Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Padres 3, Rockies 2
2007-04-08 00:10
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The Padres' bullpen was better than the Rockies' tonight, but with Josh Fogg matching up against David Wells Colorado was lucky to be in the game in the late innings in the first place. If San Diego is going to have another playoff season, they're going to have to get this kind of performance from their pen and their starters day in and day out. Their lineup is not terrifying. The Rockies didn't help their case any with some bad baserunning. Todd Helton got caught trying to stretch a clear single into a double, and Jamey Carroll wandered too far from first after his RBI single in the third. This was the first Rockies game so far this season in which LaTroy Hawkins didn't pitch. Todd Helton's career dominance over Trevor Hoffman continued with a single in the ninth. Willy Taveras followed up a bunt single by getting caught stealing by a mile in the top of the sixth. Willy is hitting a crisp .125 to begin the season.

Here is a strange one: Scott Miller's season preview of the Rockies for CBS SportsLine makes a startling claim that I haven't seen repeated anywhere else. "A few things are new at Coors Field," Miller writes. "A new announcer in 25-year-old Reed Saunders and no more humidor. The MLB has banned the practice that the club used since 2002." Says who? The last I heard, Major League Baseball was pressing for more teams to store their game balls in climate-controlled conditions, not fewer. One of the new Rockies TV commercials features Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis sitting in the humidor dividing balls into "Rockies" and "visitors" piles (clearly a very funny dig at Jeff Cirillo). Thomas Harding's preview for strongly implies that the status quo remains at Coors Field: "Even with the baseballs being stored in a humidor to keep them fair, it's realistic to wonder if Garrett Atkins, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe can reproduce the power the Rockies showed in the mid-to-late 1990s."

So where did Miller get the idea that the humidor had been banned? Did this preview run on April Fools' Day or something? What am I missing? I'm pretty sure it's just another example of the complete disregard for fact-checking that national baseball journalists commonly display when writing about the unloved Rockies franchise, but I'll keep an eye out to see if this report has any merit to it.

2007-04-08 01:03:26
1.   ralfthewiseandpowerful
Um, there is no basis in fact for Miller's little item. He is just another Least-Coast tool writing about a team that he knows very little about.

I like his comment about Baker, "If anyone goes down with injury, he could be a replacement".

Bench players can be replacements for other players who get hurt? You don't say...


This article is on

2007-04-08 01:57:44
2.   deadteddy8
Odd results from Google. My first result when searching for "humidor + mlb" is an article dated 2/8/2007 saying that EVERY team will store balls in temperature-controlled environments, and "many" will have humidity-control methods.

One of the later hits is a Dayn Perry piece that mentions the Colorado humidor has been banned.
However, the link to the original article is dead. Hmmmm.

From my skimming through articles and comments, it looks like MLB has implemented a Uniform Baseball Storage Policy. The Coors Field humidor as it was being used from 2002-August2006 may have run afoul of that policy, for some reason. MLB may have been trying to keep its orders to the Rockies quiet in order to avoid even a glimmer of an appearance that Cirillo's story had some truth to it.

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