World Series now prelude to offseason
Rockies more than happy to put their plans on temporary hold
DENVER -- Last year in mid-October, only a couple of Rockies were still playing baseball. The rest were relaxing, hunting and being soccer dads.This year, the Rockies are busy preparing for the World Series, a diversion from their offseason plans they're happy to deal with. "It's a good problem to have," Jamey Carroll said. If the Rockies hadn't made the World Series, Carroll said he would be at home in Florida dealing with a weed problem at his house. He prolonged his stay with the Rockies when he hit a sacrifice fly in the 13th inning to score Matt Holliday in the Rockies' 9-8 victory in the Wild Card tiebreaker game against the Padres. "I'd be knee-deep in landscaping, trying to get rid of all the weeds so my homeowner association doesn't get extremely unhappy with me," he said. Most Rockies said they were relaxing last year, and Brad Hawpe was hunting elk. Seth Smith has gone from being most famous for being Eli Manning's backup at Ole Miss to Rockies late-season folk hero. Smith had a key triple in the Rockies' tiebreaker game and has two hits in the playoffs. It was Smith who started the Rockies' six-run fourth inning in the National League Championship Series clincher against the Diamondbacks. Instead of hanging out at his year-old house with family, Smith will still be playing ball and traveling to either Boston or Cleveland this October. Smith said he spent last October purchasing his first home in Brandon, Miss. Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who has been in the playoffs, was far removed from baseball last October. "I sure wasn't in the playoffs," he said. "I don't know what I was doing. I was being a soccer dad." The lone Rockies who were still playing baseball in October were starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and reserve outfielder Ryan Spilborghs. Jimenez made five starts for Licey in the Dominican Winter League. Tulowitzki was playing in the Arizona Fall League, and before the Rockies' late-season run, his October plans were going to be watching the playoffs from home in California. Before the season, Tulowitzki was battling with Clint Barmes for the starting shortstop position. He started making his claim to the position last fall, when he hit .292 with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs in the final 25 games of the Rockies' season. Tulowitzki then went on to hit .329 in the Arizona Fall League.
"Those were long days living in Scottsdale," he said. "We lived probably an hour away, so I had to make that drive in the morning, played our game and then drove home, and by the time I got home I was tired."Spilborghs was playing winter ball in Mexico, where he credits some of the progress he's made this season, when he hit .299 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs. Spilborghs loved it in Mexico, but he'll take the World Series. "I have a great time down there," he said, "but this is a thousand times more fun than the Mexican League."
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.