Sharapova's Thigh

Showing posts with label Colorado Rockies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado Rockies. Show all posts

 See much more of Lauren Anderson at Gunaxin.

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My Colorado State Rams cracked the top-25 this week in college hoops for the first time in 59 freaking years, and continued rolling with a 66-60 victory over San Diego State (ranked 22nd in the Coaches Poll) on Wednesday night in Fort Collins. And during the game, the CSU students in attendance at Moby Arena got their 'Harlem Shake' on (as most everybody is these days).

Check it out (first video via RamNation.Com):


And the second video, via Coloradoan.Com


My only complaint here: What the hell is Dinger (the Colorado Rockies mascot and world's worst mascot) doing at the game?

Related: Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks do the Harlem Shake.

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His name is Jamie Moyer, and he will start for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate (Norfolk Tides) on Saturday:

Thigh Five: @masnRoch

Moyer, 49 (!!!!!), was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week after putting together a 2-5 record, 5.70 ERA, and 1.733 WHIP in 10 starts over 53 2/3 innings pitched. The left-hander pitched for the Orioles from 1993-1995, with the most notable of those seasons being in 1993 when he had a 12-9 record and 3.43 ERA over 25 starts.

It's impossible to not admire the hell out of this guy.

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How to catch a foul ball like a boss

Posted by Matt Clapp | 5/09/2012 11:44:00 AM | , , ,

Tuesday night at the Rockies-Padres game in San Diego, a foul ball landed in a Padres' fan's beer, and the fan immediately chugged the beer, with the baseball still in it.

Check out this awesomeness:


That's how you do it.

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Rick Ankiel did that last night. Incredible.

However, not quite as incredible as these two throws the former pitcher made in ONE game against the Rockies years ago as a member of the Cardinals:



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Before yesterday's Rockies-Cardinals game on Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine was giving a preview of the game from the booth. In the background, the Rockies were taking infield practice on the field. And Rockies third base coach Rich Dauer was not expecting a throw from Rockies infielder Chris Nelson.

And unfortunately for Dauer, Nelson's throw was a strike:


Ouch. Dauer suffered a broken nose and was taken to the ER, but was cleared to travel home with the team.

H/T: Deadspin

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For whatever reason, this video is currrently on the front page of Reddit Videos, even though it took place in 2008:


I certainly remember those throws. In fact, I was even watching that game, which is no surprise since I of course live in Denver. Those were two of the best throws I've ever seen from an outfielder, especially the last one. And they took place in the same damn game!

Of course, as good as the throw from the left-center field warning track to third base was, I still don't think it's the best throw I've seen an outfielder make at Coors Field even. That honor would belong to Jose Guillen:


That's a hose and a half.

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The craziness with fans going after foul balls at baseball games continues. Last weekend on theScore, I posted a video of a lady wrestling a ball away from a little girl at a game. Then Thursday right here on the Thigh, I posted a video of a guy wrestling a ball away from a woman.

And tonight, I took video of a lady in a Colorado Rockies shirt absolutely drilling a dude in a Detroit Tigers old school Al Kaline jersey at Coors Field, as they went after a foul ball hit by Troy Tulowitzki.

Check it out:


Come on, lady. My man here has probably the sickest jersey in the park. Let him have the goddamn $12 baseball after he dropped $300 for the jersey of a Hall of Famer, and save your MMA moves for some douchebag in the bleachers.

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I totally would. I'm not exaggerating when I say that might be my favorite hat ever.

But then I ask myself, "Am I out of my mind for thinking that's an awesome hat and wanting to wear the hell out of it?" I mean, a trucker hat with a baseball card imprint on it of Larry Walker in a Montreal Expos uniform?

I think it's hilariously awesome, but then I realize other people would probably think I'm a freaking moron for wearing it. Not that I really even care about the haters, because baseball cards, Larry Walker, and those early 90s Montreal Expos days were awesome and there's no reason to convince me otherwise. Additionally, you have to recognize the Expos every now and again. So yeah, I think I have great reasons to think that's a badass lid.

Anyway, it's available to buy for $21.99(with additional shipping costs of course) on ebay. I've sat here thinking about pulling the trigger, but I don't know. Feel free to jump in if it's still available and steal it away. And if any of you get it, I want to hear all about it, especially about the reactions you get when sporting the hat around town.

And... this of course calls for a poll:




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Major League Baseball pitcher Livan Hernandez is clearly full of rage. I mean, do you remember when he tried to hit a 65-year-old dude with a golf club? And about that, do you really need a golf club to beat up a senior citizen when you're a professional baseball player?

He's also paid people $50 if they let him punch them in the groin, and an additional $300 for every 10th punch. Wait, what?

From D.C. Sports Bog, via The Wall Street Journal:

Pitcher Livan Hernandez became something of a sadistic benefactor when he arrived in Arizona in 2006. Motuzas said Hernandez once paid him $3,000 to drink a gallon of milk in 12 minutes. The two also hammered out a deal that permitted Hernandez to punch Motuzas in the groin for $50 a pop whenever he felt the urge. Motuzas would receive a $300 bonus after every 10th punch.

Things got really interesting one season when Hernandez got his hands on some rubber nunchucks. (”A gift from a fan,” former Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb said.) Hernandez, who now pitches for the Washington Nationals, would put them to use now and then by blindfolding Motuzas. “And then he’d come up and whip the s--- out of me,” said Motuzas, who was compensated for this, as well. “That was just his thing. Great guy, though.”
Jeff Motuzas is a bullpen catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and as that linked Wall Street Journal article(which you should definitely read) shows, will eat or drink pretty much anything for money. And he'll apparently let you punch him in the balls for money as well.

I've spent literally the last hour wondering to myself, "Would I let Livan Hernandez punch me in the balls for $50, and receive a 10th punch for an extra $300?" To the latter part, I would not allow that, especially if these punches come anywhere close to repeatedly.

I would have to be drunk or on painkillers to willingly take a single punch for $50 I think. That's really all I can come up with. And even then, there's no guarantees. I sit here and say, "Yeah, maybe I'd do that." But if Livan Hernandez walks up to me getting ready to strike, I could see myself backing out of that deal rather quickly. And if there's any golf clubs or nunchucks nearby, I'm especially getting the hell out of that.

Also, does it make you crazier to pay people to let you punch them in the balls, or to be the one receiving the punches for money? That's another interesting topic for debate.

Anyway guys... poll time:




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Colorado Rockies' first baseman Todd Helton has had an incredible career. The five-time All-Star has put together a career .324 batting average and .979 OPS, while belting 333 home runs over 14 seasons.

However, he's never been much of a speed demon, as evidenced with just 36 stolen bases over that span. And at 37 years old now with his body not quite where it used to be, running's something he certainly does not enjoy doing, which surely makes Spring Training not so fun for him at times.

Helton used his t-shirt today at Spring Training to express his feelings about running:


H/T:
Troy Renck's Twitter(a must-follow for any baseball fan)

It's clear that Todd Helton and Forrest Gump have their differences. I certainly agree with you though, Todd.

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So my roommate and I are watching the Reds-Rockies game on television tonight, and just heard some heckling on the broadcast from a fan in attendance at Coors Field. Apparently, the fan doesn't think highly of Rockies' outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is making a run at the Triple Crown and is possibly the leading MVP candidate in the National League.

Guess what? We actually took video of it! Thank you DVR and Flip video cameras.

Anyway, here's what the fan had to say while "CarGo" was on defense, and going after a base hit in left field(Note: NSFW language)-



Tough home crowd!

(And email me at sharapovasthigh@gmail.com if the video's been taken down. Damn MLB restrictions.)

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I'm a huge baseball fan that has spent way too much of my life playing or watching the game. Something I saw Tuesday night may have been the coolest/sickest/kickassest thing in a game(that didn't happen for my Cubs).

In the eighth inning of game four of the NLDS, Colorado Rockies rookie Dexter Fowler acrobatically jumped over Phillies All-Star second baseman Chase Utley, in a way that looked straight out of a football movie. Fowler avoided a tag from Utley, and caused an uncomfortable force out attempt for Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins, resulting in Fowler being safe at second on the play.

Fowler's hurdle was a huge play that would help the Rockies score three runs in the inning to take a 4-2 lead, and it appeared they were in great shape to force a game five in Philadelphia. However, Rockies closer Huston Street would allow three runs in the ninth inning, and the defending champion Phillies went on to win 5-4 and advance to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Anyway, here's the video(which could be taken down off YouTube at any moment, and if so, let me know)...

UPDATE(10/13/09, 5:00 PM ET):
So as expected, MLB keeps taking down the videos featuring TBS coverage of the play. I've already had up two different versions on here. Until another one pops up, here's a couple of lesser quality. The first one is a fan's video as they were sitting in right field...




If those didn't please you enough, check out the video of it on MLB.Com, as I can't post that on here.

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I have the Rockies/Rays game on as I have Aaron Cook in my fantasy league and find it comforting background noise as I sit and reconsider the path my life is taking. David Price at the plate, Michel Hernandez on first base. Price hits a ground ball to the shortstop, no out is made, and Price is given an 0-1 for a fielder's choice.

No harm, no foul, we move on.

Except this is major league baseball. Inevitably, something bad or senseless or strange is going to happen. A few pitches (maybe batters, even, I lost track of the time difference), the Rockies official scorer changed the fielder's choice to a hit.

99% of the time, this is a non-issue. However, that newly made hit would be David Price's first major league hit. Normally, the player would receive the ball. Not today, Mr. Price, not today.

One less piece of memorabilia to put up on Ebay.

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The Braves expect to see Nate McLouth doing his home run trot frequently in their uniform.

On June 5th, the Atlanta Braves were quite busy making significant moves. They released a future Hall of Famer in starting pitcher Tom Glavine, and agree with the way this was handled or not, the bottom line is he wasn't helping the team this year. At 43 years old, it's unlikely things were going to all of a sudden turn around for the left-hander. Maybe he could keep an ERA under 5, but they felt they could do better than that with top prospect Tommy Hanson.

They called the 22-year-old Hanson up that day after he had a 1.50 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 66.1 innings at Triple-A Gwinnett. The fireballing right-hander made his debut yesterday in Atlanta against the Milwaukee Brewers, and while he gave up 6 runs, he showed his stuff was as good as advertised. He has the potential to be an ace down the road, but for right now can at least be a solid #4/#5 starter for the Braves.

However, the move they made that day that definitely improved the team for this year was the acquisition of 2008 All-Star and Gold Glove winner Nate McLouth from the Pittsburgh Pirates. To get him, the Braves gave up three highly regarded minor leaguers in pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke, and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Many around baseball think the the Pirates are the winners in this deal, and we probably won't know that for a few years. I happen to like it for both teams, and it without question makes this currenty Braves team better. McLouth will likely finish the year with around 25-30 homers, an .820+ OPS, and 20-30 stolen bases. About his stolen bases, he's 65 for 70 in that department in his career, and only one of the five times he was "caught stealing" was on a throw from the catcher. Incredible.

The Braves currently sit in third place at 27-28, 6 games behind the first place Philadelphia Phillies. They've really been underachieving at the plate. The likelihood that many of their hitters will improve, along with the McLouth addition, should lead to some more runs. If that's the case, they're going to be tough to beat with a rotation featuring Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, and Jair Jurrjens. Additionally, there's talk that they're not finished shopping...

The Detroit Tigers' trade for pitcher Edwin Jackson didn't get too much notoriety over the winter, but it's been a major reason that they currently have a 3.5 game lead in the AL Central. The Tigers acquired him from The Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Matt Joyce. Joyce has just 29 at bats so far for the struggling Rays, and Jackson's been the ace of the first place Tigers' staff. The 25-year-old right-hander is 6-3, with a 2.16 ERA in 12 starts.

Considering how young he is, it's crazy to think that years ago Jackson was considered by some to be the best pitching prospect in baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struggled with the Dodgers and was sent to Tampa Bay, where he disappointed until last season. Still, many thought he pitched into some luck last year with 199 hits allowed in 183.2 innings pitched, and just 108 strikeouts. He's proven the doubters wrong thus far, and has given up just 63 hits in 83.1 innings pitched, and struck out 62. He has terrific stuff, and it seems he's finally putting it all together as a pitcher...

The headlining trade of the offseason was the Matt Holliday deal. The Colorado Rockies traded him to the Oakland Athletics this past offseason for reliever Huston Street, pitcher Greg Smith, and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. Holliday's swinging the bat well of late and currently has a .287 batting average, 8 homers, 37 RBI, and a .850 OPS. However, he only hit 1 homer in April, and his A's have been in the cellar of the AL West. Although the A's have won six games in a row and are in a weak AL West, there's been plenty of discussion that Holliday could be dealt by the July 31st trade deadline. Even he's talked about the possibility, and how he'd probably prefer it if the A's are out of contention by then.

For the Rockies, Huston Street's allowed a run in just one of his last 16 outings and is their closer. Greg Smith's battled shoulder issues, but is a 25-year-old lefty that the Rockies feel can step into their rotation soon, as he was solid for the A's in 32 starts last year. 23-year-old Carlos Gonzalez was the key to this deal for the Rockies, and he was mashing at Triple-A, so the Rockies just called him up. He should be the starting left fielder for the Rockies for a long time. So right now, this deal looks like a win for Colorado, as they didn't have the financial ability to hang onto Holliday long-term...

If there's any chance the Toronto Blue Jays would be willing to deal Roy Halladay, any contender should at least be interested, although it would likely take a boatload of prospects to get him. Halladay is 10-1 with a 2.52 ERA, and is going deep into games as he always has. He's gone at least seven innings in every start, and threw complete games in the last two. Oh, and his 10 wins are just two less than the Washington Nationals' 15 as a team...

The Kansas City Royals wouldn't look much better than the Nationals if not for Zack Greinke. The team is 24-32, and have lost 9 of their last 10. They've allowed 42 more runs than they've scored, even with Greinke allowing only 15 earned runs in 87 innings for a 1.55 ERA...

If there's anybody that understands how Dan Haren feels, it's Cubs rookie pitcher Randy Wells. The right-hander is 0-2 in 6 starts, despite having a 1.80 ERA. He's allowed over 2 earned runs only once, and just allowed 3 in that game. Every game either the offense did very little to help him, or the bullpen wasted his great performance. He'll get some wins soon enough though. He's displayed outstanding poise and confidence on the mound, and comes right at hitters. He rarely hits over 90 mph on the radar gun, but he really knows how to pitch and hits the catcher's target routinely. No, he's not going to keep an ERA under 2, but this guy gets it and should be here to stay...

In 2008, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz had a sensational season in the minors, and put up a 1.030 OPS in 133 plate appearances in the majors. As the 28-year-old(turns 29 on July 1st) has been around for awhile and not shown much at the plate in the majors until his short stint last year, people around baseball weren't sure what to expect from him in 2009. Well, he's absolutely crushing the ball and showing that last year was not a fluke. He's hitting .292, with 17 homers, 42 RBI, and a .970 OPS. He has 10 homers and 20 RBI in his last 18 games. He's certainly doing his part to keep the Rangers in first place in the AL West...

Sunday at Petco Park in San Diego, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the hometown Padres 8-5 in the 18th inning. It got me thinking, it seems like there's been a bunch of games like that in San Diego the last couple of years. Sure enough, theres been 6 games that went at least 13 innings at Petco Park the last 2 seasons, and 4 of those games went at least 16 innings, including a 22-inning game last year. With Petco Park being the best pitcher's park in baseball, along with the Padres' horrible offense, it's understandable how that could happen.

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This past week while I was in California as we honored my great friend that we lost way too soon, Henry Pearson, I thought much about our baseball memories together. Henry was a diehard New York Mets fan, and I remember that for at least awhile his favorite player was Howard Johnson, who played for the Mets from 1985 through 1993. So I figured I'd learn some more about "HoJo" and perhaps why Henry was such a big fan of his in our latest installment of the "Random Retro Baseball Player" series...

Years Played: 1982-1995.

Teams Played For: Detroit Tigers(82-84), New York Mets(85-93), Colorado Rockies(94), Chicago Cubs(95).

Positions: Third Base(1031 Games), Shortstop(273 Games), Left Field(99 Games), Center Field(86 Games), Right Field(36 Games), Second Base(8 Games), First Base(5 Games).

Bats/Throws: Both/Right.

Career Line: .249 AVG, 760 R, 1229 H, 228 HR, 760 RBI, 231 SB, .340 OBP, .446 SLG, .786 OPS.

Best Season: 1989- .287 AVG, 104 R, 164 H, 36 HR, 101 RBI, 41 SB, .369 OBP, .559 SLG, .928 OPS.

Awards/Leaderboard: 2-Time NL All-Star(1989, 1991).

2-Time NL Silver Slugger For Third Basemen(1989, 1991).

Finished In The Top 10 Of NL MVP Voting 3 Times(1987-10, 1989-5, 1991-5).

Led NL In Home Runs In 1991 With 38, Finished In Top 10 4 Other Times(1987, 1988, 1989).

Led NL In RBI In 1991 With 117.

Finished 2nd In NL Slugging Percentage Twice(1989, 1991).

Led NL In Runs Scored In 1989 With 104, Finished 2nd In 1991 With 108.

Led NL In Extra Base Hits In 1991 With 76, Finished 2nd In 1989 With 80.

Led NL In Sacrifice Flies In 1991 With 15.

Led NL In Power-Speed Number In 1989(38.3) And 1991(33.5).

Fun Facts: Nicknamed "HoJo" understandably considering the first two letters of his first and last names.

He was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 12th pick overall in the 1979 amateur draft.

He was on two World Series-winning teams: the Tigers in 1984, and the Mets in 1986.

As a switch-hitter with lots of power, HoJo did some things at the plate that had never been done before by a switch-hitter in the National League.
  • From 1992-1997, he held the National League career record for home runs by a switch-hitter.
  • From 1987-1996, he held the single-season National League home run record.
  • In 1991, he became the only switch-hitter to lead the National League in both home runs and RBI in the same year.
  • He became the first switch-hitter to lead the National League in RBI in 1991.
HoJo was a three-time 30-30(30+ homers, 30+ stolen bases). Most view him simply as a power hitter but he had underrated speed and ability to swipe a bag.

He is third all-time for the Mets in home runs and RBI, and second in stolen bases and doubles.

In 2007, his son Glen was drafted by the Mets in the 36th round of the amateur draft, but did not sign.

He is currently the Mets' hitting coach.

You can get plenty more on HoJo on his Wikipedia page, and more on his statistics on his Baseball Reference page.

Personal Reaction: I'd just like to add that I can see why Henry liked Howard Johnson so much. I followed HoJo closely as a kid because of Henry, so I knew much of this myself. However, as I read up on him for the first time in years and looked through his statistics, it made more sense. Johnson was a part of the Mets' last world championship team, he was one of the premier power hitters in baseball and could do it from both sides of the plate, he was a stolen base artist, and defensively, he played all over the field. He was Henry's kind of ballplayer.

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Coming to Coors Field... I hope.

I'm not a Rockies fan, contrary to what many of you believe. I bleed Cubbie blue. However, I will enjoy the Rockies a bit more in 2009 and potentially attend more of their games if the greatest mustache on the planet is a part of their team.

You see, veteran catcher Sal Fasano signed a Minor League deal with the Rockies today. Yes, there's a very good chance he doesn't make the team, maybe not at all this season(although he'd be playing in AAA at Colorado Springs). This would really disappoint me.

So what if he's 37? Who cares that he's a career .221 hitter? Big deal that he has only two stolen bases and has just two seasons with at least 20 RBI. What brings more excitement at a cheap price like a superb mustache? Sal Fasano sells. Check out The700Level.com to see how popular he was as a member of the Phillies.

Just how good is this mustache Sal possesses? Let's see how it looks in comparison to some other famous mustaches...


Very nice! Nice thickness(that's what she said), but still not quite good enough(that's usually what she says to me).


I have no idea who this guy is, but I assume he's the face of any "How To Stay A Virgin" book.


Probably the best "normal" stache ever. Need a little more pizazz though for world's best.


He couldn't even make it around the bases with Elaine.


A menacing, absolute badass look. However, keep in mind: he's an effing cartoon character.


Asterisk stache.


An amazing stache but a bit past it's prime.


Although I worship Da Coach and I'd never say it to his face, I've seen better.


Quite ravishing. Unfortunately he's no better than a Wes Mantooth(#2) in the stache ratings.


Winner.

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The Douchiest Mascot in Sports: Dinger. Roddick's Knee and I have been involved in many incidents with Dinger. In fact, this triceratops once broke my glasses. Ignore the look they've given him(?), this is not a friendly dinosaur.

Since we're all huge baseball fans here at the Thigh, we've decided to examine each MLB team and where they currently stand. We'll look at how the team did last year, changes that happened or could happen with the team this offseason, and how it looks like the team will do in 2009 as of now. We'll even toss in the hottest thigh associated with each team.

2008 Outcome: 74-88, finished 3rd in the NL West, 10 games back of the Dodgers.

What They've Lost: LF Matt Holliday(Traded To A's), Closer Brian Fuentes(Signed With Angels), CF Willy Taveras(Signed With Reds), RP Luis Vizcaino(Traded To Cubs), OF Cory Sullivan(Signed With Mets).

What They've Done: Acquired RP Huston Street(From A's), Acquired OF Carlos Gonzalez(From A's), Acquired SP Greg Smith(From A's), Acquired SP Jason Marquis(From Cubs), Signed RP Alan Embree, Signed P Matt Belisle To A Minor League Deal, Signed IF/OF Luis A. Gonzalez To A Minor League Deal, Signed IF/OF Dan Ortmeier To A Minor League Deal.

Needs: They're always looking for pitchers. Even if they feel good with what they have, you never know how pitchers are going to do at Coors Field. They might not be looking to add another starting pitcher, but they need to figure out which guys will be in the rotation and get some stability there.

The Talk: The Rockies aren't likely to make anymore significant moves before Opening Day. They'll probably sign a veteran starting pitcher, but just a guy that could compete for the #5 spot in the rotation or provide insurance in case somebody goes down with an injury in Spring Training.

They've certainly made a lot of noise this offseason though, most notably with their trade of 3-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday to the Oakland Athletics. In return, the Rockies got highly touted 23-year-old outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street who will likely be their closer, and promising left-handed starting pitcher Greg Smith.

For this year, that trade is likely to benefit the A's much more than the Rockies. Holliday, the NL MVP runner-up in 2007, was clearly the best hitter in the Rockies lineup and will be pretty much impossible to replace anytime soon. Understandably, much of the Rockies fan base is not pleased that the Rockies would trade away a player in his prime that will bat .320+, hit 30+ homers, and drive in 110+ runs. However, I like this trade for the Rockies in the long term.

Carlos Gonzalez looks like he can be a star and is the centerpiece of this deal for the Rockies. You just watch a few of his at bats and you can tell he's going to be a good one. Considering he'll be playing half of his games for at least the next few years at Coors Field, this is a guy I'd be very interested in if I'm in a fantasy keeper league(which I am). It sounds like he will take over in left field for Holliday and can play all three outfield positions.

Huston Street was a terrific addition to this team. The Rockies knew they couldn't afford to keep closer Brian Fuentes, who ended up signing a two-year, $17.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 25-year-old Street has 94 career saves and a career ERA of 2.88 in four seasons. He's the favorite to step into the closer's role as Manny Corpas was awful in the role in 2008(4 saves in 13 chances), and the Rockies would like to keep Taylor Buchholz in the setup role where he excelled with a 2.18 ERA last season.

Greg Smith's the player that could really make this look like a great trade for the Rockies. At just 24 in 2008, Smith threw 190.3 innings and had an ERA of 4.16. If he could repeat those numbers this season, the Rockies would be ecstatic.

The Rockies also acquired starting pitcher Jason Marquis from the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Luis Vizcaino. Marquis gives them a veteran arm that's usually good for around 200 innings and double-digit wins. He'll likely be considered their #5 going into the season, but look for him to be one of their most dependable pitchers. By adding two workhorses in Smith and Marquis, it should lower the workload off a questionable bullpen.

As far as position players go, third baseman Garrett Atkins' situation is getting a lot of attention. Atkins is arbitration-eligible and requested $7.95 million, and the Rockies countered with an offer of $6.65 million. The arbitration hearing will be in February, and Atkins' future with the Rockies figures to be a big topic in 2009 as he's a free agent in 2010. 23-year-old third baseman Ian Stewart seems best suited for third base and the Rockies think he could be a star. Stewart had 10 homers and an .804 OPS in 266 at bats in 2008.

Free Agent Signing/Trade Prediction: P Josh Fogg.

This makes too much sense for both sides. The Rockies could use another starting pitcher for depth heading into Spring Training. Fogg would probably sign a Minor-League deal. He wants to be back with the team where he earned the nickname "Dragon Slayer" in late 2007 for beating pitchers such as Brandon Webb, Derek Lowe, and Chris Young down the stretch of the Rockies' miraculous run to the playoffs.

Young Player(s) To Make 2009 Impact: OF's Carlos Gonzalez And Dexter Fowler.

I already talked about Gonzalez who will compete for an everyday job in Spring Training. Look for him to get over 400 at bats.

Dexter Fowler's an exciting talent. He's long(6'4", 175), fast(101 stolen bases in 334 Minor League games)
, hit .335 in 421 at bats in 2008, has a great eye(.431 on-base percentage in 2008), has decent power which is expected to improve as he gets stronger, and he's considered a Gold Glove talent defensively. He's the Rockies leadoff hitter and centerfielder of the future. While the Rockies might start him off in Triple-A this season, he should still get a good amount of playing time in 2009 with the big club. With the huge outfield dimensions at Coors Field, expect this guy to be a triples machine for years to come.

2009 Outlook: This team is tough to assess at the moment. They shocked the world by making the World Series in 2007, then only won 74 games in a very bad NL West division in 2008. The loss of Matt Holliday is going to hurt this season, there's no doubt. However, having a full season of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki would make a huge difference. Tulo hit .291 with 24 homers and 99 RBI in his outstanding 2007 rookie season. He also should've won the Gold Glove that season over Jimmy Rollins. He got off to an awful start in 2008, and then had a torn quadicreps keep him off the field for a couple months. If he's back to his 2007 self, and their improved starting rotation lives up to expectations, they can be a threat in what should still be an awful NL West. Right now though, I'd have to predict they finish under .500.

Hottest Thigh Association: Lisa Dergan Podsednik

Can you believe Scott freaking Podsednik is banging that? That's what being a professional baseball player will bring you, even if you're a crappy one. Lisa, 38, married Scott in 2006. Well before that she was famous for being a Playmate and sporstcaster on Fox Sports Net. Oh, and she was a #5 seed in the 2008 Hot Ladies Tournament, where she lost to Sara Jean Underwood in the second round.

As for her husband, he just signed a Minor League deal with the Rockies and might not make the team out of Spring Training.

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Here's a strange story I heard the other day. This story comes from Tulo directly courtesy of Jack Corrigan, the voice of the Colorado Rockies. This story begins two days before Matt Holliday was traded to the Oakland A's.

The Monfort brothers called Holliday in for a one-on-one meeting, without Scott Boras. During the course of the meeting Holliday was offered 6 years and $96 million. He said yes, left the meeting, texted Tulo and Garrett Atkins "I'm staying! 6 and 96". Naturally you would think there was a handshake at the very least between the Monforts and Holliday...

The next morning Boras was at Coors Field with Holliday proclaiming that no deal had been reached. The Monforts put up the plea, "No no, we have an agreement." Holliday says, "No, we had a high five, not a hand shake."

News of this gets around around to Tulo. He sees Corrigan later that day hanging around Coors Field and tells the whole story. Tulo finishes by saying, "Get rid of the guy. We don't want him."

Crazy.

Agents are clearly necessary in sports. They keep owners from exploiting players. But since when was the player agent relationship designed to benefit the agent above the player?

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After a deal between the Cardinals and Rockies fell through in the last couple days, the Rockies moved on and dealt their All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday to the A's reportedly. No details on who the Rockies are getting in return.

In their talks with the Cardinals, rumors were the Rockies would get outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Skip Schumaker in the deal. The 30-year-old Ludwick had an absolutely monster 2008 season, hitting .299, with 37 homers, 119 RBI, and an OPS of .966. However, this was his first season with success at all and there are obviously questions as to whether or not he'll ever repeat such a season. Schumaker, 28, also had a very good year hitting .308 for the Cardinals. So these were solid pieces for the Rockies to receive in return, making you wonder what they could get from Oakland.

In my opinion, the Rockies need a good young starting pitcher in return for the 28-year-old Holliday. They don't need anymore corner outfielders or infielders, as they've been blocking players such as Ian Stewart because of their logjam at the positions recently. That's also why it's possible they deal third baseman Garrett Atkins as well.

As for Holliday, there's plenty of questions about how well he'll do when he's not playing 81 games each year at Coors Field. His home/road splits are pretty drastic. In his career at home, Holliday has hit .357 with 84 homers, 307 RBI, slugging % of .645, and an OPS of 1.068. Compare that to the road, where he's hit .280 with 44 homers, 176 RBI, slugging % of .455, and an OPS of .803.

We'll have more details as they come.

UPDATE(3:20 PM ET): Names mentioned by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal: OF Carlos Gonzalez, P Huston Street, P Greg Smith.

Gonzalez is a top prospect that many think is a future All-Star, and if he's involved, I think the A's could definitely regret this trade. He played most of his games in his rookie '08 campaign in CF, but the Rockies have their own great prospect in Dexter Fowler ready to take over there. Gonzalez also played many games in RF, but Brad Hawpe is currently there for the Rockies.

As for Huston Street, there were rumors of him being traded before the deadline, and the Rockies would seem to be a perfect fit now. Their 2008 closer Brian Fuentes will not be back, Manny Corpas was awful last year in the role, and they like Taylor Buchholz in the setup role.

Greg Smith's a promising 24-year-old left-hander who had a 4.16 ERA in 2008.

If this is the deal, I like it a lot more for the Rockies than the rumored deal with the Cardinals. They get the young starting pitcher they need, they fill the closer's role, and they get a potential All-Star outfielder in Carlos Gonzalez although it's unclear where he'd play. In the games I watched of him, it seems like he could play anywhere and you'll worry about that "problem" when it comes.

For the A's, I'm thinking they'll regret this deal. Holliday's splits are a big enough concern, now you're putting him in the pitcher-friendly park in Oakland?

UPDATE(3:50 PM ET): Tim Brown of Yahoo claims those are indeed the 3 players going to the Rockies.

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