February 2011

Yeah the Sun’s Fun…Bring on Game One

2-25-11                       

ROCKIES SPRING TRAINING 2011

 It’s 6am and we’re waiting to board the Frontier Airlines Fox. Salt River Fields here we come. 

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Shortly thereafter…

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.

 
Tom Helmer SRF.jpgWe chatted a bit and he said to hit him up before we leave as he had some T-Shirts for us.
Here’s a picture of the T-Shirts that Tom had specially made.

Helmer is my Homeboy.jpg If you’re a Rantic, there’s a good chance you’ll get one of these. I’ll be sporting the shirt under my Ranter jersey tomorrow during the game.

          Here’s some pictures of the new stadium and some of the players warming up.SRF 1.jpg Here’s a peek inside the main gate. Look at that grass berm…Absolutely perfect :)

View from main gate SRF.jpg
                         Jason Giambi and Todd Helton doing the first base thing.

Giambi SRF.jpg

Todd Helton ball toss.jpg

 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.

RPR and Hunter.jpg
               Hunter snagged three, I got two and Mylee also managed to snag two.

Kids and I snagg'n.jpg

 

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.

                             Really nice guys…We’re damn lucky to have them. 
 SRF4.jpg                                                      
Rockies Practice Fields.jpg                                        the Pond.jpgFranklin and Jorge

Franklin Morales SRF.jpg

SRF Rockies pitchers 2-25-11.jpg

Drills SRF.jpg

Drills SRF 2.jpg 
Giambi and Helton SRF.jpg

Giambi SRF3.jpg                                            Mylee showing me how it’s done.

Mylee SRF.jpg
Writing on the wall.jpg              Dexter Fowler taking batting practice with EY Jr and Jim Tracy watching. 

Dexter Fowler Batting practice.jpg

                                                       The Team Store

Team Store SRF.jpg The practice field with the green screen is made to the exact dimentions of Coors Field.
Rene hitting SRF.jpg                                    In between the Rockies practice fields.
In between the practice fields.jpg 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.

RPR SRF happy.jpg                         I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter… A man work’n his plan. 

Pack’n my Glove and Sharing the Luv

2/18/11Baseball logo.JPG                                All is good in Ranter Land.

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.

Rockies in Tulsa.jpgThe Rockies will be playing their final Spring Training game on March 30th in Tulsa, OK at ONEOK Field which is home to the Tulsa Drillers AA Rockies farm team.

Tulsa Drillers logo.jpg The Drillers have officially started an MLBlog called “Driller Bitsand here’s a link to the Drillers FACEBOOK page: Tulsa Drillers Baseball.

                                          This is Hornsby the Drillers mascot.

Drillers Mascot.jpgThe new Tulsa Drillers blog is gonna be a good read. I’ve been told it will have player interviews, daily statistical up-keep and various other things that will be of interest to Rockies fans.

                              Give the Drillers your support and check out their blog.

                 I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter, packing my glove and sharing some luv.
ranter hat1

I see the light, let’s hope I’m right.

2/15/11


2011_Predictions2.jpgI 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.


Ubaldo Jiminez throw 4-27-10.JPGUbaldo Jiminez had 19 wins in 2010

In 2011 Ubaldo will dominate the National League with 22 wins.


Thumbnail image for jason hammel 8-15-10.jpgIn 2010 Jason Hammel had 10 wins

In 2011 Jason Hammel will step it up a bit with 12 wins.


Thumbnail image for Aaron Cook 7-1-10.jpgIn 2010 Aaron Cook had 6 wins.

In 2011 Aaron Cook will improve locking in 8 wins.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for chacin 2 7-6-10.jpgIn 2010 Jhoulys Chacin had 9 wins.

In 2011 Jhoulys Chacin will continue to make his mark with 12 wins. 


Troy Tulowitzki 5-16-10.jpgTroy Tulowitzki will have his best season to date.

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.


Carlos Gonzalez at bat 8-15-10.jpgCarlos Gonzalez will also have his best season to date.

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.


Dexter Fowler bunt 5-16-10.jpg

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.

THE ROCKIES

    2010 season win/loss record was 83-79

                                       2011 season win/loss record will be 94-6

                                                        Which means..

National league champions ring.jpg                        This time Jim Tracy’s Rockies are all business.
Thumbnail image for Mylee and Jim Tracy RF.jpg 

World Series Champions.jpg                         Rockies take the World Series in five games.

                            I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I can see the f’kn light.

LIght at the end of the tunnel.jpg                             2011 is the Rockies year… Rantics do you feel me?ranter hat.jpg 

Gett’n our Kix wait’n for Tix

2/12/11

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. 
Rockies Balloon.jpg 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.

Line 3.jpg                  Mylee pulled the best numbered wristband of the three of us #313.
Mylee 313.jpg Her wristband put us in Row 3 in the 13th spot. Actually there were only six people in front of us so we were sixth in that line.

Line 1-4.jpgThen 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.

   The little girl picked Row 3 first(sweet), so we were were one of the first six fans at the ticket window.
Little girl picking the line sequence.jpg The Rockies were thoughtful and provided hot chocolate for everyone standing in line.

HOt chocolate.jpg Once the line sequence had been determined the Rockies staff march each individual row over to the ticket window where we waited about ten minutes for the windows to open.

           Here’s the long line of folks patiently waiting for their time at the window.
Standing in line for tix.jpg                               As always Dinger was around to help pass the time.

Dinger and some dude 2.jpg 
Dinger and H and M.jpgThe kids and I were able to purchase four of the last few remaining Rockpile tickets for opening day on April 1st.

We were also able to snag tickets for all of the fireworks games which are on:

July 1st

July 2nd

September 16th.

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.

RPR and Tix.jpg        Only two weeks until we’re in Arizona opening the new Rockies/D-Backs stadium.

      I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I’m just gett’n all my ducks in row for this season.

Ducks all in a row.jpg

 
ranter hat1

What’s going on here?…Let the man pour beer.

2-7-11                               *ATTENTION RANTICS*

I was just informed that there is a petition circulating to ensure that Rockies Super Vendor Captain Earthman is allowed to serve beer at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

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”.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Captain Earthman 7-6-10-3.jpg

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.Captain Earthman flying 8-3-10.jpg

                                           Below is a link to the petition:

  Let Captain Earthman pour beer in Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

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.

        Please give Captain Earthman your support. He’s always been there to support us.
Thumbnail image for RPR and Captain Earthman.jpg                             I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I believe in this cause.
ranter hat1

Thanks to You…Rockpile Rant comes in at Two

2/4/11

Here are your Top 10 Latest Leaders based on traffic for the period of January 1-31, 2011:

                                                 FAN MLBLOGS

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!!


Tulo Legit to quit.JPGI 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. 


       
 I’m willing to bet I spent less money in January than Sarge did :)

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”


RPR Stairs.jpg                                                 And I resemble that.

                  I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter. No fantasies here, I’m the real deal.
ranter hat1

 

Salt River Fields…Of Dreams it Seems

2/1/11     

            Two Tribes, Two Teams, One Home….The opening of a new stadium.

 Aerial shot from behind home plate.jpg

 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.Salt River Fields overhead.jpg 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.


aerial_first_base_side.jpg
   Evening Rendering.jpg                               Entering the Stadium from the Rockies Clubhouse.

First base line coming out the Rockies dugout.jpg                                          Main Gate entrance behind home plate.

11HOmeplate entry.jpg                 Here are a few things of note about Salt River Fields

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.

Permitted Items:

•   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.

•   Binoculars.

•   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.

Prohibited Items:

•    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.

I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…First in my Tulo’s eyes and maybe one the first to open this new stadium…Stay Tuned…D
Thumbnail image for RPR and Tulo RF.jpgranter hat1

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