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Sunday Rockpile: What to do with one's freedom...

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The "Rockies" stories this weekend are more on the periphery it seems, although the two below do tie together with a common love of the game thread, as players just can't put the gloves down. One young player now looks what to do to keep his career alive while a pair of relative old timers tear up the amateur circuit...


Onward, Christian Soldier...

Christian Colonel is playing a waiting game this offseason, as the now former Rockies farmhand enters a journeyman phase of his career. Stories like Colonel's are at once heartbreaking to me and somewhat familiar. What do you do if you're decent at and love doing one skill that quite a few people that are better than you get paid pretty good money for, but find yourself deemed just out of that skill range, or not finding a sufficient chance to show that you can be as good? It's not a comfortable position to be in, by any means, and Colonel's doing a good job of putting a brave face on it, but it's got to be tough right now for him.

 

Bichette still happens...

A Jupiter, Florida based Roy Hobbs team led by former Rockies Dante Bichette and Joe Grahe eliminated a team from Covington, Ky, before being eliminated themselves in the semi-finals to a team from Pensacola. Bichette and Grahe both played pivotal roles for the Rockies in their 1995 wild card season, while Bichette's exploits are well remembered, Rockies fans might forget that swing-man Grahe was called on to enter the rotation when Bill Swift got injured in late May.

In June and July, Grahe made eight starts and the Rockies went 6-2 in those contests, with Grahe thankfully bumping Omar Olivares from the back end of that rotation and providing some needed stability when Swift returned. The Rockies built their NL West lead to five games before Grahe himself got injured. He didn't return until September and wasn't quite as effective as the Rockies division lead dwindled and they barely held on to the playoff spot. Grahe was certainly somewhat lucky during that summer stretch, and he never pitched quite that well again, but his work was instrumental and he should be fondly remembered by Rockies fans for that.