Friday Rockpile: The Rockies name game

Denis Poroy

We all know that "a Maddux" is the term used to describe a complete-game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. We look at some Rockies players, former and current, who might inspire such a term named after them.

Yesterday I came across this fun article by Rob Neyer elucidating various baseball terms that originated from a player's name. One such example is a "Maddux", which is a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. It's an achievement that is so quintessential Madduxian that it just had to be named after him. Are there any events that can be similarly named after a Rockie?

A Helton

We all know how this goes. Todd Helton starts an at-bat in a ditch, 0-and-2. He steps out, waggles the bat a little bit, then digs back in, a gleam in his goatee. He then proceeds to foul off eight pitches whether they're close or not, swatting them into the left field bleachers. The pitcher, frustrated, buries a curve ball in the dirt. Helton doesn't even flinch. The pitcher throws a change up, darting down and away. Todd follows it across the plate, hands still on his shoulder. Two pitches later he's leaning over, unstrapping his shin guard, and starts trotting to first base.

I propose a "Helton" to be a 10-pitch walk. The man could spoil pitches better than anyone else I've ever seen in a baseball uniform. A lot of great power hitters, many of them first basemen, would refuse to shorten their swings in two strike counts; they'd rather take full hacks and hope to club a dinger. If a strikeout happens, so be it. Todd, though, would go into battle mode. He'd frustrate the pitcher, drive up his pitch count, give the guys in the dugout a great look at all his offerings, and then take that free pass to first. It was beautiful to watch.

A Tulo

A "Tulo" is when you suffer a debilitating injury while bending over to tie your shoelace.

Nah, just kidding. A Tulo is a ridiculous jump throw from deep in the hole at shortstop. Sort of like this one from Rockies star shortstop (and, of course, namesake for the term) Troy Tulowitzki:

Just look at Nick Swisher's face there.

Here's another example (check out the mullet). Also this. Annnnd how 'bout another one.

A Wilin

Wilin Rosario is a contradictory player. He can look utterly inept at one moment, then like "The Natural" a moment later. For example, he might let an easy slider skip right through his legs, but then rifle a bullet down to second base to nail the runner. Similarly, he might wave ineffectively at a breaking ball in the dirt on one pitch, then slam the next one into the upper deck. That's what I'm dubbing a "Wilin:" a 400-foot home run immediately following a weak swing-and-miss.

A Cargo

I'm not sure what a trademarked "Cargo" moment might be. Is it when Carlos Gonzalez tracks down a sinking line drive and makes a smooth diving catch? Is it one of his laser-shot home runs, complete with follow-through bat drop? Is it erasing a runner trying to get greedy and stretch a single into a double? Stupid five-tool players, resisting easy categorization. I'll let you commenters hash it out.

An Ubaldo

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Yeahhhhhhh. The Giants broadcast booth declared that Ubaldo Jimenez offering "the best pitch ever thrown," and I have yet to see compelling evidence to the contrary. 99 mph, with upwards of 10 inches of horizontal break, just nicking the outside corner? I mean, come on. I realize he is no longer on the team, but whenever someone throws some absolutely untouchable bullet on the corner, it's an Ubaldo to me.

LINKS

Grant Brisbee's modest proposal for keeping the Hall of Fame clean.

... and that's it. Geez there's nothing going on right now.

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