The Colorado Rockies are back.
Finally, after outbidding the New York Mets for Mike Hampton, and watching that move blow up in their face, the Rockies looked in the mirror and realized that they play in Denver, not New York, Boston or Los Angeles. The money simply isn't their to miss on a big signing.
While the front office discovered who they were, and what they needed to do to become competitive, the fans didn't understand the about-face. They didn't understand why the team was allowing names like Jose Hernandez to take the field at shortstop, and Jeromy Burnitz to play outfield everyday.
When the young crop of Rockies finally arrived in the big leagues, fans were still skeptical. They thought that the club was simply going to deal the talent once they reached their expensive arbitration years. It was fun to watch the Rockies, but fans were hesitant to jump back on the bandwagon in earnest, for fear of clinging on to a favorite player who would simply be killing time before getting their career started with a big-name team.
Apparently this winter was what it took to finally lure the fans back. The Rockies front office proved their naysayers wrong, signing not only Troy Tulowitzki to a long-term deal, but also locking up Carlos Gonzalez, a Scott Boras client, to a long-term deal of his own.
In addition to those signings, the Rockies also brought in Ty Wigginton, a proven hitter who can play multiple positions, as a fall-back, just in case Ian Stewart doesn't turn the corner or Todd Helton can't find a way to stay healthy.
For years, the Rockies were a popular pick for either last in the National League West, or second to last. The questions were not whether they could contend, but if they could avoid losing 90 games.