So the Rockies will get their first glimpse of game action this Spring today, with a short trip to the White Sox' field at Tucson Electric Park. The Sox lineup has some familiar names attached to it. Leading off will be Darin Erstad, who might have been with the Rockies had we not gotten Willy Taveras this offseason. It will be interesting to see which center fielder has the better 2007. At the other end of their lineup is the recently exonerated Juan Uribe, who had to arrive to camp a little late due to legal issues stemming from a shooting in his native Dominican.
The Rockies, for their part, are promising a more open offense right from the start, according to Tracy Ringolsby. Less bunting and more aggressive baserunning (particularly in extending singles to doubles and doubles to triples) should pay off well for the team's scoring chances. Of course, it also helps to have a heart of the order as potent as ours is, as Troy Renck at the Postp points out.
The other interesting item in the Ringolsby report for the News is the repositioning of our outfield defenders, five to ten feet more shallow than they've played in the past. Watching Matt Holliday run back on balls hit over his head isn't pretty, but this should prevent those awkward stabs he and Brad Hawpe make on hits that fall in front of them. Neither are that big on diving, and if the team's spray charts are correct, this should prevent more runs from scoring against our pitching. So to sum up: more runs for the offense, fewer allowed for the defense = happier Rox Girl.
The Blake Street Bomber reunion has hit some scheduling snags, and will not take place in April as was initially suggested. Hopefully the Rockies can find a time that's good for everybody, but the second option is to honor each of our former sluggers individually. Either way, recognition for the group that led the team to it's only playoff appearance is overdue.
Why am I so happy to see so many fluff pieces about relief pitchers filling the dispatches from Tucson?
Consider the alternative. Every day that the team beat reporters aren't focusing on who's feeling stiff or sore, who's caught up in the latest steroid scandal, or which former manager/team executive has been named in a call girl scandal is a pretty good day to me.
Congratulations to Fariview High grad Jesse Crain, who cashed in on a three year $3.25 million extension with the Twins yesterday. If they ever should feel a need to trade him, I think I know one team that will be calling.