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Friday Morning Rockpile: ". . . embrace those challenges of greatness"

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With pitchers and catchers reporting today, the Rockies now embark on their greatest enterprise yet: a return to the World Series. As Clint Hurdle says in this RMN article:

"The next step for us is to embrace those challenges of greatness [...] This is still new ground we are exploring together, but it all goes back to us having a belief in ourselves and our organization. Now we have some tangible evidence for others to see."

So a D'Backs fan believes his team has a better chance of getting back to the playoffs than the Rockies? What else would you expect? He's supposed to doubt the Rockies.

But it's all about accountability and confidence. Whether it's Aaron Cook ("That means knowing myself, knowing what I do well and what I don't do well. I think I have really turned the corner.") or Matt Holliday letting us know (in the RMN article) that everyone will be held accountable from day one of the season. The Rockies can no longer be an afterthought in baseball circles. The Rockies are here to stay!

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A decision in the arbitration case with Brian Fuentes should come this morning, and Brad Hawpe's one-year deal was finalized. Update [2008-2-15 13:50:18 by Russ]: Rockies win case; Fuentes to make $5.05M in '08.

Don't blame Coors Field and expansion for the increase in home run rates starting in '93, according to Tom M. Tango. What did? He doesn't know, but juicing the ball may be one answer.

Might Joe Torre do something good with Juan Pierre? Like, uh, having Andre Ethier ahead of him in left field? Or not, since Torre likes his veterans. According to this poll over at True Blue LA, Dodgers fans want Kemp/Jones/Ethier on a regular basis in the outfield. Maybe the fans should manage the outfield instead.