Remind me -- who needs to get over what?
For the last, oh, seven months or so, Troy Tulowitzki -- or, more specifically, the club's decision to trade Troy Tulowitzki -- has been a polarizing (to say the least) subject among the Rockies' media and blogosphere. There have been tears shed over Tulo's exit and the circumstances surrounding it. There has been anger directed toward the Rockies. There has been fan shaming thrown in the direction of those who grieved over the trade.
The arrival of spring training should have been the very thing to help everyone get past the Tulo deal. Instead, it appears baseball being back at the forefront is only stirring up more controversy on that front.
Tulowitzki, who recently reported to spring training for the Toronto Blue Jays, has supposedly gotten past his beef with the Rockies and general manager Jeff Bridich. At least, that's what Ken Rosenthal wrote for Fox Sports on Sunday. But a piece published on Monday by USA Today's Bob Nightengale paints a different picture.
Here's Tulo, on how the Rockies run their spring camp in Scottsdale, Ariz.:
"I like this place a lot better than Arizona,'' Tulowitzki said. "That place was like a country club. Guys got comfortable because it was so nice."
The man that this site, and several others, went to great lengths to defend continues to subtly rip the Rockies through the media. Last season, with Tulo in the midst of a postseason run with the Jays, it was about how Colorado didn't honor its "promise" to keep the star shortstop in the loop regarding all trade talks. A few months later, he's still talking about it -- and shedding more light on how it went down:
Tulowitzki was ushered into Weiss' office and listened to Bridich inform him that he was traded to Toronto. Tulowitzki, who says that the Rockies promised him they would keep him informed if trade talks became serious, was livid. Bridich yelled back. And the next day, he was off to Toronto.
It's no surprise that a screaming match between Tulo and Bridich took place, but now that it's actually out there, it raises a whole new train of thoughts.
Tulowitzki may have been naive at best, and out of line at worst, to expect the Rockies to keep him completely in the loop. There was some risk involved in letting the word get out, as Nightengale outlined, and it seemed that things really came together at the last minute, while Tulowitzki was on the field in a competitive game against the Chicago Cubs. It's hard to blame Bridich and the Rockies' brass for not holding up to their end of whatever deal they did or didn't have with Tulo.
At the same time, it's also hard to defend Bridich in his incessant scrutiny of the media when it comes to this topic. Here's what he had to say about that:
"Frankly, I think it's a crime that the media does what it does,'' Bridich said, "basically creating stories and creating lies, and not even considering players and their families and their loved ones. Basically, the media has lost all respect for what rumors and innuendo can do to a player and the players' families."
While it's true that this generation of players, including Tulowitzki, are faced with different demands in terms of media coverage than previous generations of athletes, you'd have a hard time finding many people who believe that the Tulos of the world aren't compensated fairly for it. In other words, these players aren't going to find too much sympathy from the public or the media. And that's the world we live in.
On the other side, the Rockies were basically pinned into a corner. In the midst of another poor season, and with Tulowitzki showing signs of decline, something had to give. And so they did what they felt would best help the team, acquiring a trio of potential impact pitchers that will be used to improve the team's chances of finally developing a major league quality staff.
But it's possible that dealing Tulo wasn't just about that. At least, that's how it feels after today.
Take a look at another couple of quotes from Tulowitzki:
"You look around here,'' Tulowitzki said, "and there are some great players in this locker room. It's different than in Colorado where I was leaned upon so heavily. Now, I'm just another guy. I enjoy that."
"The biggest difference is that I don’t feel like a teacher anymore. Over there, there was a lot of young guys. The young guys were scared to walk around. I was trying to teach these guys how to handle themselves, instead of just going out there and playing the game the right way, playing the game to win. I enjoy not getting all of those questions now.’’
That screams of a man who was never comfortable with being a leader. That's not a surprise to many who have followed the Rockies for years, and it's still up for debate on how much that characteristic even matters in the long run. But what we do know is that the Rockies value it, and it doesn't appear Tulowitzki had it ingrained in him.
So, then, it's possible -- heck, even probable -- that the Rockies didn't simply move Tulo in order to help their future. In fact, they might have done it to help themselves in the present. That's right: the Rockies didn't just trade Tulo for fair value; they washed their hands of him.
Even Tulo's Rockies BFF, superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado, has seemingly had enough of the talk, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post:
"I've told you that Tulo is my boy, and he still is my friend," Arenado said. "But obviously, Tulo has some anger still. I don't know if it's the right way to be saying it in the media, but that's his business and that's how he's handling it.
"But I don't think it's a country club here. I think it's just a matter of guys putting their work in. I don't agree with the ‘country club' statement."
Arenado and the Rockies will get past Tulo. Judging by his performance, as well as that of teammate Carlos Gonzalez, during the latter half of last season, it appears they already have. Meanwhile, for those who say that the fans and bloggers and media members need to get over it, here's a message:
Tulo should get over it first.