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Saturday Morning Rockpile: Selling out for Roqtober

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On your marks, get set...

This is kind of crazy how everybody's going to be blitzing the system all at once Monday morning, but at least some of the competition was taken out, no World Series tickets for you, state employees.

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Everybody wants to either cash out or cash in on this Rockies phenomenon, and of course the team itself is no exception, but can you blame them?

So it turns out there are a lot of Rocktobers,  and even Roctober sans the k, but a quick search shows that if the Rockies bid to trademark the name is unsuccessful, they could still rake in the dough. I did a quick search of domain names, and while it looks like they'll have to buy "Roxtober.com" for a fee, my favorite alternative spelling "Roqtober.com" seems to be available still. It would absolutely appeal to Denver's burgeoning francophile population or at least the Eurotrash hipsters who have jumped on the bandwagon in the last two weeks and made it extremely difficult for certain long suffering fans to get their own World Series tickets, not that I'm bitter or anything.

Hey, if the Rockies are hiring the same geniuses who looked for a tie-in domain for the MLB's postseason party -the people who finally settled for "actober.com"- they could go with "Ractober.com" as that's still available as well. Just no Dane Cook in next year's Rockies promos, okay? Although Spilly doing a spoof of Dane Cook might be fun.

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Kaz-Mat gets some measure of redemption from his bitter New York years with the Rockies. This is obvious, but I find it interesting how some people are so jaded themselves that they can't allow for others to have any measure of happiness after a rough time. This is from Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus (here's the link for subscribers:

With the Rockies in the World Series, there has been much written about Kaz Matsui, and how he's "found himself" in Colorado. To which I say: rubbish. His .288/.342/.405 line this year is really no different from his .272/.331/.396 stateside debut three years ago, and it's very plain that Coors Field played a large role in even that "improvement," as Matsui hit a miserable .249/.304/.333 on the road this year. He's really no different from the player he was as a Met, only the magnifying glass is off.

Alright, first of all, I'm not going to argue that Matsui's a great or even an average offensive second baseman, and I don't think anybody is -even though Goldstein's acting like they are. What I am going to argue is that as a soon to be 32 year old in his decline, Matsui has definitely experienced an unexpected renaissance with the Rockies and Goldstein's a fool to argue that he hasn't by cherry picking his debut year and ignoring his last two seasons as a Met. Using BP's own stats, Matsui's PECOTA projections for this year (.274/.320/.401) were similar to what he actually put up (.288/.342/.405) but if you look closely you'll notice that PECOTA was also predicting Coors Field to be more favorable to hitters than it turned out being, and while it expected that line of KazMat's (when combined with his defense) to be worth about 2 wins to the team over a Joe Schmuck utility infielder level of production, it actually turned out to be more than twice that.

Of course this probably still only ranks eleventh out of fifteen NL teams at second base, and the point Goldstein's getting at is that eleventh -or worse as Matsui continues to age- really won't be good enough to cut it in future seasons. Luckily there seem to be several options coming, but none of them appear ready for the beginning of 2008 at the moment. Just give us one more year, KazMat.

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Two of the furthest away of those several options are Helder Velazquez and Everth Cabrera, who Joe Mikulik was disappointed to not get a glance at in Instructional League thanks to injury. However he did get a good look at others who will possibly be joining his team in Asheville next season and he had this to say:

"Michael Mitchell, a center fielder, he can flat-out run," Mikulik said. "He'll probably will be with me in Asheville. He's a leadoff type with plus range in the outfield and a plus arm. He's a great talent.

"Third baseman Darin Holcomb has a chance to play with me, too. He's a good hitter who worked on his defense. Brian Reich(sic), another outfielder, he showed plus power in camp along with a plus arm, good range and good routes to balls."

I'm really not excited about Mitchell, who's another Willy Taveras type, but like Taveras, at least apparently he has the arm that others have lacked. The comment on Holcomb worries me a little as it implies that the defense isn't that great and it might explain why scouts and managers in the Northwest League weren't that keen on him. Brian Rike, on the other hand, really sounds like a total package, as that "plus power" was the one thing he really didn't show with Tri-City. Rike and Michael McKenry seem to be getting the most buzz so far this fall, they'll be two I keep a particular eye out for in 2008.

If you wonder why we pay so much attention to guys like this who won't be contributing to the Rockies until 2011 -if they make it at all- or why no longtime reader of Purple Row has ever really bought into the popular Dan O'Dowd, simple buffoon of a thousand plans theme, read Jon Weisman's piece on the building of the team. O'Dowd's been patiently building the farm since he got here, it's what he's always been best at, and that's finally paying dividends.

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A couple of e-mailed links:

First, user DakotaBoy points out that somebody thought the Rockies would get this far but the date of the article, and the fact they also picked the Royals and Devil Rays in the playoffs tells me maybe it's not as legit a prediction as it could be.

Second, back to the whole cashing in theme, somebody's been e-mailing me to get this Rox themed re-mix of Soulja Boy's "Crank That" linked, so here you go, guy.