Thursday Rockpile: Changes at the firm, Carlos Gonzalez hurt

DENVER - APRIL 13: Brad Hawpe #11 of the Colorado Rockies leads off of second base after his first inning two RBI double that scored Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton against the New York Mets during Major League Baseball action at Coors Field on April 13, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Brad Hawpe, destroyer of once bright, promising and happy right handed pitchers everywhere (ask Brandon Webb and Mark Prior, albeit in different ways, if you don't believe me) we bid you adieu. My only remaining hope is that you sign with an American League team and have a great and productive rest of your career. My own favorite memories of Hawpe extend back to him beating Prior in the College World Series, albeit I was a fan of his opponent then (as I will be again, soon and this makes me cry) just respecting a worthy opponent and excited about the promise he'd bring to the Rockies system.

I also think of home runs. Early in his career, when he, more than any of our other hitters, was the force that would destroy opposing NL West aces like Jake Peavy and Webb, only to see the Rockies shaky pitching and lack of offense from other parts of the lineup sink them later.  I remember a Sunday game at PetCo in April of 2006 where Hawpe started a ten to four romp over the Padres with a solo shot off of Peavy, winding up with three hits. The memories of him doing great damage against Webb were too numerous to recount them all. I also remember later games, his homers off of Antonio Alfonseca and Joe Thatcher in the remarkable 2007 season, the latter being his chance to shine when every night we needed a new hero. Even earlier this season, when he took Mat Latos deep twice, I thought, ah, here's another young ace for you to destroy, Brad. 

Now those aces are going to be someplace else, some other fans will see the fear he can put into them, and my Rockies heart has a big empty spot in it this morning where a place for Hawpe was well furnished and lived in.

The criticism of the front office here is that a straight up release of a starting right fielder like Hawpe is perhaps the least efficient way you can utilize player resources from a team building view. They seem to be banking on a goodwill credit by doing right with the player and allowing him to determine his own fate. I'm doubtful, I don't believe that this series of events was entirely in the best interest of the team. 

The Rockies have now officially replaced Holliday, Hawpe and Sullivan with Gonzalez, Smith and Fowler, with Ryan Spilborghs being the bridge between the two generations of outfield patrols in Coors. 

Yes, but...

More ouch:

Other stuff:

Matt Reynolds, congratulations and we look forward to celebrating your major league debut with the Rockies. I'm sorry you have to do it under these sappy circumstances.

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