Dan Boniface is the Rockies blogger over at 9News.com, which is Denver's number 1 TV channel. He asked us to contribute to a piece called ASK THE ENEMY. We said, in unison, "You do not even know us, and yet you call us enemy." He said, "Maybe if the stars had aligned in a different manner from which they have aligned, you would be friends that I hold close to my bosom, but for now, you are my enemy and as enemies we must ask baseball related questions of each other to post to our respective blogs." We agreed and he proceeded to ask us about Matt Holliday in game 163, and it was at that point that we realized, he would hold no punches. Check out his questions and our answers at his blog.
Our questions are in bold. The enemy's answers look like this.
Everybody in the NL West, besides Arizona (and really the Giants), has started off slower than they might have liked. How are Rockies fans taking the start?
I don’t want to call the Rockies faithful "fair-weather fans" but on a cold, intermittently-rainy Wednesday night last week, that’s exactly what they were. Only 23,210, myself included, were on hand to witness the Rockies’ third straight win over the Atlanta Braves. After winning their season opener, five straight losses (three of which came in the home opening series to the rival Diamondbacks) certainly put a damper on the World Series honeymoon period.
However, with that being said, Denver is a different city than it was back in mid-September. Everywhere you go now, you see people wearing crisp, clean Rockies hats with World Series logos, brand-new Tulowitzki and Holliday jerseys (also with World Series logos) and even Rockies NL Champs bumper stickers. Ticket sales are up 25 percent. It’s a real feel-good time to be a Rockies fan in Colorado.
The slow start has certainly soured the fair-weather folk, but the true fans understand that this team’s early struggles were mainly due to problems at the plate. And if you take a look at the Rockies lineup, it’s fair to say they can’t continue to struggle the way they have, as was evident in their 13-run output on Sunday.
What's wrong with Troy Tulowitzki?
I think he put too much pressure on himself. The guy is only 23 and has one year of experience in the bigs. After he signed that 6-year, $31-million deal in the offseason, he basically became an overnight success; the fresh new face of the franchise. Then, things got worse as the Rockies struggled to get out of the gate, Tulo struggled too and started blaming himself for the team’s struggles.
Tulo hates to sit. But that’s exactly what Clint Hurdle had him do on Sunday and in his stead, Clint Barmes looked like Clint Barmes circa 2005; he looked like the guy who hit that memorable 2005 Opening Day walk-off homer off Trevor Hoffman. (You like that reference?)
But, bottom line, the Rockies will only go as far as Tulo takes them. He’s the sparkplug, he’s the energizer, he’s what makes this team go. They feed off his energy. And he started 2007 the same way he started this year: Struggling with the bat. Hurdle benched him then for a couple days and he came roaring back. If I were a betting man, I’d say Tulo is due for a breakout series in San Diego this week. Look out.
You asked me the question about "the slide" just to needle me, didn't you.
Honestly, I just wanted to see how hot the rivalry flames burn in San Diego to compare them with Arizona. They burn red-hot there. Here in Colorado, when asked about "the slide" people either say Barrett didn’t have possession of the ball and therefore, by rule, could not block the plate the way he did, so Holliday was legitimately safe. Some think he may have touched it. Others say he didn’t, but it was the baseball gods correcting the blown call on Garrett Atkins "double," which replays showed was clearly a home run. But, I love the history. History makes for good baseball and I look forward to the Padres/Rockies matchups all season long.
Thanks to Dan Boniface! We will meet again enemy who would be our friend. We will meet again.