Results tagged ‘ Coors Field ’
Here’s an article about Jim Tracy by Chris Jaffe with help from Tom Nawrocki I thought was interesting and worth sharing…”D”
Chris is a writer for “The Hardball Times”
The rise and fall (and re-rise and re-fall) of Jim Tracy
by Chris Jaffe
April 16, 2012
Jim Tracy has had one of the most peculiar career arcs of any manager in memory. He has an overall career record that’s mediocre despite almost never having mediocre teams. They’re either pretty good or really bad, and Tracy’s reputation seems to rise and fall with his teams.
That last sentence is anything but peculiar. It’s a commonly held and widely believed truism that managers get too much credit for their teams’ successes and too much blame for their teams’ failures.
True, but in Tracy’s case it’s more extreme. Every time his team wins at least 85 games in a season, Tracy receives legitimate support in Manager of the Year voting. Conversely, the people who I know who don’t like Tracy detest him as fervently as I’ve known a manager to be detested.
He’s great. Or he’s terrible. Yet his overall record is smack dab in the middle, as he entered 2012 just 10 games over .500 after nearly 1,600 games managed. He’s an odd manager to try to understand.
This is something that I should know something about; or at least be able to pretend like I know something about it since a few years ago, I wrote a book, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers, 1876-2008 that, well, evaluated baseball’s managers.
With Tracy, what I find striking is not his personal proclivities and tactical decisions. Those are almost extraordinarily ordinary. There are certain things he does more or less than an average skipper, but nothing especially notable. The most interesting thing about Tracy is his career arc.
The rise of Jim Tracy
Tracy first joined the fraternity of big league managers with the Dodgers in 2001 and quickly won acclaim, guiding them to four straight winning seasons, including a postseason appearance in 2004. In his rookie season, he finished second in the Manager of the Year voting. On the face of it, that was an odd and unlikely result. In 2000, the year before Tracy showed up, the team went 86-76. With Tracy in 2001, they again finished 86-76. That normally doesn’t get MoY support.
True, but the 2000 team won with strong pitching, and in 2001, many arms—most notably ace Kevin Brown—fell to injury. Ultimately, only pitcher was able to make more than 25 starts in 2001. Yet they stayed in the pennant hunt until late in the season.
Frankly, that 2001 team was lucky, as going by runs scored and allowed they were a .500 team, but Tracy kept them competitive for each of the next three years. And it wasn’t just luck. With the Dodgers, Tracy had the knack to get good performances out of his pitchers.
There’s a system used in my book to judge this: The Birnbaum Database. The Birnbaum Database was created by Phil Birnbaum to estimate how teams over/underperform their predicted performance in a given year. There are five parts to it, but the two most important are a pair of algorithms Phil invented to look at how hitters and pitchers did versus how they would be expected to do.
Say you want to look at how Kevin Brown did in 2001. You look at his performance in the surrounding seasons and use that to determine what he should’ve done in that particular year. Then you adjust for playing time, park factor, and various other basic mathematical hokey-pokey adjustments and boom, you have a reasonable projection. Now just compare that to reality and you have your result.
Looking at the numbers of just one guy doesn’t tell you too much about the manager, but when you combine enough players together, the sample size becomes meaningful. In other words, it’s not random happenstance that Bobby Cox scores historically great with pitchers. In LA, Jim Tracy scores wonderfully: +240 runs with individual pitchers.
It was in LA that he made the best move of his entire career. In spring training 2002, he made a controversial move, shifting a young starting pitcher into the bullpen. The pitcher was a young arm with talent who could strike people out. I remember some opposed moving this lad to the bullpen. He had talent, and if you kept him in the starting rotation, he’d have more innings and thus could mean more to the team. Admittedly, in two partial seasons in the starting rotation he’d been rather middling, but he was talented and entering his prime.
That young pitcher’s name was, of course, Eric Gagne.
Did that move ever work! For a few years, Gagne was the best closer in baseball. It would’ve been perfectly easy to leave Gagne in the rotation or even ship him to Triple-A, but Tracy thought the young kid could make it as a closer, and boy was he ever proven right.
Gagne isn’t an isolated example. Tracy also managed to get superior performances out of middle relievers Guillermo Mota and Paul Quantrill, both of whom did notably better in Los Angeles than in any other stop in their careers. In 2003, Gagne, Mota, and Quantrill combined to throw 264.2 innings, allowing just 11 homers and 61 walks while fanning 280 batters for a cumulative ERA of 1.66. Tracy also had some success with his starting pitchers, most notably Odalis Perez, but that bullpen was Tracy’s strongest feature.
Anchored by that trio, the 2003 Dodger bullpen posted an ERA+ of 164, which is the highest by any relief unit since WWII.
This should not be overstated. Tracy didn’t have a magic wand that made all pitchers under his care better, but on the whole, pitchers improved.
Tracy’s reputation peaked in 2004. Despite a middling offense and an unimpressive starting rotation—the only truly above-average pitcher was Perez—LA won 93 games and a trip to the postseason. Tracy had four consecutive successful seasons under his belt and was one of the best-regarded managers in baseball.
His future seemed secure, and Tracy looked poised to be the next long-term manager of the Dodgers. Instead, Tracy’s career was about to implode.
The fall of Jim Tracy
Tracy lasted just one more season in LA—an incredibly ugly and controversial season. On the face of it, the year doesn’t look that interesting. The Dodgers lost more than they won; 71-91 to be exact. That’s a disappointment to be sure, but plenty of prominent managers have survived worse without incident. The season itself was quite a bit uglier, and Tracy got caught up in the mess.
The Dodgers had a new GM in 2005, Paul DePodesta, who had come to prominence as Billy Beane’s numbers guru in Moneyball. This was the height of the whole stats-versus-scouts controversy, and DePodesta was a flashpoint in that whirligig with people rooting for and against him based on what he represented. DePodesta made a series of moves that worked out on paper, but the team was done in by injuries, and controversies kept swirling around the team.
Where did Tracy fit into this? He didn’t get along with DePodesta. The two never could get on the same page, and as the year wore on, it just got worse. The Tracy-DePo dynamic became part of the larger concerns surrounding the team.
The situation became so poisonous that I’ve heard one Dodger fan float that the only time he ever seriously wondered if a manager was trying to tank a season to torpedo the front office was in the Dodgers’ 2005 campaign. That certainly didn’t happen, but a team that was in first place in mid-May ended up losing 62 of their last 100 contests.
After 2005, both DePodesta and Tracy would be gone. Tracy might’ve been better off taking a few years off after 2005, just as Jim Leyland took a sabbatical after a draining 1999 season. Instead, after his dismal 2005 campaign, Tracy landed in situation where things would go even worse for him, Pittsburgh.
Prior to Tracy’s arrival, the Pirates hadn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1992. On the surface of it, Tracy’s arrival made no difference whatsoever and his two-year stint was just another forgettable pair of seasons in the recent dreary history of Pittsburgh baseball. The team lost 95 in 2005 without Tracy, dropped 95 and 94 games with Tracy in 2006 and 2007, and then lost 95 with Tracy’s replacement in 2008.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent level of performance among any team over four years. Based solely on that, you wouldn’t expect there to be anything especially good or bad about Tracy’s tenure.
Well, that would be wrong. I don’t claim to know exactly what happened, but I will say this: Never in all my days have I ever encountered fans that so vehemently loathe like Pirates fans do with Tracy.
I spend a good chunk of time at Baseball Think Factory, a nice internet watering hole frequented by fans of all types. I’ve known many Cubs fans that were left seething by the likes of Dusty Baker or Royals fans that cringe at the name Tony Muser, or Brewer fans for which “Yost” is the vilest of all four-letter words. But no fans muster the level of outrage BTF’s Pirates fans reserve for Tracy.
Maybe it’s just some random sample-size fluke based on who I’ve spoken to, but those Pirate fans who I’ve met have all had the same reaction: Jim Tracy is the lowest of the low. They despise him as a manager and to some extent as a man. He threw everyone under the bus and came off horribly.
The team apparently agreed to some extent. As bad as the Pirates have usually been, they give their managers plenty of time. Tracy’s predecessor, Lloyd McClendon, lasted nearly five full years. John Russell, their post-Tracy skipper, held out for four years. But Tracy, despite having a far bigger name than either of them, barely made it two seasons.
Pirate fans have also said Tracy didn’t develop his players worth a damn, and the Birnbaum Database agrees with them there. He scores miserably, and once again dealing with individual pitchers was the engine of his overall score. This time, however, he scored –86 runs with individual pitchers.
Let’s pause here for a second. As noted above, the Birnbaum scores aren’t prefect, and there’s always some noise in the signal. Managers often have their ups and downs, even when it looks like the data are telling us something about the skipper himself. But rarely do managers suffer the sort of whiplash-inducing shift as what happened to Tracy.
The Pirates had a crop of young pitchers that the team rested their hopes on when Tracy arrived in 2006. In general, they fizzled.
It’s one thing to have a dismal departure from LA. He had enough success there to excuse it as just one of those things. But Pittsburgh made it two jobs in a row over three full seasons of disaster. And really, Tracy only had those four good years with only one playoff appearance. It’s not too surprising that Tracy was left dugout-less for a stretch after his days in Pittsburgh.
Jim Tracy: Repeating his own history?
Then, after a few years on the sidelines, in 2009 the Rockies hired Tracy as their midseason manager. As expected, Pirate fans prophesied doom, doom, and even more doom. No good will ever come of Jim Tracy. He’d screw over the kids, be impatient with his players, and be a self-glorifying lout all the while. Just wait.
Well, that isn’t what happened. A team that went 18-28 under Clint Hurdle suddenly erupted, going 74-42 and making a stunning appearance in the playoffs (where the Phillies soon dispatched them). Back from his depths, Tracy’s reputation was restored as he won the Manager of the Year title.
Not only was he successful, but he showed a willingness to do those things he failed at in Pittsburgh. He was patient with the younger players. He took Ian Stewart, who’d been moved all over the diamond, and made him the regular third baseman, allowing Stewart to develop his power stroke to the tune of 25 homers. When Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t hit, Tracy stayed with him anyway, and Gonzalez eventually flourished. Instead of promoting himself, Tracy gave the players all the credit, noting they’d been to the World Series just a few years earlier.
You could seemingly write a new narrative. Former Rockies manager Jim Leyland once explained his failures in Colorado and subsequent success in Detroit by saying that sometimes with a manager what matters most of all is the fit. It’s how he meshes with the situation, not his own personal proclivities. Maybe both DePodesta and the Pirates were just bad fits for Tracy. Maybe he just needed some time to recharge.
Yeah, but instead of building on his initial success, Tracy has once again done another U-turn. The longer he’s been there, the less patient he’s become. Young players who struggled would find themselves back in the minors. Stewart perhaps cratered the worst. In 2011, just two years after looking like the team’s third baseman for years to come, he batted .156 with zero homers. The team traded him away for silly string and chewing gum this most recent offseason.
The team is going backward, not forward, with him. You can all but hear the “Told ya soes” coming from Pittsburgh. Not only are the Rockies stalling from year to year, but also within years. In 2010, the team was in the pennant race until late, but it then dropped 13 of its last 14 games. Last year, they were better, losing only 11 of their last 14. For that matter, in his final season in Pittsburgh his team was 2-12 at the end. Tracy’s teams weren’t normally bad in the past, but that’s a pretty impressive trio of season-ending performance over his last four years on the job.
As for the Birnbaum Database, it doesn’t tell us much about Tracy’s Colorado stay. By its nature, you need data for 2012 and 2013 to measure what happened to players in 2011. His overall career score is still good—he’s +190 runs with pitchers and –25 with hitters—but those numbers could be a bit inflated. Tracy does well in 2011 in part because players are expected to regress a little in 2012-13. When those years are added in, he’ll fall some.
It would be nice to have some brilliant and insightful summation of Tracy’s career to date, but his tenures seem to defy an easy wrap-up. He’s probably the best current example of how a manager can get too much credit or blame for his teams’ wins and losses.
References and Resources
Rockies fan Tom Nawrocki offered some valuable feedback for the Colorado portion of his career.
Baseball Think Factory, as noted in the article, came in handy, especially the thoughts expressed on Tracy over the years by its leading Pirate fans, most notably Mike Emeigh and Vlad.
Phil Birnbaum created the Birnbaum Database, which is actually more elaborate that described here.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail.
Giants vs Rockies Game 2…Justice
At this point Timmy doesn’t know it but today would be the shortest start of his career.
I was more than ready for some serious batting practice today. I was shutout on opening day and that puts me behind of my one ball a game average. Just when batting practice was starting to get roll’n, mother nature let loose and put an abrupt halt to all fun.
The rain didn’t last long, but it lasted long enough that the tarp was brought out. Zip for catching baseballs this regular season so far, now I’m behind and playing catch-up and that’s no fun.
Here’s a few pre-game pictures. Props to Amy for helping me get Cuddy’s autograph on my ticket today. I was damn close to getting Helton but as I”ve mentioned before I’m an anti-magnet when it comes to Helton for some reason.
I swear I’ve gotten Helton’s autograph only 4 times in 6 years. That might seem like a lot but I go to a lot of games.
Gutherie’s first Coors Field start. Think he was a bit nervous?
Cargo drove had two triples and drove in four runs. Nice to see Cargo finally get some hits.
Check out Dan in this picture, he’s all excited and Robert’s all mellow.
Rockies set a record tonight for most runs and hits without a home run.
Check out the Todd Helton broken bat series.
Partial bat flying.
So long Timmy.
This game was exactly what I needed after that lesson by Barry Zito on Monday.
Rockies even up the series with a football score of 17-8.
I’m ”D” The Ranter and the Rockies have my full attention. Show me some more of that!
Rockies Opening Day at Coors Field
Giants vs Rockies
As it has for the last couple of seasons Opening Day starts off with breakfast at the 2oth Street Cafe with a small group of the Rantics.
Left to Right are Mike the Rox Addict, Gary X, Alannah X, Rick, Amy, Drugless Douglas and Jersey Geoff.
The only plan this morning was to try to get Dante Bichette’s autograph before heading into Coors Field for the first batting practice of the season.
Last time I saw Dante he was a bald, not today. Dante was signing autographs and promoting Maxx HD sunglasses.
Dante was cool as a former Bomber should be and was signing multiple items for everyone.
Dante signed a game rubbed baseball for me.
Maybe someday I’ll run into Larry Walker and Andres Gallaraga and I’ll be able to finish up my Blake Street Bomber autograph collection.
I didn’t know at the time but meeting Dante would be the highlight of this day.
Check out the Patio Ride…Yeah I’d rent it, but only if I run that sucker downhill
Lot’s of Rockies fans gett’n their drink on early on the rooftop.
Batting practice was a total bust. I’ve noticed at times when the Rockies hit really well during BP they hit well during the game. BP today was pitiful and I was hoping that wasn’t an indication of what the game was gonna be like.The pavillion pre-game was packed full of purple Rockies fans hoping to catch a souvenir.
Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen today. Your chances of getting beaned in the head by a stray foul ball were much better. Just ask the lady along the third base line celebrating her 69th birthday at Coors Field. She managed to snag a ball today, the one that cracked her skull.
That’s the first time I can remember seeing a fan hauled off from the field. Normally Paramedics would just carry them up the stairs.
I heard later that the elderly lady beaned in the head was recovering and was going to be ok. That’s cool, a happy ending and a helluva story for her to tell the grandkids.
Unfortunately a trend I’m not liking is continuing from last year. The Rockies ended their BP early thus depriving their fans of the only half-hour they get to watch their team take swings.C’mon Rockies, we wait in line in the hot sun so we can come inside and watch you take swings.
We’re allowed a measly half-hour to do this and you end practice 10-15 minutes early?
Listen, I’m not telling the Rockies what to do, I’m just giving them some insight into how fans think.
Graphmaster Gary X hold’n down the front row as per usual.
Mike the Rox Addict and Amy from “The Take from Blake”.
As an old buddy of mine used to say…That’s a crap-ton of balloons.
Matt Belisle giving us a wave.
The ceremonial first pitch times three.
Tulo was presented his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award from 2011.
Here are the game pictures I took.
First pitch of the game.
Sandoval homers and the Giants are up by 2 in the first inning.
Helton third out toss-up.
Tulo milliseconds before his first hit.
Chacin starting to crumble.
Amy and Jersey Geoff chill’n.
My favorite picture of the day and one of the hardest to get. Cargo breaking his bat with the ball in the picture.
Zito was straight up money today and the Giants embarrass the Rockies on their Home Opener 7-0.
After the beating was over Mike, Gary X, Alannah and I headed over to where the post-game show is broadcast. We said we would do the “Bring Back Helmer” chant and we did.
Here’s the first video. You can see us in the background.
In this video you can hear us chanting “Bring Back Helmer” in the background as the Cowboy is talking.
Here is where I walk up to the wall(you can see my hat) and told them:
”I supported you and you let Helmer go for no good reason, I supported you Root Sports. You ain’t about the fan, You aint about the fan.”
After I finished the cops that were standing there waved me on.
The best video of all was Allannah X. She was able to get close up and got out a “Bring Back Helmer. Nice job Alannah!
We did what we could for Tom Helmer. He’s a great guy and he deserved folks standing up for him for the gutless way Poot Warts let him go.
Hindsight being 20/20, a big ole’ sign would have done wonders
Let me state for the record, I like all of the rest of the broadcasters in the Poot Warts line-up although I haven’t watched Joel much as I’m boycotting the Post-Game going forward.
The protest had absolutely nothing to do with any of you, it was a protest against your employer. We were standing up and making a statement for a friend who was wronged by a company that claims to be about “The Fan”, but in reality doesn’t give a shit about “The Fan”, simple as that.
I’m ”D” The Ranter and let me reiterate, meeting Dante Bichette was the highlight of this day, but it’s nice to know Rockies fans are taking Purple Mondays seriously
Go Rockies…You’re better than this…”D”
This isn’t the Rockies Opening Day Blog..This is the prelude to it.
I’ve got to tell you about a Denver Post photographer who was so rude she gets her own blog entry.
Rantics meet Helen Richardson, don’t let the smile fool you.
Helen is a photographer for the Denver Post and has the credentials to prove it. Helen’s mission today was to get 200 pictures of Joe Salazar’s mohawk no matter what the cost. If you’ve never seen Joe’s mohawk it’s a fregg’n thing of beauty.
Helen asked Joe if he wanted to be in the paper and the first six times Joe said “No”.
Before Helen had to actually beg Joe for the picture he caved in and let her take a picture of him standing in between three of Denver’s finest. Helen decided she needed to partially stand in my space to get the much desired picture of Joe’s mohawk.
Picture by a rude Helen Richardson of the Denver Post.
So I sat there as she popped off a few pictures. Being a photographer myself I had no issues about that. I was a bit upset that she was in my space and kind of disregarding that fact that it was MY space. After a minute or so of her still taking the same picture of Joe I stood up hoping to give her enough space to finish so I could get back to watching the game.
A minute later Helen was STILL taking pictures of Joe.
The entire time Helen was taking pictures of Joe she was oblivious to the fact that she was bothering me. She didn’t acknowledge my existance or ask if she could share my space. Finally after letting Helen’s ”invasion of my privacy” wreck enough of my Opening Day experience I said “Ya Know a couple of pictures is cool, 200 pictures is douche baggery”.
Then she said “Excuse me am I bothering you?” I said “Yes you are, I’m trying to watch the game and take pictures and you’re in my space and have been for a while”.
At that point instead of realizing she had over stayed her welcome and politely leaving, she proceeded to verbally F’ck with me and tossed a few expletives my direction. Finally after enough of being harassed by someone who didn’t even pay for her ticket I stuck out my hand and said:
“Hi I’m D the Ranter and you just made the blog“.
She wouldnt’ shake my hand and just stared at me with a pissed off look on her face.
The look was followed by ”Ewwww, are you going to put my picture in your blog?” belted out very sarcastically.
I said “Naa”.
At that point she still wouldn’t take the hint and leave so I got a pen from Mike and jotted the name down I that could see on her press credentials. When Helen noticed me doing that she proceeded to turn her credentials around so I couldn’t see them…
Too late Helen
I never mess with folks, especially when I’m at a Rockies game. All who know me know that I go to Coors Field to hang with the Rantics, take lots of pictures and cheer on my Rockies. Baseball is my escape from the real world and I’m there to relax, not get all bent out of shape.
I gave Helen plenty of time to do what she needed to do and she abused her “Press Pass” privilege by being a nuisance, not leaving soon enough and by verbally harassing me.
This is professional behavior? Denver Post do you agree? Rockies do you agree?
Helen here’s a tip, next time start off with “Excuse me could I stand here in your space and take a few pictures?”.
Asking is a good thing and is respectful to fans who actually PAY for their tickets and stand in those long lines to get inside the stadium.
Then take a FEW pictures and then get the hell out-of-the-way.
I purposely sit in the front row so I don’t block anyone with my body or my camera lens as I take my pictures. In my wildest dreams I had no idea I’d have to deal with an annoying Denver Post photographer blocking my view in the front row of the Rockpile of all places?
When Helen finally disappeared I asked Mike the Rox Addict who is a professional photographer if I had been in some way out of line with Helen. Mike said she was rude, unprofessional and had abused her media privileges. Good, glad to have confirmation that it wasn’t me.
Helen, here’s a few nuggets of wisdom from the Ranter free of charge.
Remember, it’s not about the picture you take, it’s more about the image you leave.
By the way, I only had to take one picture of Jeff’s mohawk.
Here it is:
You should know better than to mess with someone with RANTER on their jersey.
I’m ”D” The Ranter and I may take your picture but I’ll damn sure leave you some elbow room.
Go Rockies!!…Helen, I changed my mind about posting your picture and by the way you and your attitude can…
It’s almost that time of the year again.
That day towards the end of January where hardcore Rockies fans get to walk around the innards of Coors Field like they bought and paid for the place. In years past tickets to this event were cherished and have been difficult to obtain. I mean seriously how often does the average Joe get the opportunity to poke his head inside the humidor or meander through the Rockies locker room and see how messy the Deuce’s locker is?
My thing is I like to covertly toss my Ranter cards into the players lockers . No players have ever contacted me from that move, but it’s fun and kind of a ritual now for me.
Is this your first time going? Check out the previous Rockies Fests.
Here’s last years 2011 Rockies Fest blog entry…. Rockies Fest 3
Heres the 2010 Rockies Fest blog entry…. Rockies Fest 2
And I was at the first one too but WordPress lost that blog entry for me.
Anyways, the Rockies have broadened what Rockies Fest is this year. For the past three years Rockies Fest was a season ticket holder only event. This year being what the Rockies call “The Year of the Fan” the powers who be added an extra day to the event and now non-season ticket holders can enjoy the experience for only…
Here I am blessing Coors Field in 2011
Here I am Blessing Coors Field in 2010
I’ve decided not to Bless Coors Field this year.
I’m not mad or anything it’s just that it hasn’t worked. I will however be Tebowing from that exact spot. You ask why? Well I Tebowed in a bottle suit in the north end zone at Mile High Stadium and the Broncos advanced to the playoffs.
I figure it can’t hurt right?
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’d like to welcome Jamie Moyer and thank him for making a middle aged guy feel young
See you at Rockies Fest on Saturday…“D”
First off let me thank all of you who took the time to submit pictures for my Photo Contest, in my eyes you’re all winners.
Secondly I couldn’t in all fairness judge the photo entries myself so a huge Thank You goes out to Tom Helmer of ROOT SPORTS for taking time out of his busy schedule to judge the photos for this contest.
These are your first, second and third place photos as judged by Tom Helmer along with his comments.
The double rainbow over Coors field. “It’s a double rainbow man!, Maybe it will double the number of wins at Coors Field next year.
3 Amigos. “I know it’s not intimidating to see your bullpen with pink backpacks and holding hands but it makes for a heck of a photo”.
Fist Bump “I don’t care if it’s the Reds or any other team rolling through. A fist bump from a player to a little fan is always cool”.
Katerina, Nicolle and Michael Congratulations!!!!
Katerina wins the Carlos Gonzalez figurine.
Nicolle wins the Jason Giambi autographed Rockies Card
Michael wins the Carlos Gonzalez autographed baseball card.
Winners please email me so I can arrange to get your prizes delivered.
Thanks again to Gary X for donating the Giambi and Cargo autographed cards.
I’m the Ranter and I think I’ll roll with this Photo Contest next year.
ASTROS vs ROCKIES GAME 2
I had a dream I caught a home run ball from Todd Helton the night before this game.
I had front row seats for this game.
I clean caught the first BP home run ball of the day within seconds of reaching the pavilion.
I was in the perfect seat to snag Carlos Lee’s home run in the first inning.
Here’s a link to the video of Lee’s homer and my still ongoing quest to catch a live game home run.
I heard the crack of Carlos’s bat and I knew immediately that this ball was launched close to where I was sitting. Never taking my eyes off of the ball I got up out of my seat and tracked the ball about ten feet to my left. I found myself pressed against the railing behind me. It all happened so quick, as the ball sailed closer I realized it was going to land slightly over my head. I jumped up as high as my body would let me. I’m still not sure if the ball bounced off of my glove or the dude behind me hit my glove with his, but something touched my glove.
I missed it, the perfect opportunity blown.
I sat back down after this and told Amy who was sitting beside me with her dad, “I might as well go home cause nothing else is even going to come close, that’s it for tonight”.
I stayed of course but I was right…Great game, the Rockies take two straight from the Astros with a final score of 8-6.
My quest continues….
Robert recently took his VW bus “Jim Morrison” on his final journey. Robert and Jim headed up to Seattle to catch a couple Mariner games and to get a shot of Jim in front of the space needle. Apparently Robert had tried to get the same picture years back and the weather didn’t cooperate.
Here’s Jim in front of the Space Needle after almost a half a million miles…
Happy Trails Jim…Jim’s replacment…Janice.
My VW bus..aka..Vanny Castilla is coming along too.
I’m the Ranter and right now I’m wishing I was one of those guys who had the “Gift of Lift”.
Props to the Rockies who continue to play better as the season winds down.
Dodgers vs Rockies Game One
Ran into this “flash from the past” struggling to take a hard right while parking today close to Coors Field. Cool horses, terrible beer.
I know the dude pushing the shopping cart is wondering if all those cases if beer are full?
Colorado is a microbrew state..Coors beer isn’t much better but at least it’s a Banquet beer whatever that is? Life is short people. I don’t always drink beer,… but when I do I prefer good beer
No big entry for this game. Batting practice started off slow and was uneventful for the Rockies portion of it. The Dodgers gave some luv to right field and the extreme left side of left field. By the end of BP I had managed to snag two. The first was a ground rule double which I gave to a little boy who was there with his dad.
The second was a toss up that was not thrown hard enough to reach it’s intended recipient and it ended up in my glove. Shortly thereafter it was nestled into the glove of a young Rockies fan.
It was really cool to see Joy and Jim again at Coors and for the first time this season I ran into Queen Geri. Great to see you all. Nice hang’n with Douglas, Amy and her pops in line.
I’d like to get a group picture of as many Rantics as possible one game before the end of this season.Maybe the fireworks game in September??
Oh yeah..They gave away a Giambi T-Shirt today.
Here are a few pictures I thought were worth sharing from this Rockies loss.
First pitch of the game.
Mark Ellis airborne
Long time Rockies Usher “Beard” giving the all clear.
These couple pictures are from when Kemp got tagged in the helmet with the ball. It deflects off the glove then hits his helmet and he drops like a rock.
Seemed like Kemp was ok after a bit.
Helton gets a double.
Jim and Joy feeling about like I was during this game.
The Rockies couldn’t seem to put anything together this evening. When it started to rain I was tired and done and I headed for my truck.
The Rockies lose this one to the Blue 8-2. A big thank you to Jersey Geoff for the ticket to this game. I’m glad I didn’t pay for an expensive seat to watch this snoozer.
Don’t forget to send in your picture for the “Ranter’s Photo Contest” to win that ultra cool Carlos Gonzalez figurine.
I’m the Ranter, tomorrow is “The Duece’s” bobblehead day. I’ll be there standing in line along with half of Colorado.
PHILLIES VS ROCKIES GAME TWO
Notice the temperature? July was a record breaking month in Colorado as far as the heat goes but today was overcast and drizzling at times. The cooler weather was a nice change.
Here are your Starting Lineups
Even with the drizzle the cages were up and BP was roll’n. I kind of felt like a ball magnet today as I had a lot of play during BP. I was hoping that would work to my advantage during the game as I had a front row pavilion seat today.
(I’m Still buck’n for that first Game Homer)…Thanks Mister Ticket Mister .
I’ll spare you the suspense…It didn’t happen.
The first two BP balls I snagged were toss-ups from Phillies players that were bobbled by Phillies fans. I made sure those two balls found homes with Rockies fans. My next snag was a ground rule double that hit fast and bounced off of my glove. A few quick steps later and I scooped up my own bobble.
I didn’t want BP to end without actually catching one. There was a break in the clouds and the baseball gods shined briefly enough for me to catch one on the fly from an unknown Phillies player shortly before the players left the field. Props to Mike the Rox Addict for snagging a ground rule double ball that tipped off my glove while surrounded by Phillies fans eager for that ball.
I believe Amy snagged four balls and Jersey Geoff , Dan and Ken had a few nice snags too.
Here are your Rockies warming up.
Chris Iannetta flashing me the Ranter sign.
The only Rockies player that I saw walk up to the wall and sign was Mark Ellis.
Props to you Mark, shame on the rest of you.
Guess “The Duece” has been teaching classes on how to avoid signing autographs.
Other than catching baseballs my second favorite thing to do at the ballpark is take action pictures. However there was a severe lack of action from the Rockies so here are a few Phillies pictures.
I feel ya EY.
I don’t get the Rockies. If I didn’t have so much fun hang’n with my friends at Coors Field I doubt I attend many more games this season.
The Coors Field late innings two out magic is all but dead. This game was uneventful, unexciting, unfulfilling and unfun.
Keep ignoring your fans Rockies and nothing good will come of it.
I also want to wish Ubaldo Jiminez the best of luck with the Indians. Nasty Fasty was a class act and was the nicest most approachable Rockies player I have ever met. I’m not happy with the decision to Trade Ubaldo or the manner in which it was executed, but we all knew the Rockies were do to make a pitching blunder of some sort.
At least he can’t come back and haunt us in the American League? unless…Nah
I’m the Ranter…I’m thinking I picked the right season to back off the baseball games a bit and work hard on my Mobile Blogging Unit…AKA
I need to get him ready for Broncos Tailgating and Spring Training 2012.
Brewers vs Rockies Game 3
Our first Rockies Photo Day..For some reason we always seem to have something going when this day rolls around.
Our little roped off section of Coors field was filled with Rantics. The Rockies who were posing for pictures were all friendly and approachable other than “The Duece”, who once again lived up to his number. I made a comment that out of the group of eight of us who were doing this round robin with the picture and camera switch during the photo session, I bet that Tulo would diss four of us.
I was wrong, Tulo dissed six of us and left Hunter standing there just waiting for his picture as he moved past us as quick as he could.
Tulo, c’mon man…Most folks in this state look up to you…Hunter used to. I respect your athletic abilities brotha, but you need lessons on how to treat your loyal fans.
Believe me I’m not ripp’n Tulo for this just this “ONE” time. You don’t earn the nickname “The Duece” overnight .
Way too many pictures today of players and Rantics to post em all but I’ll share a few.
Skipper Jim Tracy
Jim and I
Rox Addict and his famous “Running Man” Pose
Must be contagious, here’s Dan striking a pose.
Me, I’m not really a running man, I’m more of a glider.
Tom Helmer sport’n a mustache?…Guess I have been gone a while
Gary and Alanna X and the Coaches
Mike and Chris Iannetta “aka Spongebob” holding Spongebob…Perfect!!
Me n Wiggy
Hunter and Ian Stewart
Aaron Cook and the Rantic Red Beards
Cha-Ching on the mound, first pitch of the game after a brief rain delay was a strike.
Best hat of the game.
I was a little late to the action but I got some pretty good pics.
It was different watching Chris Iannetta getting gett’n all fired up as he’s usually quiet and reserved. I guess watching Chris pop his cork got Jim Tracy all fired up.
Usually stuff like this jump starts a team… But this was not the case today.
I’m the “Ranter” and despite the loss I had a great time hang’n with the Crew.