$0.02: Rockies’ Atkins making a name for himself, and fast | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: Rockies’ Atkins making a name for himself, and fast

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For a while, it was hard to figure out which was the hottest story in the Mile High City. We had the Avs making the playoffs after so many said they doomed themselves by giving up Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg. We had the Nuggets winning the Northwest Division and grabbing the No. 3 seed in the West. And then we had the Rockies.

Colorado’s perennial purple loser spent much of the season’s initial two weeks in first place(!). If it weren’t for Barry Bonds’ on- and off-field woes, heck, the Rockies might have been a topic of NL West conversation outside Denver.

As it is, the Boys of Coors have cooled down to second, and the Giants ” sans production from Bonds, still ” are now in first. The division remains a mystery, which is good news for Colorado. Garrett Atkins, however, brings about no such confusion.

The Rockies’ 26-year-old third baseman has hit ’em hard and often this season ” a little like his left-side-of-the-infield mate Clint Barmes did last April and May, only harder and more often.

Get a load of Atkins’ stats entering Tuesday’s action: .436 batting average, first in the National League; 15 runs scored, second in the league; 24 hits, first in the league (and five more than anyone else); seven doubles, second to teammate Todd Helton’s eight.

Watch out, Mr. Pujols. …

Saw my first indoors baseball game last week. I was in St. Petersburg, Fla., for a little learning, and lo and behold, an ALCS preview came to town: Orioles vs. Devil Rays. Forget for a moment that Tampa Bay’s team plays in a separate city altogether, or that the Rays hit four home runs and still lost 6-5.

What shocked me more than anything was walking away from sunshine, into air conditioning, to watch a baseball game. Soon enough, a local explained: “If you think it’s weird ” and there’s no reason not to ” come back in August when it’s 104 degrees and pouring rain for a month straight.” …

Kobe Bryant has scored 40 points or more 27 times this season. That, my friends, is what we in the wordsmith business call “absurd.” …

And you thought hair was thin? Robert Cheruiyot, who won Monday’s Boston Marathon in a record-setting time, stands 6-foot-2 and weighs only 143 pounds. In other words, he’s about as heavy as Barry Bonds’ head. Not as rich, though.

For setting a new record (Cheruiyot finished in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 14 seconds, breaking the 12-year-old mark by 1 second), the Kenyan earned a $25,000 bonus.

That was on top of his $100,000 winner’s purse.

His winning time equated to an average mile pace of 4:51. …

In parting, our quest for the perfect sports name has a new face: Cubs outfielder Angel Pagan. Dick Trickle’s competition continues to grow.

Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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