Vince’s response when asked about what Jackie Robinson meant to him. Coleman is second on the all-time list for stolen bases as a Cardinal, as he lead the league in steals every year he was on the Cardinals from 1985-1990.
Twenty four seasons as a franchise, and the Rockies have only been over .500 seven times, in the postseason 3 times, and never have had a team ERA under 4.20. However, they haven’t hit below .265 as a team since the 2011 season. Being in the National League, pitching is the key to winning and reaching the postseason. Even struggling with hitting, if an NL team has strong pitching, they will most likely play in October. The AL, on the other hand, is almost the opposite; this season being evidence of that, as the power hitting of Texas and Boston gained them enetrance into the Postseason. So, in order for Colorado to turn their franchise around, they need to pitch.
As the past few years have indicated, bullpen is key to winning in the postseason. Former Padres manager, Bud Black, is one of the great pitching/bullpen connoisseurs in the game today. With the manager slot open in Colorado, and the Rockies having no problem producing runs, hiring Black could be the move that changes the franchise. When Black was the Padres manager, the bullpen had the lowest ERA 3 times, and the pitching staff as a whole had an ERA below 4 five times, including leading the NL in the category twice. However, his team lacked offensive production. Imagine if Black had great offensive support for his pitching staff.
The Rockies clearly can score big, so Black wouldn’t have to worry about that, however, Bud, no matter how good he is with a pitching staff, would have to do some work to get Colorado to a point where their pitching can make a difference. But, luckily the Rockies finally have an abundance of young arms that are ready to shine; they just need a brilliant mind to get them there.
Bud Black won a Wordl Series ring with the Angels in 2002 whose pitching staff had an average age of 28, and Black helped a young John Lackey have a great rookie campaign and Jered Washburn win 18 games in his second full season as a starter. As a well known players manager, Black is certainly one of the best available guys to sculpt the young arms of pitchers like Jon Gray, Eddie Butler, German Marquez, etc.
For maybe the first time in Rockies history, there is an abundance of pitching talent in their farm system that is major league ready. Guys like Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela could all impact the major league squad in 17′ while joining rising stars in Tyler Chatwood and Chad Bettis. There have been talks of selling and trading this offseason for Colorado, but why do that when the Rockies have young studs in Trevor Story and David Dahl, veteran stars in Cargo, LeMahieu, and Arenado, already mentioned promising young pitching, and a great ball park with a supporting fan base. All they need now is a manager; and like the baseball world has seen before, Colorado cant keep up in the playoff race late in the season because either the manager miss manages the pitching staff or the staff doesn’t have enough talent, so why not give them promise and hire Bud Black?
From college freshman all-American at Cal State Fullerton, to College WS Champ, to 7th round draftee, to falling off of the face of the baseball world, to one of the best hitters in the game today; Justin Turner has had quite a journey. The MLB now knows him as arguably the most impactful position player on the Dodgers squad, but at 31-years-old, many are wondering, where did he come from? While, the ones who are Dodger fans are thanking the baseball Gods, believe it or not, Turner was supposed to be this good 7 years ago.
LA’s third baseman grew up in Long Beach (a Cali boy) and was MVP his senior year of high school as his baseball team won the league title. He then took his talents to one of the best baseball programs in the west, Cal State Fullerton, to play ball, and remain in his home state. There, he was an all-American, and was a key part of the 2004 College World Series champion Titans. In 2005 he turned down an offer from the Yankees after being drafted in the 29th round, so he finished school and his college baseball career, then took the signing bonus from the Reds after being drafted in the 7th round of the 2006 draft.
Over the next 3 and a half years Turner played in the minors at all 4 infield positions, hitting over .300 consistently, showing decent speed on the base paths, having disciplined plate appearances, and collecting a FLD% around .962 with less than 100 errors. As top prospects are valuable trade pieces, the Reds traded him to the O’s during the Winter Meetings in 08′. Thus began his downfall.
For his 09′ campaign and the beginning of the 2010 season, Turner struggled tremendously in his few brief major league stints, while he was shifted between triple-A and the show. He then was traded to the Mets where he still failed to find his footing, despite spending more time in the majors even though most of that time was sitting on the bench.
But, February 2014 was the beginning of a new era, as the Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal, and in result made the 25-man roster out of Spring Training.
The rest is history, as the minute he began to impress as he filled in for injury wridled Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez, Turner began to grow back into his name, then this season, a superstar. J.T may had been released by the Mets in 2013, but playing for the New York organization guided him to meeting former teammate Marlon Byrd‘s offseason hitting instructor who was based in Chatsworth, CA. Thus began the journey back home where it all began; and thanks to that, Turner has hit merely .300 in just under 400 games for the Blue Crew, including a SLG% of .492, while also hitting over .400 for LA in the postseason, and solidifying his role at 3rd base. Justin Turner is the living defeniton of why baseball is so magical.