A great day to relax, and debate

Garrett Atkins started and batted cleanup in every game this season, until Wednesday afternoon. Dude had to rest at some point. But let’s debate the timing:

Position A — Atkins didn’t come through in a couple of key situations in Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss. Maybe a day off will do him good.

Position B — The best time to sit a player is after he succeeds. Let him sit with a smile. You don’t force him to dwell on failure. Atkins, after all, has a hit in his last give games and is batting .324 at home. If he doesn’t play today, it’ll be two days to stew over Tuesday’s disappointment.

Here is today’s lineup:

Padres

Jody Gerut                CF

Luis Rodirguez          SS

Brian Giles                RF

Adrian Gonzalez        1B

Chase Headley          LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff      3B

Edgar Gonzalez         2B

Henry Blanco              C

Kevin Correia              P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler           CF

Seth Smith               LF

Ryan Spilborghs       RF

Todd Helton             1B

Ian Stewart              3B

Troy Tulowitzki         SS

Clint Barmes            2B

Chris Iannetta            C

Aaron Cook              P

– OK, got note from Noah Huntsman saying my accidental omission of Brad Hawpe from the lineup the other night angered the gods and, boom, Hawpe took a throw to the neck. Oops. Well, the saving grace is Brad Hawpe isn’t blaming me. Sorry.

– Today was a career first. As I entered the park, three fans stopped me. One was carrying writer Tony DeMarco’s remarkable book, Tales from the Colorado Rockies, and two others wree carrying baseball bats. All wanted me to sign. I truly appreciated it. The value of those items may depreciate on the count of the signature, but still …

– Finally, please take a look at my piece on Rockies rookie phenom Dexter Fowler. It was fun to write.

5 Comments

Dear Mr. Harding,
I was one of the Guys (the Short one) Who asked you to Sign my Baseball Bat. Thanks alot, I Appreciate it. I Really like your Rockies Coverage alot. Please keep up the Good Work, NR

I have to say that I’ve enjoyed your writing as well. Your piece on Fowler was some of your best work. It helps that he’s dynamic and snuck up on everyone. He sure is fun to watch because he looks like he’s enjoying every minute. Yeah, and the boy can play! Great job highlighting his battle against critics and his determination to be the best.

As far as the debate about Atkins playing through a slump or sitting a game, I think he’s earned the right to choose for himself. He is one of the more veteran players on this team, and he’s a leader. If you tell him he’s sitting, you better explain the how the matchups overwhelmingly favor Stewart and still let it be Garret’s decision. If he’s not on board, you risk prolonging the slump and having another Larry Walker-type in the clubhouse.

Thomas -

My name is Chris Smith. I’m the one who had Tony’s book and called you out for the other fans out back.

For the most part there are about 5 or 6 of us who can be counted on to be out back chasing autographs on a daily basis before games – whether we are in groups of 2,3,4, etc. – we are pretty much always there.

First, I wanted to thank you again for making the time to sign for us. Your comment about ‘depreciating’ our items made me laugh as I have heard the same thing on a few occasions from ‘The Cowboy’ Tracy Ringolsby and Dan O’Dowd when I have had them sign items for me.

As far as Tony’s book, I figure it was a good medium to catch auto’s of the media who cover the Rockies as well as GM’s, etc (yes, I will get O’Dowd and Gebhardt too when the D’Backs come to town).

I can now proudly say – if you say it was a 1st for you – that I have your 1st ‘Professional’ Auto… ;) – I do own (very proudly I might add) Tracy’s 1st ‘HOF’ inscription as verified by the Cowboy himself when he signed a ball for me the day after his induction was announced.

Anyway, without straying too far of course, I would like to use this post also to let any of the players who might read this know that those of us who are out there everyday are TRUE fans and COLLECTORS. I know some guys think your there everyday, you must be selling the stuff and I can say for myself and the group of 6 or so I mentioned earlier that we are all KEEPERS not Sellers.

Also, through that venue, we have gotten to know a few guys – Holliday (I do miss Matt here – but that’s another post), Barmes, Bucky, etc. but it is always fun getting to know the new guys too – Dexter has to be one of the most genuine, nice down to earth people I have ever met… and I have made sure I let him know as much.

You too seemed to be really touched – the fact that you took time to mention it here – by our interest in obtaining your ‘John Hancock’ and I am glad I was able to be a part of that moment.

Keep up the good work and we’ll wave at you when we see you out back.

All the best -

Christopher R Smith
(Xpress34)

Thomas -

My name is Chris Smith and I am the one who started the ‘swarm’ to your car on Wednesday with Tony’s book… ;)

I just wanted to say I am happy that you were moved enough to want to write about the experience on your blog.

There is a small group of fans (about 6 or so of us) that can be found out back in varying numbers (sometimes as few as 2 of us) to as many as all 6 plus others who come to ‘join the fun’ at pretty much EVERY Rox Home Game.

We are there to grow our autograph collections and cheer on the players – win, lose or draw – and sometimes we even get the occasional media personality like yourself!

All the best -

Christopher R Smith (xpress34)

First of all, sorry for taking so long to respond to the nice comments from the fans here. I’m going to try to jump on quicker. Thought I’d take some time as I suffer with my Penguins — down 3-2 in the third as I write. Your support makes the job more fun.

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