Tag:Troy Tulowitzki
Posted on: July 11, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:21 pm

All-Stars on Jeter: 'He's Mr. Baseball'

PHOENIX -- To hear some people tell it, there are people upset with Derek Jeter for his decision to skip the All-Star Game.

Maybe so, but all I heard about Jeter on Monday was praise, respect and amazement at his 5-for-5, 3,000th-hit day Saturday.

"For him, that's fitting," Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said. "At this point, he's Mr. Baseball. I'm disappointed he's not here, but only in the fact that I'd like to be on the same field as him."

Bruce, like many All-Stars, was able to see the 3,000th hit on television. So was Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco, who was riding an exercise bike in the clubhouse.

"I was super happy for him," Polanco said. "Jeter is one of the best, if not the best, person in the game."

"It couldn't have happened to a better person," Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun agreed. "And it couldn't have happened in a better way."

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who wears No. 2 because of Jeter, agreed. Tulowitzki said his only regret is that he doesn't get to see Jeter this week.

"I feel like I got robbed twice, because he was on the disabled list when we went to New York," Tulowitzki said. "It would have been great if he was here, but at the same time he's got to do what he's got to do."

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, a longtime Jeter admirer, said he saw the 3,000th hit.

"Who didn't watch it?" Gibson asked. "A special day. It was meant to be. The great thing is that the perception of Derek Jeter is the truth. There is nothing phony about Derek at all."

The truth is that Jeter's not here. And the truth is that he's still held in great, great respect by his fellow All-Stars.

For more All-Star coverage from CBSSports.com, click here.

Posted on: April 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Fuld? Lowrie? It's Stanford 2004

PHILADELPHIA -- Sam Fuld went 4-for-4 with another great catch Monday. He's hitting .396, and he's the talk of Tampa Bay.

Jed Lowrie went 4-for-5 Monday. He's hitting .516, and he's the talk of Boston.

John Mayberry Jr. isn't surprised.

"They've been successful as long as I've known them," said Mayberry, a backup outfielder with the Phillies, who is 4-for-9 this year himself.

He's known them longer than most.

Fuld, Lowrie and Mayberry were teammates at Stanford, along with Rockies pitcher Greg Reynolds, and minor leaguers Chris Carter (with the Rays) and Donny Lucy (with the White Sox). All six played on the 2004 Stanford team.

And no, they didn't win the College World Series that year. They didn't even make the College World Series.

They lost in the regionals, to a Long Beach State that featured a couple of other guys whose names you may have heard this week:

Troy Tulowitzki and Jered Weaver.
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:49 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:53 pm

3 to watch: The Rangers pitching edition

Remember last winter, when the Rangers were going to sign Cliff Lee, or trade for Zack Greinke or Matt Garza?

Remember this spring, when the Rangers began spring training with just two spots set in their starting rotation?

Remember the end of spring training, when Tommy Hunter's injury left a hole in the Ranger rotation?

Well, forget it. All of it.

Forget that anyone was ever concerned that the Rangers wouldn't be able to pitch enough to support their great offense.

While the Yankees worry about Phil Hughes and the Red Sox worry about Daisuke Matsuzaka, this is what the Rangers have gotten from the back end of their rotation: six starts, six wins, and a 1.15 ERA.

Red Sox people raved about Matt Harrison after he shut down the Sox in his first start. Orioles people raved about Derek Holland after he held the O's scoreless in his second start. And in two starts, Alexi Ogando has yet to allow a run to anyone.

"The way they've been throwing, they don't need anyone [else]," Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis said.

"I don't think people realize the depth they have in pitching," O's manager (and one-time Rangers manager) Buck Showalter said. "They've covered the what-ifs very well."

The Rangers visit the Yankees this weekend for the first time since last year's American League Championship Series, and they won't start any of the four starters they used in the ALCS. Instead, it'll be Harrison, Holland and Ogando.

And that's not bad.

On to 3 to watch:

1. Remember, Troy Tulowitzki is a notorious slow starter. In his first four full big-league seasons, he hit seven April home runs. That's seven in four years. Now he has seven home runs and 14 RBI, with 14 April games still remaining on the Rockies schedule. The next six of those will be home games, starting with Cubs at Rockies, Friday night (8:40 ET) at Coors Field. For his career, Tulowitzki has a .926 OPS at Coors, vs. .804 on the road, but this year he has five homers in his first seven road games. One more Tulowitzki fact to think about: Over his last 41 games, dating back to last Sept. 2 (basically one-quarter of a season), he has 22 home runs and 54 RBI.

2. Things have been so bad in Boston that the Red Sox welcomed a Wednesday rainout that basically gave them back-to-back days off. "I don't think that will hurt one bit," manager Terry Francona told reporters. So it'll be interesting to see how the Sox react this weekend against the Blue Jays. It'll be even more interesting to see whether Josh Beckett follows up on his strong start last Sunday against the Yankees, when he starts in Blue Jays at Red Sox, Saturday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Fenway Park. Beckett wasn't good against many teams last year, but he hasn't beaten the Jays in six starts since 2007, going 0-3 with an 11.85 ERA.

3. Of all the new Rangers starters, Ogando is the most interesting, and not just because he has yet to allow a run (and, in two starts, has allowed just a .298 opponents OPS). Ogando is the guy who replaced Hunter in the rotation at the end of spring training. He's also the guy who signed with the A's as an outfielder, got caught up in a visa fraud and couldn't get out of the Dominican Republic for five years, was converted to a pitcher by the Rangers, and got to the big leagues last year. Now he's in the rotation, maybe to stay. Some Rangers officials see a 2012 rotation that includes both Ogando and Neftali Feliz, who for this year remains the Rangers' closer. Ogando faces CC Sabathia in Rangers at Yankees, Sunday night (8:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium.

Posted on: April 11, 2011 8:04 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 10:40 pm

Rockies are winning in April -- and on the road

NEW YORK -- The teams that lose early say it's only nine games.

The Rockies have been there. The Rockies have said it.

It's only April.

And this April, the Rockies have started 7-2, after Monday night's 7-6 win over the Mets. This April, the Rockies have even won on the road.

"Sitting at the top of the standings," Troy Tulowitzki said Monday afternoon. "To see us there [in April] is weird for me."

This is Tulowitzki's fifth full big-league season, which means he hasn't been around long enough to see the Rockies have a winning April. It also means he has been around long enough to understand why that matters.

He and other Rockies players said they spent this spring talking about how significant a fast start would be, and also about how important it was to reverse the Rockies' traditionally bad road record. So if the 7-2 start matters, so does the fact that four of the wins came in the Rockies' first five games on the road.

"We really did concentrate on that," Tulowitzki said. "In spring trainings in the past, I don't remember talking about April. But this year we were always saying, 'Let's play well in April. And let's not care about where we play.'"

They did all that talking at their beautiful new spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. And the Rockies believe that complex is also part of the reason they had a better-than-usual first week.

"Yes," bench coach Tom Runnells said. "Absolutely. I added it up, and when we were in Tucson, we spent a full week's worth of time on the bus every spring. Now, being in [the Phoenix area], you play your main players more.

"So when we got to opening day, it didn't even feel like the first game. It was just another game."

Tulowitzki said that because the Rockies drew so well at the new facility, their spring games had a little more intensity than in prior years. He thought that helped, too.

The Rockies talked about April, and they talked about the road. For whatever reason, they believed that they took different offensive approaches on the road and at home, and they were determined to change that.

So in the early days on the road this year, they say they've spent more time in the cage, and more time in meetings.

"If we just play well on the road, we have a chance to make the playoffs, because we play so well at home," Jason Giambi said.

And if they just play well in April, they won't need the kind of late-season comebacks they've been noted for in the past.

They're not there yet. It's only nine games.

But that's what teams say when they lose in April.

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 25, 2010 7:28 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 7:38 pm

The Giants, Lincecum and the humidor

DENVER -- No matter what happens to the Giants the next two days at Coors Field, it's not the humidor's fault.

Oh, and the humidor was absolutely no factor Friday night, either, no matter what you saw Tim Lincecum say on YouTube .

Lincecum, in the middle of a sixth inning where the Rockies scored their only run, was caught by Giants television tossing a ball back to home-plate umpire Laz Diaz, and mouthing the words "juiced balls," with a couple of expletives added in.

"Obviously, the speculation, I just verbalized it," Lincecum said today. "It's one of those things that's in the back of your mind, whether it has happened or not."

What did the Giants think, or speculate? Well, for the last few years, the Rockies have used a humidor to store baseballs, which keeps them from drying out and takes away some of the Coors Field effect that caused so many crazy games in the park's first few years. The speculation was that the Rockies might have mixed in some non-humidor balls, to use when their batters were at the plate.

This week, after the issue was raised twice in the San Francisco Chronicle , including a Scott Ostler column that flat-out said that "The Giants are about to get cheated in Denver," the Giants talked to MLB about it. Just before Friday's game began, MLB official Mike Port spoke with umpire John Hirschbeck, and asked him to keep a close eye on the balls.

Saturday, Hirschbeck planned to walk to the humidor and oversee the process of bringing the balls to the field. But even on Friday, when Hirschbeck was umpiring at second base, he kept an eye on the ball bag during the game.

"There's nothing going on," Hirschbeck said. "I'll [watch] so MLB has their mind at ease, so the people at [MLB headquarters] can sleep easy."

Lincecum, of course, allowed the Rockies just two hits (and no home runs) in a 2-1 Giants win. The Giants seemed to understand today that raising the humidor issue didn't really suit them in the middle of a pennant race.

"We're not thinking about balls or anything," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're trying to win games."

One side note: Lincecum said he ran into Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the weight room this afternoon.

"He said, 'Good game, we couldn't even get you with our juiced balls,'" Lincecum said with a smile.

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