We've hit the point in the offseason where we're starting to get the "Spring Training Hope" articles, best shape of players' respective lives, learning cutters, changing diets, and everybody's favorite, broke up with Rihanna. Ok that last one is a bit dated. But the good news is the fact that these clichéd articles indicated that baseball season is afoot. The Superbowl has ended, and while the NBA and NHL are still in full swing, pitchers and catchers are reporting in just under 2 weeks.
2 weeks! Can you believe it?
It's been such a long offseason. So very, very long. So many moves, so much turnover. So many goodbyes, so many welcomes. As awesome as it has been to watch the Rockies make all of these significant moves and attempt to change their team going forward for the better, now I'm starting to itch to see what these guys have. We can see a million projections and Monte Carlo simulations, but until I'm playing "peanut shell in the drink holder" basketball during the middle of the 5th inning while overlooking the Coors Field infield, it might as well be a video game.
Welcome, Spring Training, and welcome back, baseball.
Oh, and hurry.
We've said this before, and other writers have written that 2011 was the most disappointing season in Denver Sports history. Now, from Troy Renck, and more notably Todd Helton, 2011 WAS his most disappointing season. Even moreso than the 2007 World Series sweep. Hearing that from a team leader, even if he isn't in the spotlight nearly as often as his contemporaries, says something.
We don't hear a lot out of Helton when it comes to the sound bytes, so when we actually get a word out of him, it's important. Expectations are much different this season. Obviously, the team has the world Series in mind. The team always has the World Series in mind. But this time, the expectations aren't as much about the destination, but the journey itself. No more mental mistakes. No more baserunning blunders. No more completely flubbing fundamentals in any and all situations.
Better play is going to be one thing, but smarter play is another. In my estimation, and I'd wager the estimation of many readers and evaluators, is that smart baseball needs to come before good baseball. It seems a little silly, but when you can't run out a team of Albert Pujols' and Matt Kemps, you need to find a way to squeeze every last drop of production out of your Ian Stewarts and Mark Ellis'. Clearly, 2011 did not accomplish that. Obviously, the organization sees that as a personality issue (blanketing work ethic, prioritization of baseball, maturity, things of that nature), and getting those more mature talents to grind out every last scrap of baseball they can out of every game.
Also, Tyler Chatwood will be wearing #32, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Interesting pickup. Over the course of his career, Coffey has a 4.08 ERA, 4.17 FIP (3.94 xFIP), and has appeared in 438 games with a winning record. What's interesting about Coffey is that he's effectively a platoon pitcher, as Steve Slowinski points out. It's interesting to think that out of all the turnover on the Rockies this past offseason, the bullpen remained relatively untouched.
You have $100M. You can lock up one of the following 4 pitchers:
Your call. Who do you choose?
FINE, we didn't want you! We already have our own veteran former-Phillies pitcher, anyhow.