There's a morning beverage for you...
Half and half: So yesterday after we won the Mariners game a friend and I went out celebrating, cruising around with the horn blaring, singing the Colorado anthem, er..., or at least something that could have been the anthem if they asked me... anyway,
"Woot!" I yelled.
"Woot woot!" She shouted, "Rockies rule!"
and we were all waving Colorado flags and giddy and boisterous and having a good ol' time til we rounded a corner and saw this Starbucks and out pop a couple of Mariner fans.
"Yeh better be shuttin yer mouth now, ladies if yeh know what's good fer you"
"Whatever Latte-head," my friend says "Oh, and Microsoft sucks, marinerds."
And then the scrum was on, as the Starbucks emptied and some more Rockies fans came to get our backs and somebody smashed the window to this electronics store and there were shattered X-boxes littering the streets. Finally the cops came to break it up and some of us were hauled off, but it was so worth it waking up his morning in County with a half season over and us only half a game out. The Rockies are rising, woot.
JD: So the question continues, is JD worth it? With his improved defense this year, at least we can ask this without being laughed out of the room, but his offense persists at a level below what we would hope from our starting backstop. It might persist below a level we'd hope from a back-up backstop. Here, take a look at our catchers this season. Right off you can see why Baltimore might think we'd jump at a deal for Javy Lopez, but there are signs that things will get better rather than worse. Both JD and our starter Yorvit Torrealba are still just warming up, and compared to Danny Ardoin, both are proving more adept at drawing walks and hitting with runners on. Of course, looking at that last stat makes me wonder why exactly Miggy Ojeda is in Mexico, but Closser at least has risen to the occasion more than once when he's under pressure to produce some runs.
I figure Closser has about one more month before either Chris Iannetta forces a decision from AAA or the Rockies get tempted to bring Ojeda back in. So let's all raise our shot glasses to JD and wish him a happy and productive July.
A Cup of Coffee: In the course of the season, you'll have players that take the main parts, players who provide significant supporting roles and contribute meaningfully to the story of the season, and you'll have extras just passing through, barely registering on our memories as even being part of the team. The first half's extras included two disastrous cast-off pitchers from Washington who seemed much more promising at the end of 2005, two players in Colorado Springs who might return to play a bigger role once the season's over, and a reliever injured early who's absence allowed a new star in the bullpen to be born. I'm going to try to blot out the trouble Sunny Kim and Zach Day caused the team in April, but really, compared to last year when it seemed the entire pitching staff was getting lit up in April, to only have two disasters coming out of Tucson seems miraculous. Miguel Ascencio and Omar Quitanilla should be back before the season's over, and while they're obviously not as good as who we have on the team right now, it could be a lot worse for us if we didn't have them ready in case bad things happen.
Finally, however, the most significant extra -though not in a way he intended- may have been Mike Dejean, who's early injury while Scott Dohmann was still recovering and Sunny Kim wasn't recovering well enough opened an opportunity for Ramon Ramirez that Rami hasn't looked back from. What was supposed to be a cup of coffee for Ramirez has turned into a chain of coffee franchises and a big IPO. Mmm, frappucinos... Seattle was a blast, wasn't it?
The Pebble Report will be a bit late today, I've got to make bail, but it's coming. :)