I’ve just finished updating the gallery, dating back to May with game photos, as well as Tulo’s press conference in Denver on Monday. Enjoy!
Troy Tulowitzki returns to Coors Field, says he’s not bitter; wanted to “make it cool to be a Rockie”
Troy Tulowitzki stepped out of the batter’s box, let the cheers wash over him, then doffed his batting helmet in appreciation to the Coors Field crowd.
“It was great. It was a cool moment for me and brought back a lot of good memories,” he said.
The Rockies did nothing official to welcome Tulo back to Colorado on Monday night — no announcements, no video montages on the giant scoreboard — but the warm standing ovation from the fans was a reminder of better days. True, there was a smattering of boos in the crowd of 36,419, but there were also plenty of Tulo jerseys, both in Toronto blue and Rockies purple.
“Honestly, I didn’t think there was really any (thought) that I would get some boos. I really didn’t think so,” Tulowitzki said.” I felt like when I was here I had a really good relationship with the fans — you know, the whole ‘Tulo chant’ thing. I saw a lot of Tulo jerseys tonight, so I knew they were going to be good to me.”
The game did not go well for Tulowitzki or his team. He went 0-for-4 and struck out in first at-bat, as the Rockies beat up the Blue Jays 9-5. Tulo, who had a career .299 average with the Rockies, is hitting just .214 this season.
Before he was sent to the Blue Jays 11 months ago in a blockbuster trade, Tulowitzki, now 31, played 1,142 games for the Rockies. At a news conference in the visiting team’s dugout before the game, he was asked what he wants his Rockies legacy to be.
Tulo thought for a moment and said: “I’ll tell you what, when I got drafted here (in 2005), a lot of people said, ‘These guys are terrible, this team (stinks) … you don’t want to be a Rockie. You are just going to go there and lose.’
“That immediately lit a fire in me. I wanted it to be cool to be a Rockie. I wanted free agents to sign here. I wanted it to be a place where you can win, and pitching wasn’t always the problem. That was definitely my goal.”
For a short period of time he helped the Rockies achieve that goal. In 2007, he was runner-up as National League rookie of the year and the Rockies stunned the baseball world by making it to the World Series. In 2009, he belted a career-high 32 home runs and the Rockies made it to the postseason as a wild card. They have not been back.
Now, two young players, all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado and slugging rookie shortstop Trevor Story, are the franchise’s faces of the future. Both were past participants at “Camp Tulo,” the rigorous offseason workout sessions Tulowitzki conducted in Las Vegas.
“I guess that means I’ll be a great coach someday,” he kidded. “But I’m really happy to see how those guys are doing. Both are great kids and great players and really exciting to watch.”
Before the game, Tulowitzki hugged it out with with manager Walt Weiss, Arenado and Story. Then he waded through a sea of media and took a spot in the visiting team’s dugout.
“It feels really weird. I have mixed emotions, but I will try to have fun tonight,” he said.
Although a Tulowitzki trade had been rumored for months, and he had lobbied to be traded to a winning club, he was stunned when the trade finally went down in the ninth inning of a July 27 game against Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. At the time, he expressed his bitter disappointment in how it was handled. During spring training, he made it clear he was still angry at Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich and owner Dick Monfort regarding the awkward nature of how the trade came down.
Tulowitzki still wishes his divorce from the Rockies would have been different. When asked if he had any regrets, he said: “Yeah, the way the trade happened. I wish it would have been cleaner, with better communication. I think I touched on that when I got traded. I think people knew how upset I was.
“But now I’m sitting here and it’s over with. It shouldn’t be some big story of, ‘Oh, he’s still bitter.’ I’m not bitter. I’m in a good place and I’m on a good team. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
DENVER — Troy Tulowitzki, donning Toronto blue, returned to Coors Field on Monday for the first time since he was traded to the Blue Jays last summer.
Tulowitzki was the face of the Rockies for seven-plus years. He cemented himself as one of the best players in all of baseball during his time in Colorado, helping lead the Rockies to the 2007 World Series as a sensational 22-year-old rookie shortstop. He launched 188 home runs as a Rockie while winning a pair of both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
Since that July 27 trade that sent Tulowitzki north of the border, he has stated that he felt “betrayed” by the Rockies front office. “I felt like I got blindsided a bit. I thought I was in the loop, in the conversation,” Tulowitzki told The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, “It definitely caught me by surprise. I was shocked. Maybe I was a little naive to think I would be so connected to the process.”
It is now almost a year later, and here’s what Tulowitzki told BSNDenver:
“It’s a little weird being on this side; it’s nice to see all your former teammates and coaches, nice to be back. It is weird. I do have mixed emotions It’s kinda like making your big league debut again. I’ll try to have fun with it. I played here for a long time, I gave it my all.”
There have been many theories as to what Tulowitzki’s reception by the fans will be tonight. Here’s what he had to say on the matter: “I think we should both enjoy it, I’m gonna enjoy them, I never really got a chance to play here, I was on the road when I got traded. It would’ve been great to come back knowing something was gonna go down so I could take it all in and mate they would have the heads up too but that’s not the way it played out. They have a great shortstop to watch too so I’m sure they’re happy about that. For them to get a chance to see me play, see how I’ve aged see the difference in my game it will be fun.”
He was then asked about his relationship with current Rockies stars Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado and the mentorship that has gone on: “I guess it means I’ll be a good coach someday, some of these guys have really took. I’m really happy to see these guys doing what they’re doing. I think — as you guys know — I brought both of those guys to my house in the offseason, Nolan multiple times, and Trevor once. Talk about both great kids, with their head right where it needs to be. It’s really exciting to watch. This is my first time I get to see guys where — I took them under my wing like Todd Helton did to me and Matt Holliday — and to see them have some success makes it even more special.”
“I’d love to stay in contact with DJ [Lemahieu], but as you guys know he’s hard to talk to. He stays about his business, he’s very quite. Those guys I consider great friends. And Trevor [Story] as well, the infielders are those guys I really got close with. But Charlie [Blackmon] is another guy, I’m sure I’m missing a few,” Tulowitzki said about his other former teammates.
Next, he was asked about his favorite memories at Coors Field: “First thing…I remember, being at shortstop, after I got drafted and I was taking groundballs. And I thought there was no way they’d send me to the minor leagues and that I belong here. There’s so many memories, the winning years, the playoffs, the World Series run and the relationships with the guys that really taught me the game, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, it got me really close with Nolan [Arenado].”
I’ve just updated the gallery with a bunch of photos from games the past month. Catch yourself up and enjoy!
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016
I’ve just added photos from opening week into the gallery. Check them out!
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 3, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 4, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 5, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 6, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 8, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 9, 2016
• Toronto Blue Jays > Games > 2016 > April 10, 2016