Can't tell you how happy I was to read this piece from Troy Renck the other day.
Todd Helton learns vital lesson from last year
In the article, Todd Helton admits that...
"I had nothing left at the end of the year."That's not much of an admission really. Everybody watching could see Helton was laboring, particularly at the plate.
"That was partly my fault. I should have kept myself in a little better shape. You just get worn down from playing so much. I want to have more left in the tank when the games matter."Todd Helton is a lot of things: a leader, gold glover, all-star, batting champion, potential hall of famer, all around nice guy. Another thing he is, that may even surpass all of those descriptions, is stubborn.
Or at least he was. These quotes seem to indicate Helton has finally come to the realization that 36 years old + back surgery does not = 151 games. It's just not physically possible to hold up to that.
That Helton now understands this is a big deal in my opinion. That he communicated this realization to Rockies management during the offseason is a big deal as well, because it most likely led to the re-signing of Jason Giambi.
A Helton/Giambi timeshare is going to go a long ways towards ensuring a potent/fresh bat will hit third for 162 games, not 115-120 like last season. It also means the Rockies will have a damn good lefty bat available in the late innings for 162 games, not just the final 30 like last season.
True the Rockies will lose defense in the games started by Giambi, but the offense they are likely to pick up from keeping these guys fresh and sharp will more than make up for that.