The Colorado Rockies are in the middle of Todd Helton weekend that will be highlighted by the retirement of his number 17 on Sunday. There’s no doubt that Helton deserves this honor and everything that comes along with it but if I was Helton, I’d be asking myself where was all of this love when I was playing?
Helton played all 17 of his big league seasons with the Rockies and was always a company man. He was the face of the organization, he defended the front office and he always embraced whatever the newest rebuilding project happened to be.
Helton deserves more than a weekend from the Rockies; he deserves a Helton decade for all the nonsense he put up with from this joke of an organization.
Helton saw managers come and go, but still showed up for work without a complaint. He embrace his leadership role when it was Todd and the toddlers, and told anyone who would listen that be believed that the team was headed in the right direction.
When everyone from his teammates to the fans to others in the game would have completely understood if Helton had demanded a trade to a contender late in his career, Helton always maintained that he was a Rockie for life.
In his 17 year sentence, Helton did experience the playoffs twice and did get to play in one World Series in 2007. Yes, the Rockies did actually play in the Fall Classic once. However those two seasons, especially 2007, were flukes and more often than not, Helton had to put up with mediocre baseball.
He’s far too nice and classy to say this, but Helton deserved better from the Rockies. He deserved an organization that was committed to winning and would do everything in their power to bring in talent that was equal to Helton.
Instead he got a front office that still hasn’t figured out Coors Field, a scouting staff that apparently doesn’t know good pitching and an organization that specializes in excuse making.
It had to be so painful for Helton every October when he watched the likes of Derek Jeter, David Ortiz and others experience playoff baseball. Helton, as a player, was in a class with those guys but no one around the country ever knew it because the Rockies are treated as a joke nationally. Helton was an A list actor performing for some community theatre, and no one paid attention.
Yes the Rockies paid Helton a lot of money over the years and he is set for life, but for Helton is was always about more than the paycheck. He wanted to win, he wanted to consistently play in big games in September and October. Helton, more than anything, wanted to be a World Champion and the Rockies took that opportunity away from him.
The one positive for Helton is this; he has to be looking at this year’s team and thanking God everyday that he’s not a part of this train wreck.
Once again, Helton is very deserving of this weekend and the Rockies cannot possibly do enough to say thank you. Helton was loyal to them for 17 years and the Rockies gave him little in return.
In the end, maybe Helton and the rest of us should all be happy if the Rockies spell his name right on the jersey. Hey Dick Monfort, it’s H-E-L-T-O-N!
Thank you Todd for 17 great years, you deserved better!