This Just In: Peter Gammons Knows There Is an MLB Team in Denver
by Mark T.R. Donohue
Peter Gammons' blog from yesterday (ESPN Insider required) has one of those faint-praise titles that Colorado fans have come to hate over the years: "Even the Rockies have a shot." But the text of the article is somewhat more enthusiastic. Gammons quotes three unindentified veteran White Sox players as identifying the Rockies as "the best team in Arizona." On one hand, given the power production of some of the guys Chicago runs out to the outfield, I can see how Brad Hawpe and Matt Holliday would look terribly impressive to them. But on the other, the Tucson-based White Sox have played Colorado something like 20 times this spring, so if any team would know, they'd be the one.
But here's some real insider information. Saturday night, I was at Denver's Oriental Theater engaged in conversation with a comely young record store manager who counted Clint Hurdle among her regular customers. I don't know about you, but I feel much better about the guy holding the reins in the Rockies' dugout now that I know Hurdle likes alt-country. Every time he sacrifice bunts in the second inning with the Rockies already down three this year, I'm going to be saying myself, "Oh, it's OK, he's into Uncle Tupelo, he can't be all bad."
The young lady also said that Hurdle counted her as somewhat of a good-luck charm and came in all the time at the beginning of homestands to buy stuff. After reading all of the speculation about Hurdle's future in the local press, she asked him whether he'd still be coming around after this season. Apparently Clint intimated that big things were in the works, and he'd be around for a while. So either the Rockies are going to give him an extension this summer, or Clint is just extremely confident in the team he has breaking camp with him. Either way, I hope he's a better prognosticator than Jamey Carroll, who told me on the second day of the season last year he had a "special feeling" about the 2006 Rockies.