Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black and outfielder Sam Hilliard spoke with the media on Thursday morning after the team’s 10-7, comeback win against Oakland on Wednesday.
One piece of news that came out yesterday was that Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela is dealing with a “minor hamstring strain.” Senzatela was slated to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday but he will likely miss two turns in the rotation, meaning that, while he’s still likely to be on track for Opening Day, it is more up in the air.
Black gave an update on the situation on Thursday when he spoke with the media, including Rox Pile.
"“He’s doing better,” said Black. “The trainers are encouraged but still, as you guys know, a hamstring is still tricky so we’re going to be cautious here in the early stages of this to make sure that he keeps progressing and the injury heals. But he’s doing better, he feels better, [and] he feels encouraged.”"
Sam Hilliard on Lou Gehrig Day announcement
Sam Hilliard spoke with the media after Black and he spoke very little about himself. Why? MLB announced today that every June 2, it will be Lou Gehrig Day in MLB.
Lou Gehrig, the Hall of Famer of the Class of 1939, had to retire in 1939 (he was elected to the Hall of Fame in the same year with a special election that didn’t require five years until the vote). He died two years later on June 2 of ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, at the age of 37.
Hilliard’s father, Jim, was diagnosed with the disease in 2018 and his mother, Tammy, was on the board that was trying to get this made as a day in baseball to raise awareness for the disease.
Hilliard had this to say about the announcement.
"“I think that Lou Gehrig Day league-wide is something that is long overdue,” said Hilliard. “ALS has impacted me so much but (research for a cure) is underfunded and it just needs more attention and funding in general. I think this will be great for the fight for a cure and I know that a lot of people have been working hard to make this a reality and they’re really happy and really proud to see it come to fruition like this.”"
Lou Gehrig Day will become the third day to be celebrated by baseball, joining Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 and Roberto Clemente Day on September 9.
If you would like to donate for ALS research, you can do so here.
On a much lighter note, the Rockies manager poked some fun at the media this morning.
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On the Zoom call, Nick Groke of The Athletic asked Bud Black that if he was “creating a first baseman from scratch, like in making a laboratory … what are you looking for in a first baseman?” Black poked fun at the media with his response, a response that also featured some names from yesteryear.
"“I think it, traditionally, is a middle of the order bat that provides power and production,” said Black. “Willie McCovey comes to mind as a traditional, prototypical first baseman. You might have to look him up, Nick. He’s a little before your time. Tracy Ringolsby (of Outside The Seams) will know about Willie McCovey but, in general, you look at those corner positions as those that provide the power, the production.”“On the physical side, you look maybe for a big target … but I also know that a premium can be placed on the defense at that position … You can look at a Keith Hernandez-type, a Mark Grace-type of first baseman, where, maybe, (they) don’t have a lot of power but they play defense, they got on-base, they contribute for average…”"
Ringolsby chimed in later saying the he “was a Ted Kluszewski guy” when he was growing up. Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post said chimed in as well and said that he wanted to give Groke “remedial lessons in ‘Stretch’ McCovey because I’m old like you (Bud).” Black quipped that he wanted Kiszla to “follow up” with Groke on McCovey’s play in the 1963 World Series.
They then spoke about the Rockies history with first baseman. Andres Galarraga and Todd Helton started the franchise history of first basemen well but, in recent years, it has deteriorated some.
Black mentioned how he and Galarraga were actually teammates on the 1981-82 Caracas Leones in Winter ball. Galarraga was a catcher and third baseman at the time but their team won the Caribbean World Series. That team also featured former MLB manager Ron Gardenhire and former MLB All-Star Steve Sax.
The Rockies will take on the Mariners in a nine-inning game today. While the Rockies aren’t broadcasting it, the Mariners will be broadcasting it on radio so the easiest way to listen will be through the MLB App.