Monday Rockpile: A New Beginning

Doug Pensinger

Opening Day is here! It's time to get excited!!!

I love this day. Now matter how many times I experience it, no matter how awful the previous year was, and no matter how low my expectations for the upcoming season sink, I always get irrationally excited about today. Today is about baseball, meaningful baseball, emerging out of the cold, dark winter, and into the seasons known for out national pastime. Today is about hope and optimism; a day where everyone, even the Houston Astros (who oh by the way have the best record in baseball as I type this) have a chance. The cruel mistress that is baseball will of course thoroughly crush the dreams of 29 fan bases like eggshells on an interstate with some time, but that doesn't matter right now. Today is the one day where it's Okay for every fan of every fan base to think that maybe, just maybe their team will be the last one standing this fall.

For Rockies fans, today is about watching Troy Tulowitzki take the field again, and having him remind us all why he's the best shortstop in the game. Today is about watching Todd Helton take his spot at first base for Colorado on his 16th consecutive, and maybe his final Opening Day - And today is about living vicariously through the young guys like Josh Rutledge and Wilin Rosario who will be starting their first of what will hopefully be many Opening Days for the Rockies.

I love this day. Spring may have officially started a week and a half ago, but as far as the sports world is concerned today is the day of renewal.

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I'm sure most of you are tired of reading predictions about the Rockies and are just ready for the games to start, but there is one prediction I just can't seem to get off my mind. So I'm going to make it the last one you see before real baseball commences in earnest this afternoon......

Like just about every other season preview out there, it selects the Rockies to finish last in the division. From there it goes into a best and worse case scenario for each team. Here's what it had to say about the Rockies.....

BEST CASE: It is hard to make a good case for the Rockies because it is so hard to cobble a pitching staff that can withstand 81 games at Coors Field. However, Jeff Francis, Jhoulys Chacin, and Jorge De La Rosa represent a decent start in the rotation. Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Wilin Rosario are solid hitters who can complement Todd Helton and hoist the Rockies to a lot of wins if they all hit well at the same time.

WORST CASE: The Rockies always seem to wear down amid the physical demands of playing at 5,280 feet, and a reading of their 2013 roster does not suggest this year will be any different. Unless Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Matt Holliday, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Aaron Cook can magically return, in their primes, this team is destined for another disappointing finish.

Nothing too amazing there right? Well except for one thing - That prediction was not made for 2013, instead, it was made for 2007. I just swapped a few of the player's names around. The rest of the quote, and this author's general feeling about the team entering the season however, are the same. So again, anything can happen in baseball. Just another reason to love this day and the overall feeling at the start of the season.

LINKS

Welcome to Purple Row. Over the weekend, Jeff posted the 2013 edition of the schedule and general guide to the site. So whether you are new or old to Purple Row, give it a click.

Troy Tulowitzki is ready to go. Patrick Saunders has piece on the player the Rockies most need to be successful if they are going to surprise in 2013.

Our own Bryan Kilpatrick spent a little time over the weekend discussing the Rockies upcoming season with Brew Crew Ball's Kyle Lobner. Among other things, he talks about what would need to happen for this season to be considered a success.

Dick Monfort weighs in with a couple of quick thoughts on the team. I'm sure you can guess which part of the team he feels will be a work in progress.

It's Todd Helton's 16th consecutive Opening Day with the Rockies. It could also be his last. Todd knows it and shares a couple of thoughts in this link here.

The first game of the season is only a few hours away, and Troy Renck has a quick early preview for you.

The big contracts continue to fly. Late last night, Ken Rosenthal broke the news that the Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus were closing in on an eight year extension. At this rate, there's going to be next to nothing worthwhile on the free agent market by the middle of the decade.

Announcement

Almost four years ago, a fan living nearly 2,000 miles away from his favorite team found Purple Row. I can't tell you all how important this place has been to me over that time, and the opportunity to write for the site (even though it's only been for a couple of months) has been incredible. Life sometimes gets in the way of our passions though, and things we can't control sap our ability to give those passions the time they need. For me, that's exactly what's happened here.

On that note, this will be my final post for the site. Obviously this wasn't an easy decision coming on the heels of the immense talent that has already left this place, but it's something that needed to be done. Lots of good times are going to be left behind and it's going to be tough not seeing the folks around here anymore. So goodbye friends, hopefully we'll reunite soon.

off topic

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