Yes, Rox fans, it was just confirmed after all the talk on social media last night: Tulo has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, but don’t fret, as much as we are Rockies fans, we are Tulo fans as well, so Tulo Fans will live on.
CHICAGO — The beige door remained shut, as the fate of the Rockies unfolded behind it, here in the Wrigley Field visiting clubhouse. The Rockies players were so quiet you could hear players whispering while eating. Troy Tulowitzki, had entered the manager’s office after the game, still in uniform. He remained in there as he became a Toronto Blue Jay.
Tulowitzki, according to confirmed reports, is gone.
It’s been a Catch-22 with Tulo. He wanted to win with the Rockies, but the only way these Rockies could win is with pitching, and trading Tulo at least gets them some arms.
The trade captures the reality that is the Rockies: It doesn’t matter who you have hitting. Heck, you could have a perennial slugging shortstop, but if you can’t pitch, you can’t win in Colorado. It’s a shame to see Tulo go, but it’s a necessary move. The Rockies, with the best-hitting shortstop of his generation, were still the Rockies. First-year general manager Jeff Bridich had to do something to start a massive rebuild and get rid of Tulo’s salary.
A source told me late Monday that the Rockies received at least two pitching prospects from the Blue Jays in the trade, pending physicals. In the days to come, we’ll find out more about these guys, but clearly young pitching is worth the gamble, since Colorado was going nowhere even with Tulo’s amazing numbers.
Who knows if these guys will pan out, or if Colorado just nabbed a bunch of Greg Reynoldses? But they had to get what they could, they had to take the risk. They had to try something radically new.
And maybe Jon Gray will turn out to be JON GRAY, the pitching ace so many people across the Front Range have dreamed of having. Maybe, as I sit here in the Wrigley Field press box, the Rockies of 2016 and 2017 will be the Cubs of recent years, as Chicago has tried to erase the Cubs curse, which apparently was contagious to the Rockies.
Funny enough, earlier in the day Tulo said: “I know the Rockies will keep me informed, and they haven’t told me anything, so I see myself as a Rockie, honestly.”
“At times it can be frustrating, but at the same time, I want to honor the extension I signed,” added Tulowitzki, who entered Monday hitting .305 and was 15th in the NL with an .831 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage. “I signed it not to go play somewhere else. I signed it because I wanted to spend my career in Denver. Obviously, my favorite player was (Derek) Jeter, and watching the Hall of Fame stuff yesterday with (Craig) Biggio, to be able to say you played with one organization is pretty cool. That would be neat for myself. The losing becomes frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around quickly.”
I was with him until the last line. He knew it, we knew it. They need arms. Plural.
Give credit to owner Dick Monfort. He had been blindly in love with Tulo, and understandably so — Tulo is phenomenal when healthy. But Monfort gave the go-ahead on the trade, for the good of the franchise and fans.
What is Tulo’s legacy in Denver? Manager Walt Weiss refused to say on the record. He didn’t feel comfortable talking about the trade until it’s official. Tulo will forever be linked to the 2007 team that won the pennant — the rookie in Jeter’s number had the whole town clapping and chanting his name.
I’ll definitely miss the Tulo chant, which was unequivocally “ours.” Tulo’s legacy is that he made the playoffs twice, and made the all-star team, and the cover of Sports Illustrated, and set the tone to the fans that this, right here, is what an intense, obsessed baseball player is like. But he was injured often and, since this isn’t basketball, he couldn’t just carry the team when he was healthy. That’s not how this sport is. You need to pitch. And the Rockies can’t pitch.
Perhaps it was fitting that Tulo was traded on this night, an evening in which the Rockies lost in the most Rockies of ways — blowing multiple leads, losing on a walk-off home run.