DENVER (CBS4) – Many fans still don’t know what to expect from the Colorado Rockies. The pitching staff still remains one big question mark, but there’s no question about who leads the team. He’s intense, respected, and he’s not afraid to hold his teammates accountable. He’s Troy Tulowitzki.
When starting an all-star baseball team, Tulo might just be the first position player selected. He’s a brilliant fielding, power hitting shortstop, who at 27, is just entering the prime of his career.
Tulo also has a burning desire to succeed. He wants to do so well that at times it gets the best of him.
“I want to please everybody on my team, I want to please the fans, I want to please the city of Denver. So, in certain situations I tend to try really hard because I want to come through that bad,” he said.
If there’s been a criticism of Tulowitzki, it’s been his tendency to not come in through in vital, late-inning at-bats when the game is on the line; especially at home when the fans are chanting his name.
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“Who wouldn’t get pumped up when they have their own chant. You know that was part of learning and I think that’s going to make me that much better now when I’m on the big stage to slow the game down and realize that I’m not always going to be successful; but as calm as I can be I’m going to have a better chance to succeed. ”
The Rockies would love to see Tulo put less pressure on himself and trust his teammates more.
“You’ve got to learn how to harness that energy,” pinch hitter Jason Giambi said. “Those fans in Denver — they get excited, they’re like New York fans, they get fired up at the end of the game. You’ve got to somehow switch the pressure … on the pitcher; that’s he’s got all this pressure on him and not on you.”
“Knowing that (Todd) Helton is behind him now, (Michael) Cuddyer is behind him; Ramon Hernandez. If they don’t bring the game to you, then pass the baton and let the next guy do the damage with further offensive players on base,” manager Jim Tracy said.
For more than a decade the Rockies were Helton’s team, but now that torch has been passed to Tulo. He’s already proven that he’s a brilliant all-around player. But he believes he’s succeeded because he’s naturally aggressive. Tempering that when it means the most is not going to come easily.
“You’ve got to realize that I’m not Todd Helton, I’m not Jason Giambi. I am Troy Tulowitzki and Troy Tulowitzki is aggressive. That’s what makes me who I am. I’m aggressive in the field, I’m aggressive on the base paths. So I’m not going to turn into somebody I’m not.”
Tulo is batting a cool .350 so far this spring, so he’s happy for now. His goal this season is to control his temper.