Here’s an oddly relevant personal story. I was a Cubs fan when I was a kid, before the Rockies existed. Like many baseball fans, I watched them on WGN. Andre Dawson and Greg Maddux are still high on my all-time favorite player lists. I’m looking at a ball autographed by Dawson right now.
Once the Rockies arrived, they were my favorite team right away but it was a years-long transition for me to cheer only for them. I still wore Cubs hats into adulthood. As a kid, I used to switch between a Rockies hat and a Cubs hat at the games, depending on who was batting.
Anyway, it would be a lot harder for a kid to pull that off now that the Rockies and Cubs apparently hate each other. I sure wasn’t happy Arenado got plunked on Wednesday, but then again I’m sure that’s how Cubs fans felt when Kris Bryant and Javier Baez got buzzed. I think the intent was a bit obvious with Arenado, but as we just covered, my bias just goes one way these days.
Nick Groke has more on the tensions at Coors Field here, but I would just like to point out two funny quotes. The first is Joe Maddon saying you can stand there and “jabber” or you can walk to first when you get hit by a pitch. “Jabber” is the most old man way you could say that.
Secondly, Tony Wolters says he’s surprised he’s been a player possibly targeted by a couple pitches as part of this feud. Us too, Tony!
It is interesting how these teams are building a bit of a history. The other quote making the rounds is that Arenado said a series between the two teams would be “spicy.” I guess we’re pretty far removed from that hug in the middle of a play, eh?
At the beginning of the season it looked like the Rockies rotation didn’t have room for Lambert even if he was ready. Now they need him to provide some stability, and as Jack Etkin writes here, the young pitcher has been up to the task.
In addition to some discussion about Lambert’s stuff and the difference in fastball command in his two starts so far, a lot of this article is focused on his composure on the mound. That’s been notable, and hopefully it will continue to help him, because goodness knows the Rockies need him.
Listen, I’m just presenting the headline as TMZ would have you see it. And I know they have a sports sub-section, but it is still surprising to me that this makes it to TMZ. Flagged as “EXCLUSIVE,” no less. Concerns about the free agent market from a relatively obscure player aren’t what I associate with TMZ.
Anyway, it is interesting to hear Gray’s perspective as a young player and his surprise at talented guys not finding teams. You could certainly imagine a scenario where Gray is a player the Rockies look to lock up before he is close to free agency, something that might be attractive to both sides unless the free agency situation changes.
On the farm
All eyes were on Kyle Freeland in his second Triple-A start. Unfortunately it was really ugly. Freeland worked into the sixth inning but allowed nine runs, eight of them earned. He gave up eight hits and two home runs and walked five batters. His Triple-A ERA is now 10.13.