June 2010

Ain’t no Jive…Gonna try it Live

6/29/10           

               It’s time for an update about …….“Pitch Your Team”

In the couple of months since I came up with what I thought was a crazy cool idea I’ve had only one video sent to me. It was from Dan and Emily and I just wanted to thank them for jumping on the idea. They did a good job too.

                                    Here’s Emily show’n her Rockies luv:

          

It seems to me (by lack of video submissions) that Dan, Emily and I luv the Rockies more than any other reader, writer or fan of baseball who owns a video camera.

                                         Don’t you hate me for saying that?


no hate logo.jpg              Prove me wrong and send me your “Pitch Your Team” video 

 The planned cutoff for video submissions is the All-Star game. If in the next week people express interest and tell me they have a video in the works I’ll extend the cutoff to Aug 7th. If not, then Super Rockies fans Dan and Emily are the winners.

                 Despite the lack of interest I’m still working on my own video.


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So, if I’m going to be known as a trendsetting blogger, I guess I need to be bust’n out some more trends.


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Here’s my new thing…..I believe I have the capability now to blog live from the games. Thursday’s game will be a test run for me. Internet connection is the biggest question right now. If that’s a go, then I believe all is a go.

       Here’s how I want this to work:

If you visit the Rockpile Rant at various times before and during the game I’ll have fresh content up.

You might get to see a video or picture of something cool that happened during batting practice or pictures of the Rockies before the game starts.

Maybe during the game I’ll get lucky and snag a picture of a controversial play or a “Coors Field crack of the game”? 

       For sheets and giggles I’m tossing around the idea of a segment called:

                                    “Where is Captain Earthman now?”
Cpt Earthman 11.jpg                           For some reason I laugh every time I think of that.

The only thing I won’t be able to do while I’m at the game is write the ending and upload the bulk of the pictures.

What do you think? Obviously I won’t be blogging during batting practice as catching baseballs is my thing. But there’s a nice break in between BP and the start of the game.
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Am I breaking new ground here or is this already being done from a fans perspective? I have no idea; it just feels like the next step for me.

            I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter , I’m in it for the snags and the brags.


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Go Rockies…DThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image

Ba-Da-Bing….Cha-Ching is King

                       6/22/10

Rockies vs Red Sox Game One

This game was the “Blogging Without Borders” game with Dr Rocker of the MLBlog:

 “Sox Rocker”

                                                   Dr Rockier and RPR 6-22-10.jpg In reality this was more of an experiment, you know just to see what it would be like to blog about the other’s team.

The first thing I discovered is that it’s not easy to put on another team’s colors. Secondly I was confused as how to write this entry. I wondered whether I should stick to my routine or try to adapt the “DR’s” style of writing,….. but that’s easier said than done.

The Dr is a bright guy and his entries are deep, thoughtful, witty and well written. Sometimes when I read the Dr’s blog I feel like I’m listening to Dennis Miller back in the day when he did football broadcasts.

A bit over my head and I spend more time trying to figure out what he’s saying than actually listening to what he’s saying.

            Dr I mean that with full respect. I just can’t do your style, you do it much better.

So, I backed out of the jersey swap at the last minute. The thought of wearing Red Sox attire bothered me so much I had trouble sleeping the night before. As much as I wanted to do this “for the sake of doing it”, the jersey swap wasn’t happening.

Truth be told I despise the Red Sox. I hate the smug attitudes of some of their fans. I hate the vibe of Coors Field when the Red Sox fans are in town. I hate the color Red. I hate the way Yukillus stands at the plate when he bats. I hate the fact that when the Red Sox fans cheer “Let Go Red Sox” it’s as loud or louder than the Rockies fans.

                            This entry is one of the hardest entries I’ve written to date.

                            Ok with that said…Here we go..Red Sox ..Here we go. 

 This Rox/Sox rematch is always a battle of the fans in my opinion. The mighty Red Sox fans who habitate in Colorado and for one reason or another can’t make it back to the promise land of Boston to support their team make their mighty presence known by taking over Coors Field for three games.

I showed at the Rockpile Gates at my normal time and a mob of eager, baseball hungry Red Sox fans were way ahead of me.

The line for batting practice was insane as the red shirts showed up to support the Red Sox on the road. It almost seemed as if it was organized?

 I’m positive the high numbers weren’t for the free Rockies promotional hat that was handed out at the gates.

   Once I was situated in the pavilion a dude named Alex came up and introduced himself.

Alex 6-22-10.jpg Alex let me know that originally he thought the Rockpile Rant was some opinionated guy who wrote about the Rockies saying they should do this or they should do that.

Alex said after he read my blog he discovered it wasn’t like that at all and he liked it. Thank you Alex. Alex was at BP today trying to snag his first BP homer on the fly. I mentioned that today could be slim pickins as the pavilion was packed..But you never know.

The fact that I was sitting at 99 baseballs wasn’t on my mind at all because with the crowd I was sure I’d be shut out today and I was ok with that.

Photo by Joy 

RPR Red sox 6-22-10.jpgI watched Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook each toss several baseballs into the souvenir hungry crowd. Not one of those balls managed to find a Rockies fan.

                    Maybe it’s because the Rockies fans were few and far between.
Rockies pitchers 6-22-10.jpg                                   Red Sox fans were ok with that…All of them.
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Shortly after the Red Sox took over the field Big Papi came out with his son.

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 As baseballs were hit and would roll to a stop, his son would pick them up and toss them to the fans in the outfield.
Big Papi and son 3 6-22-10.jpg This father son moment was one of the top five things I’ve witnessed during batting practice. Props to you “Big Papi” for living up to your name. I do believe you “Get it”.

                             It’s fun to be around and watch when players “Get it”.

Red Sox 6-22-10.jpgI finally was able to visit with looong time Rant Regular LUVMYROX aka Joy and her husband Jim. It’s the first time I’ve seen them this season and we chatted for spell.

Photo by Joy

Joy and Jim 6-22-10.jpg I was standing close to them for part of batting practice and decided to take a chance and move back a few rows. Within minutes of switching places one of the Red Sox hit a screamer which I thought was going to sail way over my head.

Instead I was able to reach up high, lean back and the milestone ball landed perfectly in my glove.

All I could think of was “I did it”. Then I yelled out “Yeaaaah 100 baby” I’m not sure why I did that but it felt damn good at the time. I had to take a look back at my pictures but to the best of my knowledge it was this Red Sox players BP homer that helped me reach the 100 mark.
Daniel Nava 6-22-10.jpg                           Number 60 left fielder Daniel Nava. Thanks Daniel.

                           If you look at this picture in a mirror it would say 100.

RPR 100th ball 6-22-10.jpgWithin a few minutes of that snag I was back standing beside Jim and Joy. A nameless BP homer was hit and was cruising toward our section.. I located it, followed it, and then realized I really didn’t have to move to snag this one.

                          I held up my glove and the ball hit the pocket square.

Immediately after I caught it I realized I was standing right beside Jim and that it was his glove directly under mine. So in actuality, had I not put up my glove Jim would have owned that ball.

                 I immediately gave him the ball as it should have been his.

Sorry Jim,…. the truth is I didn’t even see you. My eyes were on that ball. Jim was totally cool about it. Nice to visit with you both, sorry I totally spaced taking a picture of you.

Dr Rocker showed up during batting practice to say “hey” and officially kick this “Blogging Without Borders” thing off.

After batting practice I headed over to the Rockies dugout because I wanted to talk to Alanna Rizzo. I had heard that recently she had been hit in the head with a baseball during practice. As I was waiting to talk to Alanna I overheard her mention to someone else that she had been clocked in the head not once but twice in the last couple of weeks.

When it was my turn, I said “Hi Alanna, I’m D The Rockpile Ranter, I caught my 100th baseball during batting practice today and I wanted to give it to you”.

Alanna Rizzo 6-22-10.jpgAlanna said “Was it from a Red Sox player, if it was I don’t want it”. (At first I thought she was serious).

I said “I’m not going to tell you” (Actually, at that point I wasn’t exactly sure who hit me the homerun ball).

Alanna then said, “Well thank you very much, are you sure you want to do that…Why?

I explained that I felt bad that she had been hit in the head with a baseball and I hoped this would make her feel better….That was that.

I always give luv to the FSN Rocky Mountain crew for a couple of reasons.

1. I like ‘em and think they do a good job.

2. Maybe someday the luv will be reciprocal as far as the Rockpile Rant is concerned…

Remember Alex? (the dude I had met in the pavilion earlier). Alex walked up to me excitedly and let me know that he had finally snagged his elusive batting practice homer on the fly.

Imagine that, even with all the Red Sox fans packed in the pavilion like little red sardines, the man did what he set out to do and nailed that snag.

               Props to you Alex…As I’ve mentioned here before, the addiction starts now.

                                  Here are the Red Sox pre-game pictures                                   .

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boston player 7.jpgAs I took pictures of the Red Sox players and their fans I hate to admit it but I think I started to understand the long distance Red Sox fan’s mentality. I’m fortunate because I attend over forty games a year and get to watch the Rockies warm-up all the time. It’s routine for me.

Red Sox fans seemed grateful for every second spent watching their team before the game stretch, goof around and play catch.

stretch red sox.jpg When you only get to see your team once every couple of years you soak in even the tiniest of details….I can respect that.

                                     Here are my Red Sox game pictures. 

Pedroia at bat 6-22-10.jpg                     Not quite.

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           Jon Lester gives up only one hit in six innings with six strikeouts..Nice Job!

                                 Click HERE for video of Jon’s performance.

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Coors Field Rakers 6-22-10.jpg                                                  Brat with a reddish view…

IMG_3167.JPGMartinez at bat 6-22-10.jpg

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Herrera slide first 6-22-10.jpg                                    A few shots of the hosting Rockies.

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Brad Hawpe 6-22-10.jpg squeeze.jpg Cargo and Hill 6-22-10.jpg                Cha-Ching was money tonight as he pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings.chacin 6-22-10.jpg

 Say what you want about his shaky batting average Clint Barmes can work that shortstop position. I know he doesn’t have close to Tulo’s arm but the dude is instinctive and extremely athletic.

Check out Clint’s game ending play to give the Rockies the win in this game one rematch at Coors Field with a final score of 2-1.

                                             Clint’s one hopper 

Coors Field was bump’n. Red Soxs fans who paid big bucks to see their teams winning streak continue were left silent. Leaving Coors Field a loser is a strange concept to the BoSox.

This is a talented team, that’s part of why I hate them so much. They play hard because their fans expect no less. Boston has a fanbase that is scattered all over the country and willing to travel to support their team.

For the Red Sox players it’s like always playing in front of the home crowd. That can be good and bad.

Colorado Rockies fans celebrated like it was game one of the 2007 World Series with a different ending. I wonder if a win like this or possibly taking the series from the Red Sox could change the Rockies Mojo?

                                    Our players are healing, and I gotta feel’n.

               I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter. Rockies fan extraordinaire who cares.

                                            I did like I said and I tried it Red.ranter hat.jpg

“Gotcha” Macha

6/18/10                            Brewers vs Rockies Game One

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                                           Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy.
                                                  Wind: 16 mph, In from LF.
                                                      Temperature: 2:43.
                                                             Att: 32,340.

First in line today, first into the pavilion. That was a good thing because as I was heading to my “spot” I managed to snag the first ball of the day after it took a nasty bounce off of a bleacher.                                  

                             Here’s a shot of Gary X, Alannah X and Jay DDD.
Gary and Crew.jpg Gary came up and introduced himself his daughter and JayDDD during batting practice.

Gary is a regular Rant reader and told me that reading the Rockpile Rant had inspired him to show up early for batting practice. Gary asked me where a good location for BP would be and I suggested over by Robert in the corner against the railing.

The fact that I actually inspired anyone to do anything blows me away so I gave his daughter Alannah the baseball I had snagg’d earlier. She later snagg’d a toss-up from Jorge De La Rosa and before they left the pavilion Alannah let me know how excited she was to have two baseballs because now she could give one to her best friend.

That is what it’s all about. Super nice folks. It was an honor to meet and chat with you. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it…D

I also thought is was cool that Gary knew who Robert was through the Rockpile Rant and went over and introduced himself.
Front row 6-19-10.jpg I mentioned to Robert later that maybe he should start a blog so he can make me famous…. I don’t think he got it?

I did have an opportunity to snag a Jeff Francis toss-up. In fact Jeff actually threw it to me but at the last second the dude in front of me stood up and barehanded it. As he caught it the dude’s hand smacked back into my glove and he acted like I was in his space?

Jeff Francis 6-19-10.jpg                  I don’t think so. Thanks Jeff, I knew you were tossing it to me.

                                                       Mike and Geoff.
Mike and Geoff 6-19-10.jpgBatting practice ended and my final tally was one. One is better than none although I prefer catching ‘em.

Mike, Robert and I headed over to the Rockies dugout so we could see. You know sometimes you just gotta see stuff. So we stood there and watched and we saw stuff.

Wanna see what we saw? Here you see us seeing Jason Hammel the starting pitcher.

Jason Hammel walk 6-19-10.jpg Ok, I’m sure you’ve noticed when the starting pitchers walk across the field past the crowd on their way to warm-up right?

               Tell me why does it seem like they’re doing the “Walk of Shame”.               

                       You know what I mean….Head down, no eye contact???     

What exactly are they doing before they walk onto the field? ……….I dunno, but it does make you wonder though?

                          Remember, I’m just here to point out the obvious :)   

                            Here’s Miguel Olivo, Mark Strittmatter and Bob Apodaca.

Olivo, Strittmatter and Apodaca 6-19-10.jpg                                                    Hey did you know?

did you know 6-19-10.jpg                                                        Nice job Miguel !

                                  Props to Coors Field Hosers for keep’n it wet.
Coors Field Hosers 6-19-10.jpg                                           Todd Helton, we need you brotha!!

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Brad Hawpe 6-19-10.jpg                                           Second baseman Jonathon Herrera.

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Helton, Herrera, Barmes 6-19-10.jpgWhile we were seeing stuff Robert let me know he had an extra ticket for the front row next to him and Mike and that I could use it if I wanted…Uhh yep!

                                   I like this view….Photo by Robert Harmon
View is great 6-19-10.jpg                                                         Thanks Robert.

It was just my luck as no home runs were hit into the pavilion. Can you imagine how funny it would have been if a ball actually had been hit anywhere near Robert, Mike and I.

The three of us trying to get out of those three seats in a row at the same time could have been interesting :)

                                    Jonathon Herrera sliding into second.

Herrera slide 6-19-10.jpg                                              Dan and family and Big Tom

Dan and Fam 6-19-10.jpg              For Nick the Happy Youngster in case he’s reading…Mr Prince Fielder.

Prince Fielder 6-19-10.jpgNo pictures of Tulowitzki today. If you haven’t heard Tulo got hit by a pitch and has a broken bone in his wrist. We’re looking at six weeks until he returns…Ouch

                                        I call this “Dejected then Ejected”.

           Bad call at first base….Umpire says safe… Jim Tracy comes storming out.

Tracy leaves the dugout 6-19-10.jpg                       The Umpires meet, have a lil pow-wow and reverse the call….Out

Umpires discussing 6-19-10.jpg           Brewers manager Ken Macha flips his cookies it and gets to leave Coors early.

Macha loses it 6-19-10.jpg                                         Here’s the video…You’re welcome :) 

 

            Stuff like this is fun to watch, especially when the call goes in your teams favor.

Another first for me at this game. Some idiot sitting behind me about 25 rows decided to make a name for himself and toss a baseball onto Coors Field. It wasn’t a game homer(I knew that because nothing was hit into the pavilion this game).

                                  I guess he did it for sheets and giggles??

Here’s the video (ignore the first few seconds). The crowd totally pointed the dude out and he was escorted away.

                             I love it when I’m right there when stuff like this happens.

                               Jim Tracy decides it’s time for a pitching change.

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jason Hammel small 6-18-10.jpg   Jason Hammel getting a standing ovation and a smack on the butt after a job well done.

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                                                       The final score
Final Score 6-19-10.jpg Props to Jason Hammel for his well-roundedness and for helping the Rockies solidify this game one win over the Brewers.

                                 Don’t know about you but I’m thinking Sweep.

                                                      Go Rockies…”D”
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I do it all for a Home Run ball.

6/18/10                           My Elusive Home Run ball.

Ball Hawking is an intensely strange miss-understood hobby. The only thing stranger than the hobby itself is the folks who participate. Such a wide array of personalities, talents, ages, sizes, and motives.

Most of us are unofficially lead by baseball cult hero and “Professor of Snag” known as Zack Hample.

Zack Hample 1132.jpg                           Ok maybe not led by, but live vicariously through. 

Even long time experienced ballhawks have to respect Zack’s stats and the way he rolls. The man can squeeze baseballs out of a ballpark better than a homeless dude trying to get out the last of the mustard for his .99 cent 7-11 hot dog.

Zack I mean that with all the respect in the world brotha you know that.

There is not a day that goes by that at some point I’m not day dreaming about catching my first regular season game home run ball. It’s a fantasy that replays in my head. Believe me it’s very well rehearsed and I look like a stud catching it :)

My gut tells me that my first home run ball will be hit by Clint Barmes or Chris Iannetta.

This home run fantasy/quest is one of the driving forces that keeps me blogging and attending so many baseball games. I plan to put all of my stories into a baseball book in the future and how lame would it be if I was missing one the key elements.

                        I want to be part of baseball history in my own sort of way.

mathewson-ruth-wagner-cobb-johnson.jpg I want to have that bond with the player who hits my home run ball(whether it’s real or imagined). I want to have my own home run story to tell to my grandkids.

 I want to hold that baseball, get it autographed and keep it close so I can admire it and brag about it when appropriate. 

I will cherish that memory forever because of the time and dedication put into snagg’n it.

You don’t have to understand, most folks don’t. Just remember that everyone has something that drives them besides their jobs and families. Everyone has goals. I just choose to share my goals and adventures with people who appreciate what I do and the way I do it.

Batting practice is just that, practice. I hone my skills there for my big moment. I dedicate my shins, knees and various other body parts during batting practice so that I may stay sharp and on my game.

I’ve had several chances this season at game homers. I’ve been within inches and milliseconds of accomplishing my dream but the regular season game home run still eludes me.

denied.jpg            I cannot accept that it won’t happen. That just doesn’t register in my brain.

medium_money_baseball.jpg It’s not a money thing. Chasing game home run balls will not make you rich monetarily,  but it is rewarding.

If you’ve already snagg’d a regular season or post season game home run ball I bet there’s not a memory in your brain clearer or that brings back better memories than your first home run catch?

What’s your personal goal? Do you want to climb a 14teener? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to attend twenty baseball games a year?

You’ve got to start somewhere.  

My goal is difficult but obtainable and I am persistent when I want something.

             My next games are Friday June 18, Saturday the 19th and Tuesday the 22nd.

                                                  See you at the game.

     I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter..Still chasing my dream game home run ball.

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Get Ready for……Blogging without Borders

6/13/10                Red Sox/Rox Blog Swap


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               June 22, 2010..Coors Field 

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Every baseball fan has “their” team. How a person chooses their favorite team is usually a personal thing. Most people have a reason why a certain team becomes their favorite.

        For some it’s a family thing, others it’s location thing. It doesn’t really matter.

The question is: What if you were to step out of the comfort zone of your favorite team just for a short time and take a look at the game from another team/fans point of view?.

                      That’s the idea here with “Blogging Without Borders”

Dr Rocker and I have worked together and been friends for five years. The Dr. recently started an excellent Red Sox blog called the Sox Rocker.

   I believe it’s appropriately named as the Dr. used to be a Rockstar. I’ll leave it at that.

He and I plan to swap jerseys and blog about each others teams for at least the first Red Sox/Rockies game at Coors Field on June 22nd.

Don’t worry loyal Rant Readers, the Ranter still bleeds purple(usually at batting practice). This is all about the experience. To be honest, if not for the Dr coming up with the genius idea for this first of a kind blogging adventure I wouldn’t even be attending the Red Sox/Rockies series.

The reason being is I hate when the Red Sox fans take over Coors Field. Now for a day I might see the take over it in a different light?

Join Dr. Rocker and I on June 22 as we make MLBlogging history. If you think you spot me come up and introduce yourself, I’ll take your picture and make you famous.

If you see the 6ft 6in Dr. Rocker sport’n the Ranter jersey give him a shout. I’m willing to bet you won’t recognize me in the mix wearing a Red Sox jersey. Maybe that’s for the best?

                                         Here’s a quote from Dr. Rocker:

“Dr Rocker here – I will be tentatively titleing my titillating tale (bad alliteration, I know) from the Sox/Rox game, ‘When My Sox became Rox” or maybe “Rox Off”. Thanks to D for partnering up on this bit of blooging hi-jinks. Who says we are only interested in “our own” teams? Share the love and vitriol BABY!”

I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I’m wondering what the hell the Blogosphere would do without me.

                                   Making blogg’n history….Go Rockies…”D”

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Rain is a pain but Rockies still take the Game

6-11-10                             Blue Jays vs Rockies Game One
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                                 Weather: 58 degrees, cloudy.
                                            Wind: 8 mph, In from RF.
                                             Time: 1:55 (2:25 delay).
                                               Attendance: 31,101

      My friend Todd and I have been trying to attend a game together for a long time.Todd n Me 6-11-10.jpg

                            “T”s the guy I had the Rockies/Giants bet with last year.

 One bet turned into two bets. The most wins between each team overall(loser had to wear the other’s jersey for a day), and most wins when the Giants and Rockies face each other(loser had to cook hot dogs for the people we work with).

                        I won the overall and he won between our two teams.

We settled on Todd wearing a Rockies jersey for this Rockies game and I would buy him a hot dog at the game. Todd has been staying away from meat and up to today it’s been a month since the man has eaten any beef.

I convinced him to eat a Denver Cheesesteak during the game instead of a hot dog. He totally killed it.

Both bets are now paid off. We do not have a bet going for this season.

Todd and I hooked up after I got off work and headed for the downtown for a drink and a bite to eat. Upon walking up to the “Old Blake Street Tavern” we discovered it was closed and was re-opening today at 3pm in it’s new location just up the street.

             At this point it was 2:55 so we waited :) Here are a few shots of the inside:

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Chill'n in the Blake Street Tavern 6-11-10.jpg
 We asked about food and drink specials but were told there were none as this was their opening week??

Great atmosphere, very cool staff, great place to go before or after the game or to watch a game. While we were having a bite to eat and waiting for batting practice it started seriously raining. It lasted thirty minutes or so and then the clouds seemed to break up.

      At that point we headed over to the Rockpile gates to get in line for batting practice. 
Todd Rockpile gate 6-11-10.jpgFirst in line that is. Well we were until we found out that batting practice had been cancelled five minutes before we were set to go inside(we then bailed). The sad part of that was the sun was out and it was some of the best weather we had seen all day.

        When we finally entered Coors Field it was still somewhat sunny. All systems were go.

                                              The beer was ready.

Beer is ready two 6-11-10.jpg                                              The brats were cooking.

Brats cooking 6-11-10.jpg                                         But dammit the infield tarps were out.
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                                                     Everything was wet.

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       The game gets rain delayed before it starts to rain. We all knew it was coming.

Cropped Rain Delay sign 6-11-10.jpg
Ugly sky coors 6-11-10.jpg                               Todd and I walked around and I took pictures.
Walk 1 6-11-10.jpg
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                                                 Dan and Emily.

Dan and Emily 6-11-10.jpg                                       Another interesting Rockies outfit.

Rockies Man 6-11-10.jpg

          Because of “T” we have a “Coors Field Crack of the Game” “T” spotted it.

CF Crack of the game 6-11-10.jpg                                                Dancing in the rain.
Dancing in the Rain 6-11-10.jpg                              Todd and the foul pole next to our seats.
Todd and the foul pole 6-11-10.jpg                                      The rain literally came down in sheets.

Rain 6-11-10.jpgWe ran into Robert and hung out for a while over by the Rockpile. Out of nowhere John walks up and hands Robert a game rubbed game baseball.

We were all like WTF?? Then John explained that he had read about Robert’s run of bad luck snagg’n lately on the Rant and he wanted to help a brotha out.

 We all got a good laugh out of that.

Robert kept the ball and spent the next hour bragg’n how he was the only one to snag a baseball today. It’s true, that ball counts. 

                                 I like that John, keep up the good work.

With the weather delay in full effect Robert, Todd and I headed back to the Blake Street Tavern to ride out the storm. Forty-five minutes later we heard the game was starting so we marched back to Coors and stood on the concourse waiting for the rain to stop.

It never really fully stopped raining so we headed down to our wet seats anyway. Here’s Todd and another fan sporting two teams stuff who sat beside us.
Todd and the lady sitt'n beside him 6-11-10.jpg In the second inning Todd Helton hit a foul ball along the first baseline. I stood up and that ball was sailing right for me. At the last second it curved into the seats directly to the left of me and hit one of the chairs and bounced down.

There were a few seconds of chaos and in the end the guy sitting next to me with the red arrow above his head scored the ball.
IMG_2614.JPG Had he not been sitting there I would have gloved that foul ball easily. That was fun.

In the third inning Aaron Hill hit a home run to left field. I mention to Todd that it looked like Robert had snagg’d that ball. Five minutes later Robert called me and I said “Did you see me miss that Todd Helton foul ball by a foot?”

 Robert yelled at me “No, did you see me get robbed of that Hill home run ball?”

I said, “What?” Robert excitedly informed me that after he had posession of the home run baseball another guy swiped the ball from his hands.

                         Here is Robert’s side of the story in his own words:

Hey Don, heres a couple of photos, thought you might like from last night. plus the ball thief.
     I was talking to a friend of mine (yeah, i know hard to believe, a friend) a section over (153) and didn’t have my glove with me, like I was only going to be a min. right?  Well, then Hill is up to bat, and then, you guessed it, here comes the ball, no glove, but I still gotta try. Well the ball just nicked my finger, landed and stayed in the row right behind me. So I reached through the fence grabbed the ball and started to pull it through the fence and this guy grabbed my wrist, stopped me, twisted/rolled my arm over with both his hands then grabbed the ball and wrestled it from my hand.
That son of a bitch had just stolen that ball from me!! Then he had the nerve to tell me that I had a ton of balls. Then he wanted to shake my hand.  What an *******! its not like it was a lose ball and rolling around and he ended up with it. Or I was fumbling around with it. NO I had the ball in my hand! 110% controll of it!! and he stole it!  So watch out for this guy. If he thinks you have to much that that gives him the right to take/steel from you.
 
                                  There you have it. Robert’s exact words. 

Here’s a picture of the guy who went home with that ball. This picture was taken and labeled by Robert.

Ball theif 6-12-10.jpg                   Here’s the link to the video: Aaron Hill’s Two Run Homer.

I really didn’t take any game pictures because it was raining so hard and cameras are expensive.

                           Here are some video clips from the game.

                         Spillborghs solo homer in the second.

                    Gonzalez’s solo homer in the fifth.

                           Ubaldo’s six strikeouts

Great day, strange weather. In the end they call the game after 6 innings and the Rockies get the win 5-3 over the Blue Jays. By the time Todd and I made it to the truck I was soaked head to toe.

One thing I’m learning about Ubaldo is he likes to pitch in warmer weather. Cold or rain has the ablility to throw him off his game. 

Quote from Ubaldo : It wasn’t easy to be out there. I didn’t have any feel for any of my pitches, even my fastball. I was trying to throw hard and I couldn’t. … The ball just slipped out my fingers most of the time. Everything was wet. I couldn’t push off the mound.”

My next entry will be about the upcoming  “Bloggers without Borders” during the Rockies/Red Sox game on Tuesday, June 22nd. I will swap places with “Dr Rocker” writer of Sox Rocker which is his Red Sox blog.

Also…. If you haven’t seen the very cool email from Mark Strittmatter in the last Rant entry you should go back and read it.

I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter here to tell you that I still hate the rain, still love the Rockies and every now and then wish they would have put a retractable roof on Coors Field.

                                            Thanks to “T” for a great day.

                                                    GO ROCKIES…”D”

ranter hat.jpg

Grand Slam…No Thanks Man

6/9/10                       Astros vs Rockies Game Three

Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, In from LF.
Temperature: 2:55.
Attendance: 27,114.

Hunter and I arrived at the Rockpile gates early today and played a little catch. Hunter threw one over my head and it rolled through the fence and stopped about eight feet inside.

No worries, I still had the string attached to my glove from my trip to KC so I figured I’d swing my glove and try to knock the ball back to us. 

It was actually starting to work until the string separated from the glove and my glove landed inside the fence.
Guess I need a bit more work on my glove trick. One of the Ushers walked around and retrieved my glove and Hunter’s baseball…Thank you!

Ball and glove inside fence 6-9-10.jpgAs I was making my way over to my spot in the pavilion Jason Hammel shouted at me “Heads up”. Seconds later a ball bounced about six feet in front of me and I picked it up on the roll for ball number one.

During Tuesday’s batting practice I noticed Dan heading up the stairs to almost the last row in the pavilion. I was wondering what he was doing until I watched Carlos Lee start to blast baseballs all over the concourse.

Today I didn’t want to compete with Dan on the concourse(plus at the time I thought he was a little crazy for going that far up), so I stayed near the top of the pavilion. This paid off because I had play on four of Carlos Lee’s BP homers and eventually I was able to catch one of the last homers he hit.

Dan stayed on the concourse and straight-up caught two of Lee’s homers and snagg’d the third on the roll. Good Call Dan!

Carlos Lee 6-9-10.jpg

                                    My hand still smarts from that Lee homer.

Soon after that I was able to catch a BP homer from Hunter Pence. Hunter hit that ball about 1/3 of the way up the pavilion.

Thumbnail image for Hunter Pence 6-9-10.jpg             Three baseballs for the day. That’s a good day snagg’n at Coors Field.

 Here’s Robert showing you on his hands and feet how many baseballs he’s snagged in the last couple of games.

               He’s been on a roll since I made fun of his absence of baseballs.

Robert 6-9-10.jpg

                                            That’s right…We Bad

Hunter and me 6-9-10.jpg

Today was a great snagg’n day. Everyone played fair and kept in their own space. I always point out the idiots so I felt obligated to mention one of the days when batting practice goes smoothly. Hunter was shutout today.

                                         I call this next set of photos: 
                                                   “BUSTED”

                                USHER…..”Hey guys how’s it going?

Ticket check 1.jpg                     USHER-“Could I please see your tickets for these seats?”

                                                   DUDE-“Yeah,….. hold on”

Ticket check 3.JPG         USHER-“Sir… It says right here you should be sitting in the Rockpile”.

Ticket check 2.jpg                      USHER-“Gentlemen I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”  

ticket check 4.jpgBeen there myself many times, but still fun to watch the scenario unfold when it’s someone else:)

                                     The Hoser and the Miss Colorado Contestants

Hoser and the Miss Colorado Contestants 6-9-10.jpg

Ok, I’ve rewritten this part of the entry three times in the last three days. I’ve had some time to think about how I want to say this so I’ll be short and to the point.

Bullpen Catcher Mark Strittmatter was walking past the crowd and Hunter asked me if he could go over ask Strittmatter  for the baseball in his hand.

I said, “Do it buddy” So Hunter walked over to Mark and asked for the ball.

Strittmatter did what he always does and asked Hunter a question “How many outs in an inning?”

Hunter immediately replied “Three”, which we all know is wrong. Strittmatter told Hunter he was wrong, but didn’t tell him the correct answer and then walked away.

                                   Not a very classy move in my eyes.

These dudes leave huge impressions on kids and I could tell Hunter’s interaction with Strittmatter left him speechless and disappointed.  

So here’s our plan of action next time we have an encounter with Strittmatter.

Hunter plans to trip him up. Hunter will ask him a baseball question. If Strittmatter manages to answer correctly I’ll toss him a baseball. If he answers it incorrectly, I’ll make him feel exactly like he made Hunter feel :)

               ***************UPDATE***************

2518update1.jpgI always hesitate when I write anything negative about any Rockies player. I always try to tell the story the way I see it. My blog entries are basically my memory from the games we attend.

This morning 6-13-10 I received an email from Mark Strittmatter with an explanation.

                                                           Here it is:

Stumbled upon your blog last night…wanted to let you know that I am very sorry to have hurt your son’s feelings. Obviously you have seen me ask questions to other kids before…hope you know that all of it is done in fun, certainly not with any malicious intent. I am a father myself, and would never seek to hurt a child in any way. Please introduce yourself to me whenever you get a chance.

Sincerely,

Mark Strittmatter

In the 2 1/2 years I’ve blogging about the Rockies Mark is the first player to write the Rockpile Rant personally. The fact that he cared enough to take time and explain says a lot about his character. Mark… Hunter says “Thanks it’s all cool” and I agree…Very Classy.

            Thank you Mark, thank you for re-affirming why I support the Rockies…”D”  

Mark, Bob.jpg

 Chris Iannetta back to his same routine. First one out, first one to sign.

Chris Iannetta signing 6-9-10.jpg

Chris Iannetta 6-9-10.jpg

Dinger 6-9-10.jpg

Hunter Denver background 6-9-10.jpg                   Melvin Mora puts everything into his slides. He’s cool to watch.

Melvin Mora slide 6-9-10.jpg

Chris Iannetta Swing 6-9-10.jpg                                        Jonathan Herrera playing second.

Jon Herrera 6-9-10.jpg

Tulo with a good snag 6-9-10.jpg

Herrera at bat 6-9-10.jpg

Melvin Mora on first 6-9-10.jpg                                                  Random pavilon shots.

Random pavilion shot 6-9-10.jpg

Random pavilion shot 2 6-9-10.jpg

rockies dugout shot 6-9-10.jpg

Brad Hawpe 6-9-10.jpg

bunt 6-9-10.jpg

Cook and Iannetta 6-9-10.jpg
 Out on first 6-9-10.jpg

                                              Seth Smith in overdrive.

Seth Smith giving it his all 6-9-10.jpg

 

Hurry back Seth 6-9-10.jpg         And in the background on deck, game winning, grand slam hitting Carlos Lee.
Carlos Lee background6-9-10.jpg        Here’s a link if you want to watch the Rockies painful loss in the 10th inning.

                                          Carlos Lee’s Grand Slam 

                                 Told you this guy could crush a ball…It figures.

                                   Rockies lose game three to the Astros 6-2

                              My next game is Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

                                                       Go Rockies…D 
ranter hat-thumb-40x29-2107421.jpg  

It was in the bag, what a drag

6/8/10                                 Astros vs Rockies Game Twogame sign 6-8-10.jpg

 Weather: 76 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 17 mph, Out to LF.
Time: 2:38.
Attendance: 26,201.

Just me today and this blog is going to be a short one. If the Rockies won’t put the forth the effort in to beat the freggin Astros at home, then I’m gonna slack a bit on this entry.

I was the first in line today at the Rockpile gates but the Usher checking me in today had a scanner that wasn’t cooperating so it took me an extra three or four minutes to get through.(Not his fault) 

The Rockies were out on the field but nothing was hit in my direction. Actually, not much of anything was hit or tossed to left field while the Rockies were up. However right field and center field were blasted with BP homers from sluggers Brad Hawpe and Jason Giambi.

 Too bad you can’t snag over there until 30 minutes after the stadium opens. The Ushers grabbed every one of those baseballs. I have no idea what happens to them from there.

The Astros took command of the field and did a decent job of scattering baseballs. Robert had the day of his life and snagged eight baseballs.

I had to mention this as I busted on him last entry for having a dry spell for the last couple of weeks.

 The first ball I snagged was hit about 1/3 of the way up the pavillion, I moved right from my spot and snagged it surrounded by four dudes.

 I gave that ball to a little girl and her family who were sitting a few rows behind where I caught it.

 
Gave away baseball 6-8-10.jpg                               I was a good catch but it came with an injury.

Shin damabe 6-8-10.jpg  In the process of making that catch I managed to snag my right leg on a bleacher corner.

What sucks is there is no meat in that spot and after the adrenaline wears off it started to throb.

Some call it the hazzards of the hobby, some call it a souvenir.

I call it painful, but not debilitating. 

 My second BP homer was headed about twenty feet to my right and I gloved it perfectly. It was all mine as nobody else seemed to be tracking it.

          I gave that ball to another little girl and her family as batting practice ended.

I did see for the first time an Astro named Gustavo Chacin that Zack Hample put the “Hample Jinx” on a few years ago. I believe Zack put the jinx on Chacin because he went out of his way to remove a ball from Zack’s glove as he was performing his glove trick. 

            Since Zack put the curse on Gustavo his career has been in the crapper.
Chacin 6-8-10.jpg

                       Here’s a link to Zack’s blog so you can get the whole story.

                                   Hample Jinx on Gustavo Chacin 

Gustavo did have a chance to toss a ball into the crowd. At one point I thought he was actually going to give it away…But he didn’t.

I only took a few pictures of the Rockies warming-up. Clint Barmes was the first one out to sign for the fans.

Clint Barmes signing 6-8-10.jpg                                                           Melvin Mora

Melvin Mora 2 6-8-10.jpg                                              Brad Hawpe for Queen Geri :)

Brad Hawpe 6-8-10.jpg

Mora, Helton and Tulo 6-8-10.jpg                                                                 Safe
 Manzella safe 6-8-10.jpg                                                  Random dugout shots.

Random dugout shot 6-8-10.jpg

seth smith 6-8-10.jpg

Melvin Mora 3 6-8-10.jpg

Barmes getting walked 6-8-10.jpg                                                            T-Shirt toss

Tshirt toss 6-8-10.jpg

Helton on first 6-8-10.jpg

Belisle 6-8-10.jpg

Squishy kid 6-8-10.jpg                                                 Waiting for the hand-off.

Waiting for the handoff 6-8-10.jpg                                             In comes Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales 6-8-10.jpg
out goes franklin morales 6-8-10.jpg                                            Out goes Franklin Morales.                                             

                                          In comes Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Bettencourt 6-8-10.jpg

Camera kid 6-8-10.jpg

Shot along first base 6-8-10.jpg

Cool Sky 6-8-10.jpgAs soon as the Astros scored in the 8th I had to get up and leave Coors Field. Rockies fall to the Astros 4-3. I’ll be there Wednesday with Hunter.

                               Please Rockies don’t look like chumps tonight.

                                I can’t handle losing two in a row to this team

                                             GO ROCKIES, PLEASE…D

                                 Ready for something different?…Get Ready for:

                                    BLOGGERS WITHOUT BORDERS

We haven’t worked out all the details yet but during the Red Sox/Rockies game in June the writer of Sox Rocker and I will switch places.

                “J” will blog about the Rockies and yours truly about the Red Sox.

Who knows, you could see a 6’6″ guy walking around in a Rockpile Ranter jersey? We both plan to attend the Tuesday game on June the 22nd. I’ll do an entry about this soon…D  

Those Rocks are Red, That’s What Petty said

The Rockpile Rant was the Number 4 Fan Blog for the month of May.

                             Props go out to the Rant Regulars.

                                     MLBLOGS LATEST LEADERS LIST

6/1/10

Tom Petty111.jpgI’ve mentioned my “Bucket List” before. Most people have something similar.  I’ve made mine simple because I’m poor and I don’t want to be stressing toward the end of life trying to finish a list of crap that is unobtainable.

Seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at Red Rocks is on my list. Well it was(check).

Tom Pettty ticket.jpgThe opening act for Tom Petty was Joe Cocker. I’m not a huge Joe Cocker fan but I wanted to hear him sing the song “You can leave your hat on”.
Krista and I arrived two hours early so we could partake in some tailgat’n festivities, knock down a couple of brews and change our attitude a bit.

Krista and I 6-1-10.jpg The sky was totally overcast but it wasn’t really cold. The clouds were supposed to hang around to all night but it wasn’t expected to rain.

Good because as I told you before I’m done with rain this season,(and I forgot my poncho). 

     Here’s a young lady gett’n her groove on with her friend Jack Daniels and a hula hoop.

                                        Here’s a few shots from the parking lot.

Even I know that alcohol and rock climbing don’t mix. Look at these yuppies below living dangerously. This reckless duo was ejected later for trying to get on stage and Hi-5 Joe Cocker.  

                       See what alcohol will do to you. Children teach your parents.

Old dudes climbing.JPG                                         The Red Rocks as seen from my tailgate.
Red Rocks.jpg                                    The stairs leading into Red Rocks AmphitheaterThe Stairs.JPG

                               Not sure who this guy is but I liked his shirt.
Rockies dude.jpg                                          The white Saab I had to jump start.

Saab I had to jump start.jpg The two guys below had a rough go at this show too. The skinny guy took a boot to the head inside Joe Cocker’s moshpit and had to be airlifted outta there. 

The larger guy was injured when he vomited on the crowd while bodysurfing thus triggering his quick release and quick fall. He was treated and later released.

Party animals.jpg Bodysurfing…Really? C’mon that’s had it’s time like the wave. Lets stop this nonsense :)

                         Our first shot of the stage as we entered from the top.

Top of Red Rocks.JPG

                                                Denver in the background.
You can see denver.jpg                                              Joe gett’n his Cocker on.

Joe Cocker 6-1-10.JPG 
Joe and his Band 2.jpg                                         Here’s Joe performing a couple of his hits.

             
                                                        
                                                           Here’s another.

 

                           Joe isn’t on my “Bucket List”  but I’ve seen worse warm-up bands.


Joe Cocker on stage.JPG Sorry Joe, you can leave all your clothes including your hat because we came to see Tom Petty.
                      Props to Joe for still “Hav’n it”. He did sound pretty good.

                                  TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS

This was the kick-off show for Tom Petty’s Mojo Tour 2010. He couldn’t have picked a better venue. Red Rocks in Morrison Colorado is the best place on planet earth to see a live show. 
      If you think I’m wrong then you’ve never lost your breath walking up the stairs here.

I managed to get some decent video but the spotlight on Joe Cocker and Tom Petty kept messing up my pictures of their faces.

                                                        These are the best I could get.

Tom Petty 3.JPG

 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1.jpg

 

Tom Petty 5.jpg

 

Stage with Denver in the Background.jpg

 

Thumbnail image for Lasers on the Red Rocks.jpg

Tom Petty 6.jpg
Tom Petty Stage 2.jpg 
Tom Petty Stage 3.jpg

 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers jamm'n.jpg.               

                                                       “Don’t come around here no-more”

                                             

                                             ” Free Falling”                                                                  

                                       Leaving before they come back for an encore.

Leaving before the encore.jpg

 I ran into Captain Earthman at the end of his shift. He’s a big Tom Petty fan. We watched the final song “Running down a dream” at the top of the Amphitheater. I was waiting to hear that song all night.
                    In fact…That song was playing in my head the entire drive home.

RPR and Captain Earthman.jpg
Tom Petty Stage 4.jpg 
Good bye.jpgScratch Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers off my list. Maybe I better slow down or I’ll run of things to do. 
                                           Next concert for Krista and I..

                            RUSH…August 2010…Red Rocks..16th Row.
                                                 I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter
      Remember if it’s too loud you’re not too old, you just need to invest in some earplugs…D

ranter hat.jpg

 
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