After last night’s game the Colorado Rockies released Brad Hawpe. He had cleared waivers yesterday and there was not enough interest from other teams to make a trade. It was being reported last night that the Texas Rangers might be interested to pick him up as a free agent.
While Hawpe hasn’t been very productive in 2010 and really struggled in the second half of 2009 I will still miss him on the team. He was one of my favorites for many years.
I remember when Alan Roach used to do the PA for Coors Field and he was the “Voice of God”. When Hawpe came to the plate Roach would say bradAWPE! He would really emphasize the “awpe” sound in his name and say it quickly, I thought it was very funny. After Hawpe’s first year he switched from the number 40 on his jersey to 11.
Although, that got me thinking, who used to wear #11 when Hawpe first came up and I cannot figure it out. Anyone out there know? I looked at www.baseballalmanac.com and they show Hawpe wearing #11 even in his first year. I could have sworn he wore #40 in his first cup of coffee with the Rockies. I distinctly remember calling around to all sorts of sporting good stores looking for a #11 Hawpe jersey and if they had a Hawpe jersey it was still #40.
Anyway, I loved watching Hawpe. I loved watching him throw the ball, mostly. The fact that he hit 20-25 home runs was a plus because watching him gun it from the right field corner to second base was awesome.
In recent years his range has gone downhill, but his arm is still sweet. He can still chuck it on a clothes line into the infield.
That really bites the big one for two reasons.
1. Hawpe has been a productive player for the Rockies for quite a few years now. Sucks to see a guy just flat out lose it like Hawpe has. Hopefully he can find it again, but like Garrett Atkins, it just doesn’t seem likely. He is on the wrong side of 30 and the chance of him getting enough playing time to work through the kinks isn’t likely.
2. Too bad the Rockies didn’t get something in return for Hawpe a month or two ago (or four). Or, more accurately, they should have traded him before the season started at let Seth Smith take all the reps in the outfield.
Dan O’Dowd and Jim Tracy should have seen the writing on the wall in the second half of last season when Hawpe stopped hitting. After a month into the season when he still wasn’t hitting it was time to cut bait and get what they could for him.
I know a lot of the Rockies players will miss Hawpe. He has been here for long enough with Todd Helton, Clint Barmes, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis and the rest of the team that has been wearing the purple pinstripes for four or five years that they will all miss him in the clubhouse. But it is what is best for the team. Time to move on, time to give playing time to Smith and see if he can produce on a daily basis (I think he can).
Just like when Atkins left, I really hope Hawpe finds his stroke somewhere else and has a few more good big league seasons left in him.