Tracy Ringolsby can pick apart the Colorado Rockies’ rebuilding effort any way he wants, but he’s conveniently ignored the most important element of all : the generic sludge absent from the Coors Field P.A.
The Rockies sounded a sour note Monday about batting practice tunes at Coors Field, revisiting a complaint that first surfaced last season when players privately groused about the environment created by in-game entertainment.
“The (BP) music brings energy,” center fielder Preston Wilson said. “You can say we need to win more and worry about that. I understand. But there are a lot of ballparks we go to where the teams aren’t winning, and the energy level is up because of the atmosphere.”
During batting practice Monday, the music stopped for several minutes while a meeting of Rockies stadium employees was conducted near the third-base dugout. Players joked about talking in kids’ voices, so as not to disturb the silence. At one point, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle yelled up toward the box where the PA system is located for a new eight-track to be inserted.
The Rockies first raised the issue about in-game music last year, citing examples where it helped the visiting team – Dodgers closer Eric Gagne’s “Welcome to the Jungle” signature song mistakenly was played when he entered – or didn’t rev up the home fans during critical moments. When reliever Chin-Hui Tsao came in Saturday to close out the Giants at Coors Field, Wilson believes a prime opportunity was missed.
“Instead of playing music that’s upbeat to pump up our crowd, there’s talk about what’s on tap, the two-game series coming up,” Wilson said. “What is that? That’s garbage.
“I like our fans and know we have an older base. But mix some of the new stuff in for the younger people, especially on a Saturday or Sunday, and I believe they will come back because of the different vibe.”
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun’s Laura Vescey tips the Orioles to make a run at Colorado’s Todd Helton.
The Orioles say they are willing and eager to take the super-talented Todd Helton (above), complete with monstrous contract, off the hands of the Rockies – if and when the Rockies raise the white flag.
That could be any day now. Or at least by June. The Orioles could sure use the 31-year-old first baseman against all the National League teams during that first stretch of interleague play.
The sooner, the better for this serious upgrade, especially after seeing how the Yankees took their frustrations out on the Devil Rays last night, pummeling Tampa Bay after suffering a sweep in Baltimore.
The way Yankees boss George Steinbrenner is steaming, the Orioles might find the Yankees in the Helton sweepstakes, too. Just because they’ve got Jason Giambi (at $120 million) and Tino Martinez doesn’t mean the Bombers won’t be lurking if and when Helton hits the market. Surely, Steinbrenner will let us know, via press release, his intentions in this area.
Meanwhile, the Orioles have run the numbers and figure that Helton’s presence would swing a significant number of games from the loss to the win column. The Orioles call Helton one of the three best first basemen ever. He is wanted here.
The question is whether the Rockies can take the heat from their fans and do the right thing for the long-term benefit of that foundering franchise. Sometimes love means never having to say you’re sorry. The Rockies’ front office ought to try that on their already disenchanted fan base.
Helton has put up some sick numbers in 8 years playing half his games at Coors. But even with his gaudy stats, would Vescey rank him ahead of Eddie Murray, Lou Gerhig, Jimmie Foxx, Willie McCovey or Harmon Killebrew?