
OK. So It’s been a little over a week since the Rockies were bounced from the playoffs. And honestly since that day I’ve taken a few days off from the blogosphere to catch up on some other things, like classes and work. So I’m back now and over the next few days and weeks I will recap the 2009 season and then go over what I believe will be the Rockies team of 2010 and maybe even go as far as looking into the future of the franchise. So I guess we can begin with the Rockies manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd both will receive long term contracts in the coming days according to the Denver Post this morning. A move that I think we all can certainly agree with seeing happening. But first if I may pose a question. How long is long term? I ask this because I all like to see stability in a franchise, but sometimes or most of the time in the sportsworld the contracts offered to managers and GMs are unnecessarily too long. I would like to see the Rockies sign both O’Dowd and Tracy to 3 year deals, nothing more. Let them both prove they can continue to work together to produce and put winning teams on the field. It’s my opinion that contracts longer than that only tend to breed complacency within a team or franchise. Sort of like the phrase, “There’s always next year!” On the other hand too short of a deal can lead to a sense of desperation in rushing to get the job done and moves being made more out of haste than out of common sense and what’s best for the team. So to me three years sounds about the right length on contracts to be given in this case.
I can sit here and tell you that I really haven’t logged a whole of TV time to watching the playoffs since the Rockies exit last week. What little bit that I have seen I can say this. In the National League, the Phillies are unstoppable really. And though I can’t stand his corny Subway commercial with Jared, Ryan Howard is becoming this generation’s Mr. October for the Phillies. On the American League side of the ball, the Yankees and Angels can’t seem to play a game less than 4 hours in length. That just shows you how more evenly matched these two teams are compared to the Phillies and Dodgers series. The Yankees will eventually move on to the World Series in 7 games, but can they find it in them to beat the Phillies if they continue to play these long extra inning games?