Rockies Review: Okay, enough fake baseball already, when does the real thing start?

Well, we're certainly an insatiable bunch. Just after we've finally been granted our wish and have something resembling the game of baseball being played on a semi-daily basis by something that appears to be our favorite team, we've already gotten bored with the spring-training shuffles and are ready to move onto the main event. Sadly, by my calculations, that still appears to be another three-odd weeks distant. In the meantime, we can just complain at the deleterious turn our fortunes have taken; even if it's spring, we don't like losing. After starting out 5-2, the Rockies neatly reversed that mark last week and went 2-5 instead, leading to a 7-7 overall Cactus League tally. OMG WE R GOIN 2 LOOZ TEH WEST.

Overreactions aside, we are still ready for real baseball, not just real fake baseball. And prognosticating. We definitely have time to do a lot of that. This will be a short edition since I've got to be up bright and early tomorrow for my first step on the way to Life After College, but I'll get you started after the jump.

If you ask me what the most fun part of the last week was, I'll tell you it's an easy choice: the 12-0 pasting the Rox inflicted on the Dodgers on Tuesday. Temporarily stirring purple temperaments to a very high pitch indeed as proof positive of our Unquestioned Dominance in the West, it was just a terrific way to spend an afternoon; the contest was helpfully televised, so we got to enjoy Dodgers FAIL in all its Technicolor glory. There is never a bad time to school the Dodgers, and it's practice that I would love to see carried over to the regular season.

Of course, you can't open that big of a can of whoopass without the universe attempting to get its own back, and the karma check arrived on Thursday, as Clint Hurdle's new club, the Texas Rangers, unloaded a dump truck of 16 runs upon our heads. But if there is a good time to lose by 11 runs, then it had to be that day. Todd Helton, Mr. Rockie, Face of the Franchise, and still the only Rockie (aside from perhaps Tulo) that sportswriters east of the Mississippi can reliably cite, signed a two-year extension that will keep him in purple pinstripes for the rest of his career, and, by restructuring his contract, allows the club almost $8.5 million in payroll flexibility. If you don't love Todd, you're not a Rockies fan, but the albatross contract was reliably whined about as too much to pay for an aging first baseman with declining power. Ballocks, I say sir, ballocks. Obviously the contract was a problem, and I'm thrilled that it was deferred, but you can't replace Todd. He's still is a clubhouse leader and OBP machine who's good for 30 doubles a year, and will save Barmes, Stewart, and Tulowitzki countless throwing errors by his picking ability at first. Aside from being our Bearded Leader, Todd has announced that he never wants to play anywhere else and would have retired sooner than having to test the free agent market. Hallelujah that we don't have to worry about that. When Todd goes into Cooperstown, it will be a proud day indeed.

Other exciting eventualities included strong performances by Ubaldo Jimenez (4 scoreless today) Jorge de la Rosa (4 innings, 2 runs) Jason Hammel (4 innings, 2 runs against the Brewers) and Jeff Francis (3 scoreless innings against the Royals, in a matchup that the Rockies lost because it's the Royals, and therefore they must lose on principle. Having to face the reigning AL Cy Young winner had nothing to do with it, really). Even dark horse Greg Smith has looked very strong, in his attempt to rebound from the wasted season of last year, and in fact, the only starter to miss the boat was Aaron Cook, who was the pitcher of record in the unfortunate shellacking that the Rangers applied. But we'll charitably chalk that up to the fact that Hurdle, who is now the Rangers' hitting coach, was just sharing secrets with the opposition. Julius Rosenberg, amirite.

On a less enjoyable side, the defense has looked somewhat shaky the past week, with Ian Stewart in particular looking like he needs to shake the rust off. And the losing was annoying. But there you have it.

The other thing you must attend to this week, on the off-chance that you have not seen them already, are the 2010 Rockies commercials. They're pretty good. Highlights include the Toddfather finding a way to erase the famous DexSmile, EY1 presenting EY2 with steak-cutting advice and a stuffed rabbit called Wooby, Chris Iannetta announcing his pregnancy, Wyatt Barmes topping his list of Things He Will Really Regret In 20 Years by being toilet-trained by a cardboard Jim Tracy, and Ian Stewart failing to appreciate the importance of Show and Tell. Go check them out.

If there's anything else that you'd like to discuss, have at it below. I'm signing off for now; I am on my way to Asheville, North Carolina, tomorrow, in my continuing quest to get my Post-College Life (scary prospect) in order. Squeaky and I will be down there for three days, and then I'm heading back to Colorado for a week (something I wasn't expecting to do, but which will be fun). I'm hoping to pay one last visit to Coors while I'm home, so next week's Rockies Review will be written in the 303. A Review on March 28 may be a chancy prospect, as I'll be travelling all day and not be back in New York until late. But I shall do my best to serve.

By March 28, it will be only 8 days until real baseball. I for one can't wait.

GO ROCKIES!

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