By now, you've all seen the angle on Charlie Blackmon's Fan Fest interview, wherein he was "perplexed" that the Colorado Rockies chose to sign free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra earlier this month despite an already crowded outfield. There are a few other things to note about that interview, though.
Speaking to our Drew Creasman and other media members, Blackmon discussed how he spent the winter, his approach coming into spring training, how he doesn't compare himself to other big leaguers, and—because it's Colorado and this just inevitably always comes up—pitching.
Here are the highlights of Blackmon's interview transcript, lightly edited for brevity.
On his offseason activities: "I had a lot of fun this offseason. Early on, I kinda took my vacation and I went to Idaho, I went to Tennessee, Florida. Traveled in the states, doing outdoors-y type stuff. Lot of fishing. Caught some trout. I started fly fishing and caught a bunch of red fish ... [And] lots of Call of Duty."
On hearing his name come up in trade rumors: "It's good to be relevant. It's nice that somebody's taking enough time to write something about you. I try not to read into it too much. I know [it's] out of my control, so I don't let it get to me, but it's always good to be—I don't wanna say a commodity, but something that other teams recognize as, maybe this player can help my club. But on the other hand, obviously, I love the Colorado Rockies organization and I would like to play here."
On adding Parra and having so many lefties: "I was a little perplexed at first because I just didn't really see [Parra] coming. Going into the offseason, I didn't know that was in play, really. But after looking at it, he's a great player. I've played against him, seen him play, he's got one of the best arms in the league. He can only make our team better, and really, any team for that matter. He's a great player ... We're deep, in terms of left handed hitters. I don't really see that as a problem. We do have a lot of left-handed pitching in the division, but these guys are professional hitters and I think we'll find a way to make it work."
On (not) setting goals: "I don't have nearly as many specific goals. I think it's just building on what I've done. I made a lot of strides in base running and hitting, defense, all that kind of stuff. I just want to continue to build on that. There's not one aspect where I feel like I'm really lacking and I need to improve. I've got a little bit of everything, I think—or, I would like to think. I just want to continue to build on that."
On improving his defense, and tracking those metrics: "I think defense is one of those things that's hard to quantify. I think we've tried to do that with all of our cameras and special zone defensive ratings, we try. I think it's hard to do accurately. I think different parks are different and I think all those statistics really hurt players that play here in Denver. For me, it's hard to say. I think it's more accurate to go around and ask guys that play with you and against you and coaches, people who see you play regularly. I think that's probably a better barometer for what kind of defender a player is."
On not comparing himself to other players: "I'm not real big on comparing myself around the league or other players. I think it's just more important for me to be impactful for my team and to be a player that my team and my staff want me out there doing my thing. I think that's more important than to be able to look around the league and say, ‘hey, I'm this good or this bad compared to everybody else.’"
On the Rockies trying to improve their pitching staff: "If our pitching's better, we're gonna be better. But if our hitters are better, we're gonna be better, too. So it's not something where any one position, offense or defense, can point at somebody else. It's a team game and we've got to come out on top, whether that be scoring a lot of runs one day or giving up very few runs one day. I think it's easier to sit here and, if we're doing the comparison game, to say that, hey, Coors Field is an offensive park, so we don't give up as many runs, we're gonna win. I mean, that's easy to say, but it's not something where I feel like that's a proper mindset. That's not a mindset that's gonna produce results. I think everybody's gotta take ownership and responsibility for their performance, whether they're a pitcher or a position player."
On what pitchers are successful at Coors Field: "I think if I was a pitcher and I could decide what kind of pitcher I wanted to be to be successful at Coors Field, I would really focus on my fastball. I think in order to be successful, pitchers have to have a good fastball. And I think it's kind of easy to say, "Hey, throw it hard." That's nothing new, but I really think that fastballs play up in Denver for a few reasons and I think that's a way to be successful. Command your fastball or just have a really good fastball, but generally, you need both."
On a 'good fastball': "A good fastball is a fastball that's hard to hit, which, generally, velocity's the easiest way to do that. Another way to do that is throw it where you want it or to have a fastball that's very, very heavy. It's hard to get on top of. And there's guys that can do that at 90 mph, 91 mph. Or those guys that can throw 90, 91 with good sink. Sometimes, if you have that unique fastball, it's gonna be harder to hit than the guy who's throwing 95 and straight. It's not as easy as you might think to just quantify how good a fastball is. I don't know how accurate it is, but I think it would help to see some of those spin rates that they measure now. I think you'll see a correlation between spin rates and batting averages against fastballs."
On Tyler Chatwood: "I think Tyler Chatwood has a really good fastball. He's not a big guy. He doesn't create a lot of angle, per se, but he's got that heavy fastball, it's got a lot of spin on it, it's hard to get on top of, and I think that's how he has become a successful pitcher here at Coors Field. It's been a while since he's pitched, but watch. If he has success this year, I think, and I believe he will, I think it's because he does a good job with his fastball."
On struggling away from Coors Field: "I think earlier in my career, and even now, when I play in places that I haven't played before or that I haven't played very much in, I think it's hard to come out and produce right away. It's hard to put a finger on it. Maybe it's a comfort factor or whatever. I do think that Denver has some unique circumstances and when you go somewhere else, it's a little different. Atmosphere's a little different, your body feels a little different. I don't think it's as big of a deal as people seem to make it out to be. But if you look across the league, most players hit significantly better at home than they do on the road. But I think a lot of that is just a comfort factor. I wouldn't totally blame that on the ballparks themselves."