The post-Troy Tulowitzki era is here. That was a tough sentence for me to write and a tough reality for me to face, but it is what it is. If you're anything like me, the last 36 hours or so have been a roller coaster of emotions. After the initial shock/panic over hearing that my all-time favorite Rockie had been traded, I spent most of the day yesterday trying to process things. I went back and forth several times between sadness over Tulo being gone and excitement about the prospect package the Rockies got in return. I was finally starting to feel okay before reading Matt Gross' wonderful article, which sent me right back into a deep pit of sadness. It's an absolute must-read, but be sure to have a box of tissues handy.
As I settled in to watch the game last night, something was just off. It wasn't just the lack of Tulo's presence on the field -- we've all been through that before -- it was the sense that a page had been turned and we were now watching a completely different Rockies team. A team without Troy Tulowitzki. When we all look back on this trade three years from now, will we be considering it a great, gutsy move that finally got the franchise headed in the right direction? Or will we be looking at it as a panic move from a first year general manager looking to make his mark on the team? I have no idea. None of us do, really. What I do know is that, for me at least, watching the Rockies without Tulo is like eating cookies without milk. It's perfectly fine to enjoy on its own, but it's just missing that extra something that makes it a really great treat.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against the trade and I'm certainly glad that the Rockies won the game last night. It just felt different. While Tulo was on the roster, there was always hope -- maybe it was even false hope -- that with him around the Rockies could be a contender. Now that he's gone, along with potentially Carlos Gonzalez, among others, that hope is no longer there. The hope isn't gone forever -- as evidenced by the Rockies having seven of the top 100 prospects in MLB.com's midseason update -- but for the moment it's not there. At least not with the big league club.
For the remainder of the 2015 season and likely the 2016 season as well, what happens down on the farm will be more important for the Rockies than what happens at Coors Field. It's human nature to want immediate results, so it will probably be difficult for some people to understand why the Rockies are doing what they're doing. Regardless of the Rockies' unwillingness to use the word, going through a rebuild is a difficult process for everyone involved, but the Tulowitzki trade represents the Rockies finally committing to something instead of continually being wishy-washy and unsure of what to do. The process should also be made easier by the Rockies already having what is likely the strongest farm system in franchise history.
What you think of this move is entirely up to you. Some people will be for it, some will be against it, and that's okay! I'm not even sure how I feel about it yet. It may be a while before I really decide which side of the fence I land on. There are a few things I do know, though. I'm REALLY going to miss seeing Tulo in purple pinstripes, I'm extremely excited, nervous, and anxious to find out how much the Rockies can get from their minor league system, and things in Rockies-land aren't going to be the same for a while. I'll leave you with Tulo's 188th and final home run as a Rockie.
Thanks for the memories, Tulo, and go Rockies.