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Jason Grilli Departs For Texas: Colorado Rockies Fans Have Mixed Feelings

Todd Civin@https://twitter.com/toddcivin1Senior Writer IJune 12, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 11:  Pitcher Jason Grilli #49 of the Colorado Rockies delivers as he enters the game in relief against the Philadelphia Phillies during MLB action at Coors Field on April 11, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 8-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

My mother always tells me, there are three sides to every argument, "Her side, your side and the truth."

After spending much of yesterday reading about my friend Jason Grilli and his departure from the Colorado Rockies, it appears that Rockies fans are singing "Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you," while Rangers fans are singing joys of "Hallelujah."

A blog post on the Texas Rangers Blog entitled "More on Jason Grilli from a Rockies Perspective" by Blogger Richard Durrett contains comments from bitter Colorado Rockie fans who refer to Grilli as "Gas Can" for his perceived habit to implode when entering a tight situation at home. Other posts were ready to chase him out of town.

As one reads on, the rants by Rockies fans seem to be the result of looking for another scape goat as a result of the Rockies 28-32 start, which finds them 11.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and in Fourth place.

Prior to firing manager Clint Hurdle the team found themselves at 19-27, before going 1-5 in the first six games under new manager Jim Tracy. 

The team has since ripped off eight straight wins under Tracy pointing to the theory that Hurdle was more to blame then their whipping boy Grilli.

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How quickly they forget.

Grilli went 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 51 appearances last season after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers.

Grilli who was the fourth overall draft pick by the San Fransisco Giants in 1997, started 2009 in much the same fashion going 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA for the month of April, while being called on to pitch in 11 of the Rockies first 20 games.

In a case of "what have you done for me lately," Grilli faced growing criticism following a terrible month of May, when he went 0-0 with a 9.90 ERA in 10 appearances before being traded Tuesday to the Rangers for cash considerations.

Durrett's blog goes on to quote Andrew Fisher (Poseidon's Fist) on the unofficial Rockie fans site "Purple Cow" who thinks that Grilli will rebound in Texas under the steadying hand of pitching mentors Nolan Ryan and Mike Maddux.

"Man you guys just keep swooping up our players - Pedro Strop, Joe Koshansky, now Grilli. Grilli throws a fastball that averages about 94 mph around two-thirds of the time and a 85-ish mph slider about one-third of the time."

"He'll mix in a change every once in a while, but he's really a two-pitch pitcher. He was a phenomenal pick-up from Detroit last season, developing into a solid 7th-inning reliever. We were really counting on him to do the same this season, especially when Taylor Buchholz hit the DL."

Fisher went on to add, "I really think it's a confidence issue with Grilli. He normally has solid control but walked at least one guy in each of his last five appearances".

"I've always liked Grilli, and I didn't agree with the decision to let him go, as I'm sure he would have rebounded. He most assuredly deserves a spot in a big league bullpen, and he could definitely bounce back with a change of scenery to be the go-to-guy in the 7th".

Some equally level headed comments included a post by "Investigate Before Speaking" who had this to say: "Have you looked at his overall career stats? He had pretty good years 2005-2008, before that he was average at best, and it's just this year (May to be precise) that he's imploded".

A post by the always knowledgeable Baseball 101 defended Grilli further.

"Grilli's career record of stranding inherited numbers is above the major league average. This year the Rockies burned him up. In the month of April he appeared in 11 of the 20 games played. That does not count the number of times he got hot in the bullpen."

"He has more appearances than anyone on the Texas staff other than J.C. Wilson, which illustrates that point. He is not a head case, but confident in his abilities and looks forward to working with Mike Maddux."

"As some of the posts said let's see what he brings to the table before the hate posts fly around. His ERA so far not good, but the year is not over".

Todd Civin is a writer for the Bleacher Report and a supporter of the award winning children's book "A Glove of Their Own". He encourages you to visit the site at www.agloveoftheirown.com and order under today's donor code of RMD 281 for the Rocky Mountain Deaf School. Todd can be reached at toddcivin1@aim.com with comments or story ideas.

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