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3 Hours in Hell: The Tulo Saga - Rockies Zingers Colorado Rockies Baseball

3 Hours in Hell: The Tulo Saga

Hour One:

Like most Rockies fans, I’ve been preparing for several years for the inevitable Troy Tulowitzki trade. However, my initial reaction to the first round of tweets late Monday night was disbelief.

The first thought that crossed my mind was “this has got to be some sick kind of joke” but as the minutes passed, my worst fears were beginning to become reality. 

At approximately 10:30 on July 27th, Ken Rosenthal first reported the heartbreaking news.

The hardest part of this news breaking so late at night was the lack of coverage within the media. After the original news was broken, the Rockies faithful were shocked, and needed more information.

Hour Two:

Since the deal was not official yet, there were a lot of rumors swirling around on what the Rockies received in return. After ten minutes of speculation, Rosenthal leaked out that the Rockies were getting Jose Reyes, along with a few minor leaguers. 

From there, Twitter began to spiral out of control. Some fans seemed excited about acquiring Reyes while most others were hesitant to jump on board and or fuming.

After Reyes was reported to be coming to Denver, people began to speculate who the “minor leaguers” were. Fans figured they had to be highly touted prospects to be dealt in exchange for the superstar shortstop.

Minutes after I tweeted that, it was reported that Daniel Norris (Toronto’s top pitching prospect) would not be included but that Miguel Castro would be. Castro (RHP) is very young (20) but was rushed to the big leagues by the Blue Jays and struggled in limited relief appearances (0-2, 4.38 ERA in 13 games).

Hour Three:

The next player to be included was reported to be Daniel Hoffman, though it was quickly realized that he wasn’t a poet (who died in 2013) nor an outfielder that played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1903 to 1906. Once the mistake was corrected, it became apparent that the main prize of this blockbuster trade would be Jeff Hoffman. The 9th overall pick from 2014 MLB draft, is a 6’4, 22 year old right-handed pitcher who in May of 2014, a month before he was drafted, underwent Tommy John Surgery. According to many scouts, prior to the injury, Hoffman could very well have been a top five pick and quite possibly the first overall pick. He has a very bright future ahead should he continue to improve and stay healthy. Ironically, he bears a similar resemblance to a young Troy Tulowizki.

The addition of Hoffman seemed to calm many fans who originally began to panic when the first details regarding the trade were released. In fact, people began to realize the Rockies farm system may be the best in baseball.

People may wonder what the Rockies plan is going forward and the truth is, we don’t know. Once the trade deadline on July 31st passes, we may have a better idea of the direction the Rockies are headed. Assuming a few more prevalent hitters are dealt, the most likely scenario is a complete rebuild, surrounding Nolan Arenado with a plethora of youthful prospects. This strategy has worked quite well in recent memory with Theo Epstein and Jeff Luhnow shipping nearly all of their major league assets for highly touted prospects only a few years away. At the time these moves were highly scrutinized, but we now know that with patience, this style of rebuilding works quite well.

I have never been a diehard Tulo fan, but as a Rockies fan since birth, I have come to recognize Tulowitzki’s greatness. When people make the statements: “Tulowitzki is the best shortstop in the league” and “All time great Rockie” as outlandish as they may sound, one must take into consideration where these opinions come from. 

In his ten years in the Mile High City, Tulowitzki hit 188 home runs (5th all-time in Rockies history), drove in 657 RBI (also 5th in Rockies history) and collected 1165 hits (you guessed it, 5th all-time in Rockies history). Defensively he has been even better than advertised. He ranks 1st in Rockies history in defensive WAR (wins above replacement) with 13.4 (3.5 wins above any other player in Rockies history). If you are curious where Tulo ranks in Rockies history for any stat check it out here.

After hours of being glued to my computer and Twitter, as well as several small anxiety attacks, I finally decided that sleep may be my best option. However my dreams would not let me, as I dreamt how I could explain this trade logically to my friends who would undoubtedly ask me my opinion on the deal. After a few hours of tossing and turning, I took to TV to distract me. Of course there was no new coverage of the Tulo trade so I used this time to evaluate the trade in full. I began to realize that this may be a good situation if these prospects turn out, and after several years of uneventful trade deadlines, this one would be different.

Around this time the fourth name surfaced, the Rockies acquiring right handed pitcher Jesus Tincoco. The 20 year old Venezuelan stands at 6’4″ and looks to be another power-pitching righty. Still several years away from the big leagues, Tincoco is raw but could be a very good starter in the future.

Overall, as shocking as this deal was, it may be looked back on years from now as a trade the Rockies won. It is very sad to see fan favorite Troy Tulowitzki depart from the Mile High City, but I wish him the best and hope this helps the Rockies in the long run.

Time heals all wounds but this one may take a World Series win to recover. Considering that will be several years away (if ever), Rockies fans will need to be patient which is a hard pill to swallow being 5 years removed from the last winning season.

It is apparent Jeff Bridich is making his mark on the Rockies and since the biggest shock is out of the way, the moves to come will be easier to manage. Change was bound to come in some shape or form based on the teams’ lack of success. Now it’s just a waiting game…

All that aside, for 3 hours last night, all Rockies fans witnessed hell freezing over and for a short time, it appeared the sky was falling… 

About Marco Mamolen

Born in Boulder, raised on the Rockies, lived through all the highs and lows as a Rockies fan. I Study film at University of Colorado in Boulder. When I'm not writing about the Rockies, I'm scrutinizing movies and TV shows or watching my Nuggets and Broncos continually disappoint. Growing up on Denver sports have made me an optimistic pessimist, always ending with the latter. Hopefully the 2015 Rockies can change that...

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