|2013 Bowman Platinum Sapphire #69 Troy Tulowitzki|
Overall, Monday's game was fairly typical. Hot dogs, a few beers, a seat on the third base side so as not to stare into the sun for half the game, Jon Gray giving up a first-inning home run then largely settling down, Nolan Arenado flashing the leather. But what was different was me. My chosen attire for the game was a Tulowitzki jersey. A Blue Jays one.
Consider it an act of protest.
I found the trade to be quite upsetting. At first I scoffed that it was just business, but the next morning and for some time after I was in a state of disbelief and sadness. My blog archive offers a glimpse into my thoughts at the time.
The Rockies hadn't ever really done anything quite like that before. Sure, they've traded a few guys I liked, and opted not to shell out for various free agents in the offseason. When Matt Holliday was traded I wasn't too fazed. Holliday was a rather subpar outfielder, and Carlos Gonzalez came over in return from the A's. But Tulo, with the Rockies since his debut, being dealt for three pitchers that are still in the minors, and Jose Reyes? It just...hurt. Especially when Jose Reyes' domestic violence incident came to light.
Maybe Jeff Hoffman and the other pitching prospects will turn out to be awesome. And the Rockies made an expensive statement in cutting Jose Reyes, which I think was the right move. Plus, Tulo's untimely departure did clear the way for Trevor Story, which no one saw coming.
|2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Across the Years #ATY-TT Troy Tulowitzki|
Just like in this A&G insert card, Tulowitzki made a nice play or two in the field Monday night. Reyes left a bit to be desired in that department, but Story is coming along nicely, despite a few rookie mistakes. Even Nolan Arenado had a tough time in the field during his first six weeks or so, but he might be the best defensive third baseman in the game right now.
Flipping this card over tells us that Tulo shares an October 10th birthday with all sorts of famous people, from Verdi to Andrew McCutchen. He's not too much younger than me, you know. We even wore pretty much the same jersey on Monday.
|2001 Topps Opening Day Stickers #10 Colorado Rockies|
Despite that standing O, there were more than a few people that heckled and booed him. And he did go 0-4, which I was genuinely disappointed about, though he hit a home run in game 2 of the series following what I'll call a hail delay. I'm still glad the Rockies won the game, but I felt rather conflicted throughout. Does that make me less of a Rockies fan? Does my loyalty to a player mean I support the team less?
I've always had an affinity for ex-Rockies as they traveled around the league. Charlie Hayes, in his first season away from the Rockies as a Pirate, hit a home run on May 20th, 1996. I stood up and cheered for him, even though he was on the other team. I was disappointed when Larry Walker retired without ever winning a World Series. I was happy for Joe Girardi when he helped the Yankees win the World Series in 1996. And I definitely was pulling for the Blue Jays in the 2015 postseason.
Am I a Rockies fan? Yes. But does that mean that I'll blindly agree with all their decisions and root for whichever players they put on the field? No. If they did an even swap of 25-man rosters with any given team like the Braves or the Rangers, I wouldn't show up the next day and root for the Rockies. The uniform carries a lot of weight, but so do the players that have worn it.
|2012 Bowman Chrome Legends In The Making Die Cuts #LIM-CG Carlos Gonzalez|
|2015 Topps Custom #NNO San Jose Fuji (AU)|
I haven't made one of these myself, but if I were to, I'd probably pick 1994. There's something about your first factory set.
|1996 Collector's Choice You Crash the Game #CG16 Larry Walker|
|1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection #103 Jerald Clark|
|2015 Topps Update Chrome #US16 John Axford|
Anyway, he got a card in 2015 Topps Update, and this is one of those sparkly Chrome parallels that everyone seemed to be buying at Target in late summer 2015. I never ended up getting one of those gift boxes they were sold in, trusting that they'd make their way to me via trade sooner or later.
|2015 Topps Update #US29 Ben Paulsen (RC)|
|1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars #171 Larry Walker TLU (SP)|
|1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars #171 Larry Walker TLU (SP) (Reverse)|
|1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars #136 Todd Helton PT (SP)|
Of course, that adds to the frustration of being a Rockies fan, because their pitching is consistently as bad as their hitting is good.
But maybe the loot from the Tulowitzki trade will change that in a couple seasons.
|2012 Topps A Cut Above #ACA-25 Troy Tulowitzki|
He'll always have a place in Denver history, and while I'll never forget the TU-LO chants echoing off the other side of the stadium at a particular 2007 World Series game, now that I got to say my goodbyes, I can better accept that Tulo and the Rockies have parted ways.