Wednesday, December 17, 2008

COLORADO ROCKIES - ALL TIME HOME GROWN TEAM vs. ALL TIME ACQUIRED TEAM


OK folks time to keep the caravan going of All Time Home Grown vs. Acquired Rosters.
I said I was going to do all 30 teams and I meant it.
 
Let’s take a close look at the Colorado Rockies.

After the frenzy of Mets responses, you Rockies fan have a tough act to follow!

I thought when I started compiling this list it would come down to two different teams:
The 1995 Wild Card winning team and the stunning 2007 National League Champs.

And I also thought the majority of the home grown team would be from 2007 and the lionshare of the the acquired team would be from 1995.

Well guess what?
I was pretty much right.

With a few exceptions, it is basically a match up of those two teams.
While it was easy compiling big hitters swinging in the thin air piling up lots of 15-14 wins… making two pitching staffs of 10 pitchers each was more of a challenge.

Not a lot of Cy Young candidates and you can ask Denny Neagle how much fun it is to pitch there. It’s almost as bad as being caught with a hooker in your car and having tens of millions of dollars voided from your contract.

To review the rules, as always go here.

So let’s climb the Purple Mountain Majesty and try to get a seat in the left field bleachers. A home run will no doubt be landing there.

ALL TIME HOME GROWN ROCKIES TEAM

STARTING CATCHER
CHRIS IANETTA

The Rockies don't have a huge number of home grown catchers but a nice Catholic boy from Rhode Island might be the starting catcher for a while. He was on the playoff roster in 2007 but never got to play. Well Yorvit Torreabla got hurt and Ianetta took advantage with some solid home run numbers and was hit by a lot of pitches. I wonder if the New England boy will ever come to Boston.



STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
TODD HELTON

This is a picture of Todd Helton recording the final out of the 2007 NLCS.
Look at his reaction.
That's the face of a guy who was the superstar of a team when they were completely forgettable.
That's the face of a guy who knows he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning.
That's the face of a guy who almost left the only organization he has ever played for with the idea that he'll need to skip town in order to play in the World Series.
That's the face of a guy who is about to go to the World Series with that organization that he never left.
That's the face of a guy who knows the champagne will taste sweeter in Denver than as a rental player for a big market.

His numbers in the thin air were awesome. His hard nose play and clutch hits were even better.
I know the World Series was quick for the Rockies... but it must have been great to be Todd Helton that week.




STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
JASON BATES

Bates exploded onto the scene in Denver when he made his debut in April of 1995.
In his third game he homered off of Darryl Kile and it was the run that put the Rockies ahead for good.

He was batting .357 in May and his average remained in the .300s through June.
But pitchers figured him out, he lost his starting job to Eric Young and was reduced to a pinch hitter in the playoffs.

He was out of baseball 4 years later... but his strong start gets him a spot here.




STARTING SHORTSTOP
TROY TULOWITZKI

OK, so the talk of him being the next Jeter might be a bit premature.
But Holy Cow, during the Rockies amazing September run, it seemed like Tulo was involved in every rally.

He went 4 for 7 in the one game playoff against the Padres, smacking an RBI double off of Trevor Hoffman in the 13th inning and scoring the tying run on Matt Holiday's triple.

Plus he's a cocky S.O.B.
He could become that always elusive commodity: A FUN star!




STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
GARRETT ATKINS

Atkins has put up some huge numbers his 4 full seasons in Denver. Note how I phrased that.

The Humidor not withstanding, Coors Field still gives a huge advantage to hitters. A quick peak at Atkins splits you'll see he is an MVP candidate in Colorado and has mediocre numbers elsewhere.

It's a good thing he plays in Coors!
He's become a millionaire many times over with a World Series home run to boot in the thin air!




STARTING LEFT FIELDER
MATT HOLLIDAY

Holiday was THE star of the 2007 Rockies and most people didn't know who the hell he was!

I didn't!

But he had as compelling an argument as anyone for MVP of the National League.
And he tied the one game playoff with a towering triple off of Trevor Hoffman in the 13th.
And he was the NLCS MVP.

However two quick things to rain on his parade:

1) He never touched home plate to score the winning run in the one game playoff against the Padres.
2) His getting picked off of first base in game 2 of the World Series all but sunk any hope for the Rockies from even winning a game against the Red Sox.

But he was a terrific Rockie. Now let's see him in Oakland.
(Gee, I wonder if he is going to be traded again!)




STARTING CENTER FIELDER
JUAN PIERRE

What Juan Pierre is good at, he is VERY good at.
He gets 200 hits a year.
He steals bases.
He is a terror on the basepathers.

He can't walk, play the outfield nor rap...
But you can do worse than a 200 hit guy with wheels at the top of the order.



STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
BRAD HAWPE

Hawpe might not be the biggest name on the Rockies, but he has a knack for some big hits.
His two run single off of Brandon Webb in game 1 of the NLCS broke the game open.

But he also seemed to have earned a walk in every single Rockies rally.

In other words, he's a pain in the ass who can also smack 20 homers a year.



TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
QUINTON McCRACKEN

In 1994 with the strike in full swing, I found myself going to a bunch of minor league games in New Haven, Connecticut with my cousin Dave. (I was living with Dave at the time.)

We'd see the New Haven Ravens play and McCracken was a fan favorite there.
He stole 36 bases in 1994 and was the team's spark plug.

And the score board with flash "LET'S GO Q!"

Dave and I also attended opening day in New Haven in 1995. The minor leagues opened before the locked out big leaguers, so they were getting more attention than usual. And McCracken still was the lead off killer. He batted .357 while stealing 26 in half a season in New Haven before being promoted to Colorado Springs and later to Denver.

I thought he was going to be a star.
Well, he wasn't... but he played in 12 seasons in the big leagues and flashed that speed early in his career.
Later he played in the playoffs with Arizona.

And every time I saw him introduced in a game, I thought "Let's Go Q!"




THE STARTING ROTATION

JEFF FRANCIS
When the Rockies realized they couldn't lure any pitchers to Denver, they smartly decided to develop their own and have them learn how to survive pitching in Coors.

In the wake of the 2001 Denny Neagle/Mike Hampton disaster, the Rockies picked Jeff Francis 9th overall in the 2002 draft.
It paid off with a solid Rookie campaign and a top 10 Cy Young finish with the 2007 NL Champs.

The idea of a pitcher standing out for ANY positive reason in Coors is cause for celebration!



JASON JENNINGS

The 2002 Rookie of the Year looked like that most unlikely of animals... a legit ace for the Rockies.

He had trouble compiling his rookie win total, but was good for 200 innings and his last season in Denver had his ERA dip below 4.

When he was traded to Houston before the 2007, it looked like he was released from baseball purgatory.
Little did anyone know that Colorado would be the place to be that year!




AARON COOK

A solid pitcher with awful luck health wise, Cook missed time with blood clots and still came back to pitch well.
He missed almost the last two months of the 2007 season (included the entire mad dash to the pennant) and yet still came off the DL to pitch the 4th game of the World Series.

OK fine he got the loss, but 6 innings 3 earned runs isn't that bad against the 2007 Red Sox.

In 2008 became an All Star with his 16-9 record and sub 4.00 ERA.
And he got out of a bases loaded no outs jam in the All Star Game in Yankee Stadium and would have been the MVP had the NL won.

Hopefully the blood clot days are over!



JAMEY WRIGHT

A former first round pick by the Rockies, Wright essentially became a punching bag for some uninspired Colorado clubs.
He logged in 206 2/3 innings for the 1998 Rockies despite a 5.67 ERA.

Wright was sent packing to Milwaukee in the Jeff Cirillo deal but came back for more of the same in 2004 and 2005. His ERA would be north of 5.00 but he'd still make his starts.

Thus is the life of a Rockies pitcher.




UBALDO JIMENEZ

The kid looked like he was 7 years old pitching against a rampaging Red Sox team in game 2 of the 2007 World Series.
And truth be told, even though he didn't throw 5 innings... Jimenez wasn't that bad!

A big talent, his real highlight was the final game of the 2007 regular season. Jimenez threw 6 1/3 innings of 1 hit ball, striking out 10. He didn't get the decision, but the Rockies win forced a one game playoff with the Padres and set in motion their stampede through the NL playoffs.



THE BULLPEN


MANUEL CORPAS

Corpas took over for Brian Fuentes as the closer down the stretch and boy did it work out!
He saved 8 games in September
He saved all 3 games of the Division Series against the Phillies.
He went 1-0 with 2 saves in the NLCS against the Diamondbacks.
He clinched the pennant.

He had no leads to protect in the World Series and lost the closers job the next season.
But the list of closers to clinch playoff series for the Rockies is an exclusive one:

Just Corpas.






MARK THOMPSON

Thompson and I are tied with regular season saves.
He never saved a game in the regular season.

And yet in the 1995 playoffs, he saved the first playoff win in Rockies history and their only post season win for their first 15 seasons.

Down 0-2 to the eventual World Champion Atlanta Braves, the Rockies avoided a sweep when Darren Holmes got Marquis Grissom to ground out with the series winning run at second in the 9th inning of game 3.

In the 10th, the Rockies showed some life when with 2 outs and nobody on, 4 straight Rockies reached base giving Colorado a 7-5 lead.

Manager Don Baylor gave the ball to Thompson who got former World Series hero Mark Lemke, future MVP Chipper Jones and underrated slugger Fred McGriff in order to win the game. The Rockies would lose the series the next day, but you can't blame Thompson.






SHAWN CHACON

Chacon made the All Star Team as a starter... but I was having a bitch of a time coming up with 5 home grown relievers.
So Chacon finds himself in the pen. He did save 35 games for the Rockies in 2004.
He did so with a 1-9 record and a 7.11 ERA.
Yee-OUCH!

He later helped save the 2005 Yankees as a starter and was cut by the Astros when he tried to beat up the General Manager.

Kids, when you are negotiating for a contract, try not to knock the GM to the ground!





ROGER BAILEY

One of Manager Don Baylor's best relievers in the 1995 Wild Card season, Bailey also saw some time in the rotation.
He won 4 straight starts in August and September as the Rockies would need every one of those wins to make the playoffs. Later was shifted back to the pen.

He was out of baseball 2 years later and yet is included on an All Time Roster.
If any relative of Roger Bailey is reading this post, shoot me an e mail.
And you are welcome.




JUAN ACEVEDO

When the Mets traded Bret Saberhagen to the Rockies, the main prospect from the Rockies was Acevedo.
And Chris Mad Dog Russo went nuts.
"You are giving up a pitcher of Saberhagen's talent for Juan A-CEE-VAY-DO?"
Just imagine Russo's voice butchering that last name.

But as I mentioned, I was a New Haven Ravens fan. I knew Acevedo was a 17 game winner the season before in New Haven and looked like he was going to fit in well with the Mets.

Maybe even be a part of the formidable combination of Pulsipher, Isringhausen and Wilson.
OK... maybe none of them fulfilled their promise. But Acevedo put a few decent seasons together, including saving 15 games for the 1998 Cardinals (with McGwire passing Maris) and saving 22 games for the 106 loss 2003 Tigers team.

Not great, but not enough to merit a Mad Dog rant.


THE BENCH


RESERVE INFIELDER
CLINT BARMES

Barmes his an opening day walk off homer in 2005 off of Trevor Hoffman, putting Barmes on a not exactly exclusive list of people who have crushed Hoffman with the game on the line.

It doesn't seem fair that he has played on so many lousy Rockies teams only to be injured when they made the World Series.





RESERVE INFIELDER
NEIFI PEREZ

A classic "Jack of All Trades" middle infielder, Perez cashed big league checks over 12 seasons and playing in the 2006 World Series with the Tigers.

But his career highlight came at the expense of my dad's San Francisco Giants in 1998.
The Giants and the Cubs were locked in a back and forth battle for the wild card. Both teams were tied going into the last game of the season and both teams were playing wild see saw games.

And God Bless ESPN, they cut back and forth between the two games like mad.
The Giants were tied in the 9th inning against the Rockies when the Astros beat the Cubs in the bottom of the 11th on a Richard Hidalgo sacrifice fly.

Now if the Giants could win their game, they would be in the playoffs.
ESPN cut back to the Giants/Rockies game in Denver.

The SECOND they cut back to Coors Field, Neifi Perez launched his 9th and final homer of the season to win the game.

The two games ended simultaneously... and the next day the Giants would lose a one game playoff to the Cubs.
Thus the underrated cursed existence of the Giants.




RESERVE OUTFIELDER
RYAN SPILBORGHS

Spilborghs is one of those classic "stats don't tell the whole story" kind of players.
The back of his baseball card is hardly impressive yet he seems to be a valuable contributor with hustle, grit and an underrated beard.

With the Rockies in a 7 game winning streak on September 23 and on the Padres heels, Spilborghs launched a tie breaking triple off of Greg Maddux.

The Rockies never looked back and it's safe to say they needed EVERY win... especially against the Padres... as they set up the one game showdown.




RESERVE OUTFIELDER
EDGARD CLEMENTE

Clemente didn’t put up big numbers in his brief stint with the Rockies and participated in neither the 1995 nor the 2007 post season.

So why is he here?

Well he is Roberto Clemente’s nephew. And let’s face it… that’s a pretty cool family you want associated with your team!




RESERVE CATCHER
MARK STRITTMATTER

Strittmatter played in 4 games in the big leagues and went hitless.
That's it.

4 more games than Louisa May Alcott.

But he's now on the coaching staff with the Rockies and has also been the bullpen catcher, which goes to show you two things:

1) He is probably has a lot of baseball know how to be on the coaching staff.

2) The Rockies clearly haven't developed a lot of catchers if Strittmatter is being mentioned here!






25TH MAN
CORY SULLIVAN

Come on! Did you really think I wasn’t going to honor a fellow Sullivan on Sully Baseball? I’ve been contemplating buying a Sullivan Rockies jersey.


An interesting team not filled with as many taking them deep sluggers as you’d think. And the pitching is a little better than expected. Then again, the humidor did help matters (at least in terms of keeping the ball in the ballpark.) Let’s check out the other squad!




ALL TIME ACQUIRED ROCKIES TEAM

STARTING CATCHER
BRENT MAYNE
Mayne had a solid (if aided by Coors) year and a half stint in Colorado. He hit .301 in 2000 and batted .331 in 2001 before being dealt back to Kansas City. But the most impressive aspect about his time with the Rockies is he got a win… as a pitcher! In a game against Atlanta on August 22nd, the Rockies plowed through 9 pitchers in 11 innings. Mayne was brought in to pitch the top of the 12 and got the first out against pinch hitter Tom Glavine. That’s right, a catcher was pitching and a pitcher was hitting. He let up a single to Rafael Furcal, threw a wild pitch and walked Andruw Jones but Chipper Jones grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the 12th, model citizen John Rocker loaded the bases with two outs when Rockies pinch hitter Adam Melhuse singled home a run to end the game and give Brent Mayne the victory. Strangely, Melhuse was pinchhitting for Mayne. So if he made an out, I guess Melhuse would have gone in to pitch.



STARTING FIRST BASEMAN
ANDRES GALARRAGA

Galarraga's star was dimming after a horrid season in St. Louis. As a free agent he signed with the expansion Rockies and was the in studio guest when ESPN covered the 1993 Expansion Draft.

The Big Cat was hoping that the thin air would give him a boost in the power numbers.
Ohhhhh boy did it ever!

He hit .370 winning the batting title. He smacked 22 homers and drove in 98 to win the Comeback Player of the Year.

The first fan favorite in Colorado, he put up gaudy numbers in the thin air, hitting 47 homers and 150 RBI in 1996 and earned MVP votes each of his 5 years in Denver.

He continued putting up big numbers in Atlanta before his career was derailed not by lower altitudes but by cancer.

Always considered to be one of the good guys in baseball.





STARTING SECOND BASEMAN
ERIC YOUNG

In the first ever regular season home game in Denver, Eric Young led off the game with a home run.
Mile High Stadium went nuts.
It looked like the Rockies were for real.

They weren't. They lost 95 games. But Young played hard, played with humor and played where they needed him (he played much of 1994 in the outfield).

He made the All Star team in 1996 where he was the Silver Slugger Second Baseman.

I also remember the former Rutgers Star cracking up Mike and the Mad Dog, comparing his teammate Jason Bates with Norman Bates.





STARTING SHORTSTOP
WALT WEISS

I was living in the Bay Area when Weiss burst onto the scene as the 1988 Rookie of the Year for the A's. He looked like a star for years to come but injuries prevented him from reaching stardom.

But Weiss's defense and on base percentage made him very useful on the 1995 Rockies.

He got his career high 8 homers in 1996.
I am guessing the thin air helped 7 of those out!



STARTING THIRD BASEMAN
VINNY CASTILLA

Has there ever been a better poster boy for how Coors Field can inflate your stats than Vinny Castilla?

In Coors, he hit 32 homers... then 3 straight seasons of 40 homers or more... then 33 homers.

Then he is traded to the Rays and his numbers drop so badly he is flat out released by the Devil Rays.
Released!

He put up decent but hardly eye popping power numbers for the Astros and the Braves before coming back to the Rockies.
What did he do when he came back to Colorado?
He hit 35 homers and 131 RBI.

Imagine his career numbers if he never left!





STARTING LEFT FIELDER
DANTE BICHETTE

Another classic Blake Street Bomber...
When he was in a Rockies uniform he put up MVP numbers.

When he left the Rockies he was a decent platoon outfielder.

Playing in that park in the mid 1990s must have been like swimming in the pool from Cocoon.

(Got to love his classy T-shirt!)




STARTING CENTER FIELDER
WILLY TAVERAS

Willy came over from the Astros and gave the Rockies some speed at the top of their order.
He also was hurt during their mind boggling September run for the pennant and also missed the Division Series sweep of the Phillies.

When Hurdle put him back in the line up for the NLCS, some people wondered if it was a good move.
It didn't matter as the Rockies swept Arizona for the pennant with Taveras stealing a base.
He was hitless in the World Series but it would be a stretch to blame him for the series loss.

Wound up leading the NL in 2008 with 68 stolen bases.

STARTING RIGHT FIELDER
LARRY WALKER


When the Expos let their wonderful 1994 team implode, the Rockies picked up Larry Walker and found themselves an MVP.
How good was his 1997?

It was so good that baseball writers for at least one year put aside their built in prejudice towards the inflated offensive numbers in Coors Field.

Walker led the league in homers, was second in batting and third in RBI. He also won the Gold Glove that year and the batting title 3 of the next 4 seasons.

Yeah he did it in Coors Field.
(For the record, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell got the other MVP votes. But it wasn't close.)





TOP PINCH HITTER OFF OF THE BENCH
ELLIS BURKS
One of my favorite players EVER on the Red Sox, he left the White Sox to swing in the zero gravity of Coors… and man he ran up big numbers.

Big enough to make him an action figure!



THE STARTING ROTATION


PEDRO ASTACIO
Imagine the hell Astacio went through being traded from the Dodgers with one of the best pitchers ballparks to Coors Field where broken bat check swings go into the upper deck. But give Astacio credit, he gave the Rockies innings, averaging 212 each of his 3 full seasons in Denver. Plus won 17 gaes in 1999 and 12 in 2000… albeit with ERAs north of 5, but you need a different standard in Coors.



ARMANDO REYNOSO

Reynoso was the first ever ace for the Rockies.

OK, ace is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but he went 12-11 with a 4.00 ERA on the 1993 Rockies, a team that lost 95 games.


Later he pitched in the Division Series loss to the Braves in 1995 before joining the Mets where Bob Murphy seemed to have added four syllables to his name.

Ar-maaan-doooo Re-ey-noooooo-sooooo,




JOSH FOGG

Pitched as well as you would expect a Rockies pitcher could down the stretch for the 2007 NL Champs.
In the playoffs he shone.

He won game 2 of the Division Series against the Phillies out of the bullpen.
Then in the NLCS he won game 3, starting and pitching into the 7th of the Rockies 4-1 win.
His good fortune ended in the World Series when the Red Sox crushed 6 runs in the third inning chasing him from game 3.




MARVIN FREEMAN
In the strike shortened 1994 season in the prehumidor days of Mile High Stadium, the former Braves middle reliever somehow went 10-2 with a 2.80 ERA over 18 starts. It was an aberration and he was out of baseball in 2 years… but that accomplishment deserves a tip of the cap from the staff at Sully Baseball.




KEVIN RITZ
When someone starts game 1 of the playoffs, you’d assume he was an ace. Ahhh but these were the 1995 Rockies and the pitcher’s main job is to keep the opposition to under 7. Ritz was a classic Rockies starter, winning 17 games in 1996 despite an ERA of 5.28. Those 213 innings in 1996 obviously took a toll as he was out of baseball in 2 years… the joys of pitching in Coors Field!





THE BULLPEN


BRIAN FUENTES

Did you know Brian Fuentes was a three time All Star?
Chances are if you knew that fact, your last name is Fuentes and you are going to see Brian for Christmas dinner.

Fuentes has had a nice run of 30 save seasons with a low ERA in an impossible pitchers park. He lost his closer job to Manny Corpas in the post season but regained it in 2008... in time to cash in what should be a sweet free agent deal!




DARREN HOLMES

Holmes saved 25 games for a 95 loss team in 1993. That takes some talent. And unlike a lot of the other pitchers listed here, did so with a decent 4.05 ERA... well decent for Mile High Stadium.

Went 6-1 with 15 saves on the 1995 Wild Card team and was given his "Get Out Of Thin Air Free" card when he signed with the Yankees in 1998 and earned a ring.



CURTIS LESKANIC

In a classic pre humidor game at Coors, the Giants took an 8-2 lead on the last day of the season. A Rockies loss would mean a one game playoff with the Houston Astros for the Wild Card. Of course the Rockies rattled off 8 unanswered runs and then sent out a parade of relievers trying to hold the lead.

Up 10-9 in the 9th, Leskanic came out and got Jeff Reed to ground out and end the game send the Rockies to the playoffs.

Later he played for Milwaukee and Kansas City before landing in Boston in time for the 2004 stretch run. In game 4 of the ALCS (the Dave Roberts game) he got Bernie Williams to pop up to end a potential series winning rally in the 11th. He pitched a scoreless 12th and got the win when Ortiz homered in the bottom of the 12th.

He never pitched another major league game.
In an interview during the 2007 World Series he claimed to be torn of which team to root for.







DAVE VERES
What do you call a reliever who let up 88 hits and walked 37 in 77 innings? What would you call that pitcher who in the same year let up 14 (!) homers in those 77 relief innings with a 5.14 ERA?

Normally you’d say that pitcher had a horrible year.
But Dave Veres wasn’t pitching in normal circumstances. He was pitching in Coors Field and the same year he put up those Godawful numbers be also saved 31 games for the 1999 Rockies. He left Colorado where he pitched in 4 straight post seasons for the Cardinals and Cubs… under normal circumstances.

Had a hip replacement and tried to make a comeback as the first pitcher with an artificial hip.
Got to be easier than pitching in Coors!





STEVE REED

Reed is a late edition to this list.
At one point Jerry DiPoto held this spot but a bunch of Rockies fans either posted on my comments or emailed me privately "Where's Steve Reed?"

Well I am putting him on, and it goes to show you two things:

1. Steve Reed made quite an impression on the Rockies during his two tours of duty in Coors. (He was an effective middle reliever)

and

2. We're not talking about a storied franchise when Steve Reed is the neglected legend!

I had to leave off Hall of Famers for the Mets, Red Sox, Giants and Yankees!

THE BENCH

RESERVE INFIELDER
CHARLIE HAYES

Hayes was a decent but hardly eye popping third baseman when he joined the Rockies for their inaugural season of 1993.
They were his 4th team in 6 seasons.

Suddenly Hayes was a .300 hitter with 25 homers and 98 RBI.

Well he never approached THOSE numbers ever again but no doubt gave him a boost in confidence as he played 8 more seasons and made the catch to clinch the 1996 World Series for the Yankees.



RESERVE INFIELDER
KAZ MATSUI

Originally I had Jeff Cirillo here... but it became clear from some of the e mails that Cirillo isn't exactly beloved in Denver.

Besides, as someone reminded me, I should have Kaz Matsui on the list!
I had already awarded him a belated Division Series MVP. He hit the shocking and back breaking grand slam in game 2 of the Division Series and a clutch RBI triple in the clinching game against the Phillies. He would later put the Rockies ahead for good in game 1 of the NLCS with an RBI single off of Brandon Webb.

He would leave for the Astros in the off season but be loved in Denver.
I'm sure that warms the cockles of Mets fans' hearts.





RESERVE OUTFIELDER
JEFFREY HAMMONDS

I used to follow college baseball pretty closely... especially Stanford as I lived in Palo Alto during their hey day.
Jeffrey Hammonds was one of the most dynamic stars in Stanford history.

When the Orioles made him the 4th pick overall in 1992, it looked like they had another huge star from Stanford (to go with Mike Mussina.)

However injuries and inconsistencies kept him from being an All Star.

Better punch your ticket for Colorado!!!
Hammonds made his lone All Star game as a member of the 2000 Rockies. He finished 4th in hitting while hitting 20 homers and clearing 100 RBI.
Why left Colorado is anyone's guess... but he slipped back into "platoon outfield" land.

But he still has the "All Star" banner on his Baseball-Reference web page.
Which is more than I can say!




RESERVE OUTFIELDER
JOHN VANDER WAL

Well if we want someone off of the bench, who would be better than Vander Wal?
As a member of the 1995 Rockies he played in 105 games... and started 2.

But that year he got 28 pinch hits, a major league record.
Oh I'm sure he would love to have started more games. But do you think he would have set a major league record of ANY kind if he did?

Didn't think so.



RESERVE CATCHER
YORVIT TORREALBA

Torreabla is a decent catcher who is average defensively... but his gigantic 3 run homer off of Livan Hernandez all but sealed the game and the Diamondbacks' fate.

While looking up stuff to write about Torrealba I discovered his unusual first name is actually a combination of two names.
His parents couldn't decided to name him Victor or Yorman... so they combined them into Yorvit.

Why not Vicman?
Yortor?

Either way, I've been in those "what are we going to name the baby?" conversations and they are not always fun.
I guess Yorvit is as good a compromise as anyone.


25TH MAN
MIKE HAMPTON
Sure he turned into one of the worst free agent signings of all time but he is on this list for two reasons.
1) He actually made the All Star Team for the Rockies as the first half of his first season was pretty good.
2) The Denver school system had no better spokesman.




SO WHO WOULD WIN IN A HEAD TO HEAD SERIES?

The acquired team would be more fun. There are more barrel chested swinging from their heels sluggers and any team with Gallaraga, Walker, Bichette and Castilla is going to please the fans (if for no other reason than the number of souvenirs they’d give the fans in the bleachers!)

But truth be told the home grown team might have a more balanced line up and certainly a deeper pitching staff. Truth be told the most reliable reliver the acquired team has is their catcher!!!

VERDICT: THE HOME GROWN TEAM ISN’T AS FUN… BUT THEY’D WIN (WHICH IS ALWAYS FUN!)

In other words the 2007 team would beat the 1995 team!
I hope Mike Hampton’s kids did well in school.

CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO HOME PAGE

That’s the Rockies
And the Mets
And the Rangers
And the Marlins
And the Yankees
And the Red Sox

24 to go.

Next All Time Home Grown vs. Acquired Team: THE GIANTS


5 comments:

  1. Holly3:40 PM

    You forgot Joe Girardi. He should definitely be the starting catcher for the acquired team.

    Also, Curtis Leskanic should be on there, at least for being the guy on the mound when they clinched the Wild Card in 1995.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this idea. Definitely challenging to come up with pitchers for Colorado, though, I think you did a great job narrowing it down.

    The tweaks I would make to the all acquired team are:

    - Joe Girardi should probably be the starter there. Brent Mayne absolutely deserves a roster spot just based solely on his relief pitching victory. Actually, some people might suggest he also deserves a spot in the bullpen of the all acquired team.

    - Switching Ellis Burks to the lineup and Willy Taveras to the bench. Burks had an MVP caliber season in 1996, while Taveras failed to impress me in his two years.

    - I'd give Steve Reed or Curt Leskanic a slight edge over Darren Holmes in the pen.

    - I can't stand the thought or site of Jeff Cirillo. He was one of the guys whining about the humidor and throwing around baseless accusations. He's off, Kaz Matsui is on.

    The home grown team is pretty much right on the money. The only questionable call is Clemente, but given his lineage it's cool to include him on the team. If forced to make choice, I'll probably take Jeff Baker there.

    Well done. I'll be checking out the rest of your teams as well.

    Mark Townsend
    Bugs & Cranks

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  3. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I wanted to make a comment on this quote about Quinton McCracken.

    "I thought he was going to be a star.
    Well, he wasn't... but he played in 12 seasons in the big leagues and flashed that speed early in his career."

    I grew up with Quinton and won a state championship with him. He's one of the best people you could ever call friend. I know he didn't make A-Rod status but, he was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays VERY FIRST TEAM MVP!! That is a huge honor in my eyes!!

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  4. Completely missed on Jose Jimenez. People forget him because of his short career but he was out right dominating at times. He still holds the Rockies saves record and threw a no-hitter as a rookie

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