ROCKIES SPRING TRAINING 2011
It’s 6am and we’re waiting to board the Frontier Airlines Fox. Salt River Fields here we come.
The flight was a success and as soon as we picked up our rental car we headed for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Within about 20 minutes us arriving at the training facility I ran into Rant favorite Tom Helmer.
Here’s a shot of the kids and I peeking through the fence looking for homers. Tom Helmer let me know that one of the batting practice homers I snagged was Giambi’s.
While the kids and I were snagg’n baseballs George Frazier and Drew Goodman walked by. George stopped and said “I remember you from Rockies Fan Fest” and shook my hand. George, that made my day..seriously thank you.
Drew said hi and then they went on their way.
The Team Store
The practice field with the green screen is made to the exact dimentions of Coors Field.
In between the Rockies practice fields.
At this point we had to take off for a quick visit with my sister-in-law and then head on down to Yuma so the kids could spend a few days with my parents.I’ll be getting up at 3am so I can drive three hours from Yuma and be at the new stadium by 7:30.
It’s been my plan for over a year to be the first fan inside the new stadium.
I’m back to work and in less than a week the kids, Krista and I will be boarding Frontier Airlines and flying (that’s right flying) to Arizona for a visit with the parents.
It just so happens we’ll be in Arizona the same time as the Rockies/Diamondbacks home opener in their new stadium.
How cool is that?
This will be the fourth year in a row I’ve been fortunate enough to attend at least two Rockies spring training games and blog about them.
I’d like to thank Denis from Phoenix for sending me an email and letting me know that parking is a bit scarce at Salt River Fields and that I should arrive early.
No worries, Robert and I will all be there early standing in line to open the new stadium. I’m hearing Bud Selig may be in attendance and that’s an autograph I’d like to obtain.
This is Hornsby the Drillers mascot.
Give the Drillers your support and check out their blog.
I normally don’t make predictions about how I think the Rockies season will turn out because I don’t want to jinx anything. This is my fourth season blogging about the Rockies and they have yet to win a World Series so I figure a little speculating can’t hurt right?
With the buzz of the new spring training facility and general good vibes it’s creating, good thing are going to happen this year.
Plus it’ll be fun to check back at the end of the season after we win the World Series and see how accurate I was.
Rockpile Ranter’s 2011 Rockies Predictions…
First off the Rockies finally break the road curse and become the team to beat on the road winning ten more road games in 2011 than in 2010. This is in part due to the Rockies strength in the bullpen this season.
In 2011 Ubaldo will dominate the National League with 22 wins.
In 2011 Jason Hammel will step it up a bit with 12 wins.
In 2011 Aaron Cook will improve locking in 8 wins.
In 2011 Jhoulys Chacin will continue to make his mark with 12 wins.
In 2010 Tulo had 27 homeruns, 95 RBI and 11 stolen bases
In 2011 Tulo will hit 36 homeruns, 107 RBI and will steal 18 bases.
In 2010 Cargo had 34 homeruns, 117 RBI and 26 stolen bases.
In 2011 Cargo will hit 35 homeruns, 120 RBI and will steal 28 bases.
In 2010 Dexter Fowler had 6 homeruns and 36 RBI and 13 stolen bases.
In 2011 Dexter busts out with an incredible 21 homeruns 65 RBI and 25 stolen bases.
2010 season win/loss record was 83-79
2011 season win/loss record will be 94-6
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I can see the f’kn light.
Today Colorado Rockies tickets went on sale at the ticket windows at Coors Field. This is the day when a little patience pays off big. It was a bit chilly but the forcast for today was was mid 50’s.
The way the Rockies work it is you choose a wristband that’s numbered between 101 and 499. The 100’s represent line one, 200’s line two, etc. Then the second set of numbers decides your position in line.
Then the Rockies staff placed four baseballs inside a bag numbered 1-4. A little girl was chosen from the crowd to pick out the numbered baseballs. The order in which the baseballs were picked decided which of the fours row gets to line-up in front of the ticket windows first.
We were also able to snag tickets for all of the fireworks games which are on:
And all of the Bobblehead games which are on:
April 3rd Ubaldo Jiminez
June 10th Carlos Gonzalez
August 20th Troy Tulowitzki.
Mission accomplished in less than an hour.
2-7-11 *ATTENTION RANTICS*
Captain Earthman has been a fixture at spring training in Tucson and at Coors Field for years.
From what I’m told the Captain hasn’t received the phone call stating that he has a job in the new stadium come Feb 26th.
We Rockies fans cherish the few traditions we have. Captain Earthman happens to be one of them. You’ve got to love the way he calls all little kids “Future Beer Drinkers”.
Or Earthman’s standard line “Ain’t no sissy sipp’n”.
One of the great things about Captain Earthman is that if you have his business card all you have to do is give him a ring, tell him your seat location and what you want to drink and he magically appears with a frosty cold beverage and a few words of wisdom.
Here he is moving at sonic speed.
Below is a link to the petition:
Just fill out your name and email address. Then you will be sent an email with a link. Click on the link and it will add your name to the petition. If you don’t see the email right away check your junk folder. It’s really easy.
Here are your Top 10 Latest Leaders based on traffic for the period of January 1-31, 2011:
1. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
2. Rockpile Rant
3. Rays Renegade
4. Red State Blue State
5. Unfinished Business
6. Hands off my Pirates Booty
7. The Three Bs
8. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
9. Yankee Yapping
10. Phillies Phollowers
Number 2?…Hell Yeah!!
I want to thank the Rockpile Rantics for their continued support. I’ve been waiting for the day when a Rockies Blog rules the MLBlogosphere and other than being beat out in January by a Phillies Fantasy Camp blog (that had the cover page of MLBlogs for a week), we’re there.
The Rockpile Rant is a fan MLBLog and there’s a reason it is ranks at number two. The Rockies fanbase is filled with year round fanatical baseball fans who live, eat and sleep baseball. We connect off-season and we keep baseball alive even when it’s -20 below like it’s been the last few days.
I want to thank ROOT SPORTS for making January a month to remember. I want to thank all of the Rockies fans who submitted Rockies essays to the Rant and my readers and friends who visit the Rant on a regular basis.
Big things are going to happen this season because as far as I’m concerned…
“It’s the Year of the Fan”
Two Tribes, Two Teams, One Home….The opening of a new stadium.
This is what you get when you partner the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. This partnership has resulted in what’s known as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Salt River Fields is the first Major League Baseball spring training facility to be constructed on Indian land. The stadium has an 11,000 seat capacity including the grass berm in the outfield.
Surrounding this beautiful stadium are 12 practice fields. Scattered throughout the grounds are other buildings that will house Major and Minor league clubhouses, training facilities and offices for the Rockies and the Diamondbacks.
Tailgating is not permitted in any Salt River Fields operated parking lot. Persons may not consume alcohol in the parking lots, including inside their vehicles.
Salt River Fields regulations allow only soft-sided bags and containers 16″x16″x8″ or smaller to be permitted in the gates
The Centerfield Gate, which is located on the eastern part of the main stadium, will open 2 hours and 40 minutes prior to game time for Guests who want to view batting practice. The remaining gates will open 2 hour and 10 minutes prior to game time.
During the games, Guests are permitted to leave the ballpark and return through any of the four entrance gates. Please see the gate supervisor to have your hand and ticket stub stamped. When returning to the ballpark, Guests must show their ticket stub and hand stamp, and should re-enter through a special pass-out gate at each of the entrance gates.
There are 3000 parking spaces on site and parking is $5.00.
• One (1) Factory-Sealed Bottle of Water, Per Person. No larger than one (1) liter in size.
• Purses / Diaper Bags / Personal Medical Bags.
• Still / Video Cameras. Video cameras are permitted as long as live game action is not recorded.
• Baseball Bats for the purpose of autographs. Bats must be stored under seats once the game begins. No aluminum bats,
• Plastic baby bottles or any necessary items required for medical purposes or other special needs.
• No Outside Food or Beverages. Except as provided under permitted items. No Illegal Drugs
• No Weapons / FireworksNo Glass Bottles / Aluminum Cans
• No Hard-Sided Coolers / Containers, Regardless of Size
• No Camera Tri, Dual or Single Leg Pods by Non-Media Personnel
• No Fish Nets / Poles / Umbrellas / Signs Attached to Sticks
• No Bullhorns / Noisemakers / Confetti
• No Animals. Except service dogs for guests with disabilities are permitted.
• No Beach Balls / Balloons / Inflatables
• No Skateboards / Rollerblades / Shoes with Wheels
• No Unauthorized Motor Vehicles / Mobility Devices
• No Stools / Folding Chairs
• No Squirt Guns / Bubble-Making Liquids
• No Laser Pointers
• Other Items Not Specified on this List as Deemed Prohibited by Management
From a baseball fans point of view the opening of a new stadium comes with a lot of firsts…Such as:
First fan to enter the gates.
First fan to catch a batting practice homerun.
First fan to catch a batting practice foul ball.
First fan to get a batting practice ball tossed to them.
First autograph inside the stadium.
First live game homerun snag or catch.
First live game foul ball snag or catch.
First ground rule double snag or catch.
First live game toss-up (ie. 3rd out toss-up).
Not to mention…The first pitch, first steal, first homerun, first single, double, first triple, first walk, first bunt, first hit batsmen, first out, first double play, first walk-off homerun…
You get my point the list goes on.
Everything is a first during the first game of a new stadium. Someone has their mind set on devouring the first foot long brat and some eager fan will take pride in knowing he purchased the first beer poured in Salt River Fields.
I couldn’t think of a better time to debut a “New Dinger”?
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a giant step-up from Hi-Corbett Field in every aspect. The whole “new ballpark” experience should be a positive buzz for the Rockies and will hopefully spill into the regular season. It would be nice to get through April with a winning record.
The Rockies season begins at Salt River Fields on February 26, 2011 against the Diamondbacks at 1:10. Only 11,000 people will witness this once in a lifetime opportunity.