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Justin Morneau homers in Japan, and Coors Field might host an NHL game

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Coors Field could get iced over in the 2015-2016 season for the NHL outdoor series.

Justin Edmonds

Morneau's blast breaks ice for MLB squad in loss - Rockies.com

It's usually around this time of year that the first stages of baseball withdrawal set it. I start to feel antsy during evenings as I flip the channels, unconsciously searching for a game. I find myself miming baseball swings when I'm alone in an elevator or wherever. I cruise the Denver Post website for news, even though it slows my browser down to the speed of a gut-shot pachyderm. It will get even worse in December and January, but now the lack of baseball is just starting to take effect, like seasonal affective disorder.

Clicking on the above link helps keep the symptoms at bay though, because the first thing you'll see is Justin Morneau putting a wallopin' on a baseball in Japan. Ahhhhh yeah, that's the good stuff. That was Morneau's first hit of the series, and the United States still got its butt kicked, but it's nice to see that his bat speed is still good. The off season is fun, but I want baseball to come back already.

Rockies looking to bring NHL action to Coors Field - Rockies.com

Speaking of ice, Coors Field is "very likely" going to host an NHL outdoor game in the 2015-2016 according to reports. That's pretty awesome.

Rockies GM Jeff Bridich wants to play meaningful games in September - Denver Post

Hey, that makes two of us! Bridich is saying the right things (willing to listen on Tulo/Cargo, but not willing to dump them; recognizing the need to upgrade the starting rotation) and so far doing the right things (declining Anderson's option; making the Qualifying Offer to Cuddyer). But while those moves were significant, they are only the first steps in this 2014 off season and beyond.

The article mentions that the Rockies have a little bit of money freed up now that Cuddyer has moved on; at least $8 million and possibly more. In the modern free agent market that doesn't buy a whole lot, but it's better than nothing. At the very least Bridich has some space to be creative with his moves.

(I just noticed this article was linked in a previous Rockpile...well here it is again, in case you missed it)

Around MLB

Yoan Moncada: the most fascinating story of the Offseason - Fangraphs

This is definitely a piece worth reading if you get the time. Moncada is the next Cuban phenom, and some scouts think that he's a better player than Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu, who are both awesome. Scouts from all thirty teams have flocked to his workouts like moths to the lava lamp. He could command a $30 million contract, and that includes penalties to the signing team for going over their international budget. He's that good.

But the other interesting side of the story is that the Cuban government allowed him to leave the island. It used to be that Cuban defectors had to put their lives in the hands of treacherous human traffickers and take dangerous, circuitous routes to the United States to make their big league dreams come true. But Cuba simply let Moncada go. Does he have a deal with someone in the government? Is Cuba loosening its hold on its citizens?

Kershaw claims NL MVP; Trout unanimous in AL - MLB.com

As if Los Angeles didn't have enough stars, both MVP awards are going to the City of Angels. Well deserved by both guys; they are awesome  players.

Justin Morneau claimed a ninth place vote and Troy Tulowitzki received a tenth place vote. If Tulo hadn't gotten hurt we might be celebrating his first MVP (and we would have lost fewer games).

Marlins mulling 10 year, $300 million extension for Stanton - MLB.com

That's a lot of scratch. I hope he turns it down. If the universe were just, there would be some sequence of events that would lead to Giancarlo Stanton playing a season in Colorado in his prime. Can you imagine. Seriously, can you imagine. Just imagine.