Saturday Rockpile: The Toddfather speaks

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Helton shares his thoughts on retirement and what does and doesn't lie ahead for him.

Earlier this week, SI.com ran this fantastic piece by none other than Todd Helton, discussing a variety of topics, but primarily looking at what he is looking forward to in retirement after 17 seasons as the Rockies' first baseman.

This is really the first time we've heard from Helton since his retirement at the end of the 2013 season, and it is a very well-written piece, whether Todd wrote it himself or had a ghost writer. Much of it is classic Helton, with discussions of his plans to expand his waistline and his dry, sometimes self-depricating sense of humor very present.

He also takes time to state, without qualification, that his playing days are over. No 99.9% business like Michael Jordan, he is retired. He says he is looking forward to spending more time with his daughters, pursuing non-baseball hobbies, staying in the same time zone for weeks at a time and not hesitating when dessert comes around.

It still seems strange to talk about Helton's career in the past tense, and even stranger to see the Rockies seeking a first baseman this offseason, for the team's entire history that spot has been manned by either Helton or Andres Galarraga, so whoever plays first for the team this year has some large shoes to fill.

Finding someone to replace Helton at first base (at least in the short term) is likely the Rockies' biggest task this offseason, whether they choose to go internal and put Michael Cuddyer there or pick up someone on the free agent market, whoever plays first will likely be crucial for success in 2014.

LINKS

LaTroy Hawkins says he's ready to be Rockies' closer - Denver Post
Patrick Saunders talked with the first acquisition of the Rockies' offseason, reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who says he is ready to fill the Rockies' closer role but is aware that Rex Brothers is likely the future, and possibly the present, in that spot.

Michael Weiner, baseball players' union head, faced illness with dignity, inspiring others - Denver Post
Troy Renck writes about Michael Wiener, the head of the MLBPA, who passed away Thursday at the age of 51 after a long battle with brain cancer.

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