Tulo Fans

From our armchairs, we as fans can get frustrated. Many of us will watch a baseball game and see a pitcher walk the bases loaded. Perhaps we’ll see one of a handful of “all glove, no hit” shortstops scraping by with a .250-ish batting average come up to bat with the bases loaded. We might, in not-so-polite words, call them something similar to a “scrub”, lament that our team “always loses because of guys like these”, then curse their contract, the front office, the manager or the baseball gods.

Lest we forget that the guy who is “scraping by” spent their entire lives at the ball field, away from their friends and families and children, to be one of the 700 best people on the planet at a game. Their late high school afternoons and early college mornings spent not as often at a party or at a coffee shop, but in the batting cage, doing fielding drills or in the weight room might result in nothing more than the honor of becoming the first strikeout victim of a future Hall of Famer.

We also forget that there are tens of thousands of ballplayers who don’t even earn the cup of coffee that even the briefest major leaguer savors a sip of. According to a 2013 report by Sports Interaction posted on USAToday, only 0.6% of American high school players and 11.6% of college players ever make the major leagues. For those lucky enough to stick, the average major league career is just 5.6 years long. Some of us have spent longer trying to graduate from college.

Baseball is a rough sport, probably much rougher on the players than the fans that root (or heckle) those ballplayers. The truth is there’s a lot of failure in baseball. After spending their entire life pursing their dream, they dig in their fingernails to hang on as tight as possible to their major league opportunity, all while “failing”. For hitters, they “fail” to reach base in over 60% of their at-bats or drive in a run maybe once every two games, if they are good (and lucky). For pitchers, they “fail” to win most of the games they pitch in. Ballplayers often fail. Some fail permanently.

Why do they go through that? If it’s the pipe dream of making money, the aspirations of many of those high school and college players get thrown out with the bathwater. Then perhaps, what motivates players to play, to put up with the slumps and the failures and push through them, is that very competition. The chance that on any given night, that they can do something good, if not great.

You have to love baseball and the competition it brings to keep you fueled enough to make it through the daily, monthly, yearly, life-long grind. Yeah, a grind, punctuated by long hours away from home and hearth, flying out to an East/West Coast game, plodding through offseason workouts just to be greeted in the trainer’s room after a hard-worked day riddled with missed opportunities, bad bounces and being a split second late on a 95 mile per hout fastball.

Troy Tulowitzki is one of those fortunate few who has not only worked, but studied his whole life, to become a great baseball player. Few players in recent memory can dominate both the offensive and defensive side of a baseball game like he can. Yet, even he has had his own struggles and failures, including a demotion to the minor leagues shortly after helping to lead the Rockies to the World Series in 2007.

So, I was curious how he got to be the player he is today and was fortunate enough to receive the opportunity to ask him. I wanted to get some insight into how one of the best players in the game “got good”. And, as an aside, I reflected on the answers he gave because I truly wanted to learn, not just about him, but about this game of baseball that I grew up loving. I put my thoughts in italics to make it a little easier to read.

Richard Bergstrom: What were you like in Little League in High school? Were you always a shortstop?
Troy Tulowitzki: It’s the only position I ever played. Even in T-Ball I was a shortstop.

RB: You lived in the Bay Area when Rockies Manager Walt Weiss was a shortstop with the Oakland Athletics. What do you remember of Weiss as a player?

TT: I remember him vividly, I watched all those A’s shortstops. I’d always go to batting practice and watch those guys take ground balls. So I remember Walt. He was a good player. A good winning player, a piece of the team. He’d be the first one to tell you he wasn’t a superstar but if you take Walt Weiss off those teams, I’m not sure they win.

Head over to Rockies Zingers to read the rest of the interview!

Photos: Colorado vs. Milwaukee (4/6 – 4/8)

Posted by Jen on
April 9th, 2015

I’ve just added photos from the opening series against the Brewers into the gallery. Hope to see a bunch of you at the home opener tomorrow!

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Colorado Rockies > Games > 2015 > April 6, 2015
Colorado Rockies > Games > 2015 > April 7, 2015
Colorado Rockies > Games > 2015 > April 8, 2015

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS4) – He has yet to play in a game in spring training, but shortstop Troy Tulowitzki remains the most talented and popular of the Colorado Rockies — and now he’s 30 years old.

Tulowitzki has missed a total of 122 games in the past three seasons.

“It’s (being 30) a challenge for me. I’ve had a big injury history in my 20s, so I think I’m just trying to prove some of those critics wrong and be healthy in my 30s,” Tulowitzki told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi. “At least that’s my goal and that’s what I shoot for. I think anybody who knows me knows I’m going to put in a lot of work to try to succeed.”

His teammate reliever LaTroy Hawkins concurs.

“The fans have to understand that nobody chooses to be hurt,” Hawkins said. “Nobody wants to be out there and has a desire to be out there more than Tulo. He’s a machine.”

During the offseason Tulowitzki didn’t hide the fact that he wanted to see change within the Rockies organization, and there was a lot of change — starting at the top with bringing in new general manager Jeff Bridich.

“There was a lot of change … at the end of the day I want to see wins. That’s why I play this game, and that’s always why baseball is intriguing to me; winning a World Series; and to get there my rookie year … I know what it takes to get there.

“When I try to talk to some of these guys in this locker room now there aren’t too many of them standing that got to play on that 2007 team. But that’s the goal you shoot for — to be the team on top at the end.”

In his interview with Tulowitzki, Lombardi pointed out that many of the pictures of Tulowitzki at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona show him smiling.

“Why don’t you smile anymore?” Lombardi asked him. “Are you still having fun playing this game?”

“No … because we’re losing,” Tulowitzki replied. “Winning is fun to me … so if we get back to winning you’ll see a different person. You’ll someone who’s smiling a lot more often.

“Last year I was off to the best start of my career, and it was great to play well, but at the end of the day we were losing and it wasn’t fun for me. So I know myself now … no matter how bad I’m doing, if we’re winning, that’s what I play this game for.”

Tulowitzki said he can see himself in a Rockies uniform for many more years. He heard the trade rumors in the offseason, but he wasn’t bothered by it.

“There was a lot of speculation,” he said. “I think our ownership came out and said ‘Hey, we are keeping Tulo involved in these talks and if something were to be close to be happening we would give him a call and talk to him about it.’ And that never happened.”

Source: CBS Denver

Photos: 2015 Colorado Rockies Photo Day

Posted by Jen on
March 3rd, 2015

I’ve just added photos from this years’ Colorado Rockies Photo Day into the gallery. Thanks a bunch to Kikky for getting us some HQs!

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Photoshoots > 2015 > Colorado Rockies Photo Day

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Watch Troy Tulowitzki on the baseball diamond during the carefree days of spring training and you realize that he’s still a kid at heart.

So it makes sense that Tulo would reach out to ailing kids to lift their spirits and induce some smiles.

Tulo is underwriting an all-expense paid trip to spring training for more than 20 patients from Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The group will visit spring training from March 6-8, the hospital announced in a press release.

“I have done it for the past couple of years,” Tulowitzki said. “It’s a chance to get them out here for a little mini-vacation. We give them a chance to meet some of the players. It’s a good little getaway.

“They are going through some difficult things and spending a lot of time at the hospital. … I’m looking forward to it.”

For many of the young patients, it will be the first trip away from home without their parents. Doctors and nurses will also be on the trip, but mostly it’s a much-needed getaway and a break from the hospital.

During the regular season, Tulo will see some of the kids at Coors Field.

“Some of them will be at the games and they will say hi and I try to remember their faces,” he said. “I remember them talking about how much fun they had at the hotel and playing at the pool. Like I said, it’s a chance for them to get away.”

Tulowitzki admits he often puts on a serious game face, but he lets his guard down around the kids.

“It’s because I like interacting with kids,” Tulo said. “I think people who know me, know that I can be pretty serious in the clubhouse, but you bring a kid around and I’m probably a different guy. I think I have the patience and I enjoy being around them.”

Source: The Denver Post