If the Rockies trade Ubaldo Jimenez for anybody but Bob Feller, Babe Ruth and the messiah I'm out. This may seem like an extravagant claim for an Inaugural post but that's just how I feel. I only recently came across purple row and had thought of posting something before but the site seemed to be tightly knit and reading posts was enough to feel better about our mediocre season.
The Rockies entertaining trade talks for Ubaldo Jimenez has forced my hand. I have been a Rockies fan since there were Rockies to be fans of. My father took me to Zephyr's games before the Rockies inception and taught me about the game and what really mattered in life and how it applied to the game. I never forgot. When the news broke that the Rockies were to begin play in 1993 at old Mile High I was elated. So much so that everything the Rockies did that year, even David Neid's fastball looked nasty-nasty to an eight year old. The strike in 94' broke my heart but the Blake street Bombers promptly won in back the next year before falling to the braves in the first ever NLDS. The desolation years of being a joke franchise with bad moves, mis-steps, managers and play(see Gebhard, Bell, Leyland, Neagle, Hampton, Saberhagen) were hard to watch but not nearly enough to chase me from my beloved Rockies.
When I moved in 2005 to New York City, self admittedly one of the most biased baseball communities my devotion to the Rockies was laughed at, even outright mocked but I didn't care. I knew we would find our identity and solidify our place in the League. We are not the Yankee's and I for one am fine with that. This year has been a disappointment (sadly I've gotten used to that) without a doubt but to even entertain talks about one of the most gifted pitchers in a generation is a betrayal to the fans of this franchise. At least it is to me. Others may feel differently and certainly are entitled to do so but Dan O'Dowd should be remonstrated for not publicly stating no way, no how, Ubaldo Jimenez is a Rockie and we intend for that to be the case for a very long time.
I love baseball, I like to think I know baseball (though the love part often eschews my logic) and I know that the most exciting games I have watched as a fan (save the September run and game #163) are the games pitched day in and day out by Ubaldo Jimenez. There is an electricity when he takes the mound and a genuine anticipation for the game outside of the desire to see us rise in the standings and march for a title. Those factor in as well but mostly, I just enjoy watching him pitch on those days. I'm not certain we'll win when he pitches but I know were in it and then, there are games where everything is working and I remember why I fell in love with this game in the first place.
Many people will point to Cargo or Tulowitzki as the present and future fate of the franchise but for me the success of the Rockies will hinge on quality pitching. Not to disparage Tulo or Carlos, they are phenomenally talented players but hitting, humidor or no humidor will eventually find a way at Coors field. To combat that we need top shelf pitching. We are not going to get it in a trade, nor in the free agent market (unless the Monforts marry into the Walton's) but we might just have it on our staff already. Detractors may point to Jhoulys Chacin or a healthy De La Rosa as an heir apparent. But the mutual respect and friendship of Ubaldo was a huge factor in De La Rosa's decision to re-sign with the club for less money than was out on the market. And if you think Jhoulys would be anywhere near the pitcher he is without Ubaldo as a mentor I say you are crazy. He makes everyone around him better and will continue to do that for a long time.
Many talented players have donned our colors over the seasons but Ubaldo is one who is truly special. Along with the other Marquee and aforementioned players on this team who have a shot of getting into Cooperstown he is what keeps me watching everyday. I have been booed in almost every ballpark on the eastern seaboard, accosted by Red Sox and Philly fans to the point of police intervention and had to stomach the losses but nothing hurts like this. I cried for a week when we dispensed with Andres Galarraga and inserted Helton but unlike that move we won't be inserting an all-star if we move Jimenez. We'll be losing one entering his prime. And I'll have to become a Met's fan.
I don't imagine this post will generate much traction, I hope it does. I hope other fans feel as I do. The possibility of trading Jimenez is minute, I can't imagine anybody offering enough to warrant even rumors of a done deal. That being said, this is to vent my frustrations and to say unequivocally that I stand behind you Ubaldo, no matter where you toe the rubber. Mostly I want to say that it is a joy to watch you pitch and I thank you most sincerely for that privilege. I think Dan O'Dowd should do the same.