This past Tuesday was February 22, 2022, also known as Tue 2/22/22 or “Twosday.” Colorado Rockies social media celebrated the rare occasion with copious photos of all-time great team shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
The beloved Tulo was with the team from 2006 to 2015 and is considered one of the best Rockies of all time. He was named to the team’s 25th anniversary roster and appears on the Rockies “Mount Rushmore” of many. It makes sense for the Rockies to celebrate the most famous wearer of the number two—with a name conveniently containing the number two—on such a fun date.
two twotwo twotwo...— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) February 22, 2022
happy #TWOsday ✌️ pic.twitter.com/bRVma0LwQg
Unfortunately “Tulo TWOsday” is also followed by the grim specter of reality: that the relationship between Troy Tulowitzki and the Rockies organization remains fractured.
Troy Tulowitzki was traded away to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 27, 2015 along with reliever LaTroy Hawkins in a move that brought José Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Jesús Tinoco and Miguel Castro to the Rockies. Informed of the trade during the ninth inning of a game, a furious Tulowitzki vowed to never speak with then-General Manager Jeff Bridich or the Rockies organization again.
“I’ll never talk to him, never talk to those people,” Tulowitzki told USA TODAY Sports. “You get lied to, straight to your face, you get upset. I believe in forgiveness, but at the same time, I don’t plan on being friendly with them, or anything like that.’’
Negotiations between the Rockies and Blue Jays were kept secret, but Bridich and Rockies owner Dick Monfort had promised to keep Tulowitzki in the loop.
“They told me they would keep [me] in the loop, and that if anything got serious, they would talk to me about it,” Tulowitzki told the [Denver] Post after the trade. “So, to get pulled out of the game in the ninth inning and be told I was traded, I was shocked.”
The trade also came as a shock to his manager Walt Weiss, and his now former teammates. Former Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado—who was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals six years later after similar issues with Jeff Bridich and the Rockies front office— was thrown off by the trade.
“It’s definitely a little weird not seeing him here,’’ Arenado said. “He was always the first one to the clubhouse. I mean, that’s my boy. It’s like when he first got traded, it didn’t hit me until a couple of days later. But when I came down here, it hit me again. It really threw me off. I can’t believe he’s not there. It’s so different. You have to move on.”
Tulowitzki was full of praise for the Rockies fanbase, who would light Coors Field up with the “TU-LO” chant. However, he had very little else in terms of positives to say about the organization. Making remarks about “being with a contender” and saying that the Blue Jays’ spring training facility and regimen was “the way it’s supposed to be,” the bridge between Tulowitzki and the Rockies seemed quite thoroughly burned.
He was quite notably absent in 2018 when the Rockies celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2018. Retired former teammates in Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, and Todd Helton all appeared at Coors Field along with other Rockies greats. Former teammates Chris Iannetta and Matt Holliday—both still playing and on other teams—recorded video messages for the occasion, as did former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. As fans celebrated the Rockies of the past, Tulowitzki was nowhere to be seen or heard from—despite having been named the starting shortstop on the all-time 25-man roster.
As the Rockies post photos of Tulowitzki and celebrate “Tulo TWOsday,” it is clear that the time has come to make things right. The organization is not the same as it was in 2015. Jeff Bridich resigned at the beginning of the 2021 season and was replaced by the man who initially scouted and drafted Tulowitzki in Bill Schmidt. All but two of his former Colorado teammates—Charlie Blackmon and Scott Oberg—have moved on or retired. However, the Rockies are also very much the same organization as they were in 2015. Players like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story openly feuded with the front office and ownership before their departures. Both Dick Monfort and the new GM Bill Schmidt are under intense scrutiny from the fanbase after said departures and several consecutive losing seasons.
It’s up to the Rockies to prove that they are a different organization, and an excellent first step would be repairing the burned bridge between them and Troy Tulowitzki. If the Rockies really are pushing for the future, they first need to return one of the stars from the past to 20th and Blake.
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Should baseball ever return to us, the Rockies are still in need of an offensive upgrade in the outfield. Noah Yingling over at Rox Pile breaks down some of the more realistic options the Rockies could sign at a reasonable price. He leans heavily on former members of the World Series champion Atlanta Braves with Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson. Former New York Mets OF Michael Conforto also makes the list. Yingling also suggests two veteran reclamations in Tommy Pham and Andrew McCutchen.
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As the lockout continues and games are officially threatened, The Athletic’s Nick Groke discusses what changes to the CBA could mean for the Rockies. He marks three major areas where negotiations could affect the Rockies. The first is draft pick compensation, where changes to collective bargaining picks could cause the Rockies to come up empty in their decision to let Trevor Story walk. The second is the league minimum salary, which the Rockies use to sign bargain bin veteran free agents to fill out roster spots. Groke specifically uses Matt Adams in his example. The third is revenue sharing, which the Rockies have been able to benefit massively from as a smaller market team. They reap the rewards of the revenue sharing without having to pay into it.
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