Troy Tulowitzki is in his 6th season in the Majors and has quickly established himself as one of the best shortstops in the game. His teammates have recognized that and he has become one of the leaders on the Rockies’ squad.
However, everyone knew that the Rockies were still Todd Helton’s team, including the budding star.
Well, not anymore.
Rockies beat writer Troy Renck reports that their was a “silent” passing of the baton between Helton and Tulowitzki this spring and now the Rockies are definitively Tulo’s team to lead. Helton pulled aside the gold-glove shortstop and told him he needed to assume a larger role vocally. His teammates have always fed off of his actions but Helton told Tulo that they now need to feed off of his words as well.
Tulowitzki has always been a leader in the clubhouse but he never wanted to be so vocal as to step on Helton’s toes as the main leader. Helton has been around the game longer and has seen it all and Tulo respected that. He waited until he got Todd’s blessing and now he feels that, for the first time in his career, the Rockies are officially his team.
“I didn’t want to step on his toes or overstep my boundaries. My respect for him is unbelievable,” Tulowitzki said. “I believed that the locker room was still his, and I didn’t want to make it where it was my guys and his guys. It was never going to be like that with me. I’d play hard, but I’d bow down to Todd because it was his team. This is the first year where I have felt it’s all on me. He’s letting me do what I want. He wants me to police guys. And that’s a huge step for him and a huge step for me.”
Since this passing of the guard, Tulo has been more vocal during spring drills and in meetings. He is fully embracing his new role and the Rockies will succeed or fail under his leadership. And the thing is, he’s perfectly fine with that.