Troy Tulowitzki will be in another uniform next year. That's not to impress you with my predictive abilities, or to rub it in for Rockies fans, or to make some kind of observation about small-market teams' inability to keep their homegrown stars. It's just a statement of fact. As in: the sun will come up tomorrow, gasoline costs too much, and Troy Tulowitzki sat in the stands at Yankee Stadium to tell the Rockies fuck you, trade me.
I could be wrong! This could be a misunderstanding. Maybe it's as innocent as Tulowitzki, in Philadelphia to see a doctor, said it was. "It's a short drive from Philly," Tulowitzki said. "I wanted to see Jeter play one more time." (I'm not wrong about this.)
It's the timing. Tulowitzki wants out of Colorado, which is, according to despondent Rockies fan Tom Ley when I asked about about all of this, "a garbage organization." The owner is emailing fans with subtle threats to move. Just this Saturday, the Rockies misspelled their franchise player's name on 15,000 giveaway shirtseys.
The Yankees, meanwhile, aren't about to enter the frightening post-Jeter era with some washed-up plug-in or no-name kid at shortstop. The big-name free agent, Hanley Ramirez, is breaking down. Tulowitzki has reportedly made his willingness to be traded known to management, and not many other clubs can afford the $118 million he will be owed after this season. Tulowitzki himself has mused about the possibility of replacing Jeter in New York.
"I think everybody knows that," said Tulowitzki, who wears No. 2 because of Jeter, "everybody wants that perfect story."
Whether it's at the trade deadline, or in the offseason, Troy Tulowitzki will leave the Rockies. And the only thing that can possibly stop him heading to New York is the New York media. ESPN's Ian O'Connor took the first crack:
This was another shortstop paying his respects — but getting the lay of the land at the same time. This was a big-time athlete causing an unnecessary, big-time stir.
This was Troy Tulowitzki, Derek Jeter fan, ripping a page out of the Alex Rodriguez playbook.
Run, Troy. Run far away.