After the bump, I will have a few links and commentary on the off season negotiations and preparations of both Carlos Gonzalez and Ian Stewart, but first, the debut of a hard hitting interview series previewing the 2011 National League season:
I'm expecting my Emmy anyday now.
Jim Armstrong has a quality piece about how Carlos Gonzalez has become a celebrity at his home in Venezuelaand what the Rockies expectations are for their emerging star slugger this season. As Todd Helton phrased it, those expectations are simple: "...not getting fat and happy."
With his celebrity status, both Venezuelan and Coloradan Rockies fans are keenly anticipating a contract extension that keeps him in place for awhile. While Troy Renck and Thomas Harding shot down some rumors of a 7 year, $80 million deal that jumped the gun of anything that has actually been signed earlier this week, I felt they were probably taking a too pessimistic stance that an extension will be reached this off season. Renck's blogpost said this:
There will be no deal this winter unless one of the parties has a major philosophical shift - or if CarGo just decides he wants the money now. I expect the sides to resume talking in January and probably into February. But if a deal isn't in place by spring training, it's unlikely it will get done this season.
While this is all true, what was left out here is that there are a lot of indications, including an interview with Gonzalez himself from a couple of days ago, that suggest the slugger is leaning to take the extension. As I was asserting in the Rockpile on Friday, there's actually more compelling evidence at this point to take a glass half full stance on the extension happening than a glass half empty one.
Ian Stewart talked with Asheville Citizen-Times this week about his upcoming negotiations with the Rockies for his first post-arbitration contract. The article makes it seem like there's no bad blood between Stewart and the team, so the process should go fairly smoothly. Also it gives a peek into what new hitting coach Carney Lansford has Stewart working on:
"He's got me hitting the ball the other way and using the whole field, and I think that's going to help against lefthanders. He has a lot of confidence in me and I like that."