With a sensational headline like, “Tulowitzki, CarGo rip ex-teammate Jimenez“ you’d expect more venom from Scott Miller’s article on CBSSports.com, but thankfully what you get are Tulo and Cargo’s honest thoughts about their ex-teammate Ubaldo Jimenez.
Miller caught up with both of the Rockies stars and asked them about Jimenez’ assertion that the Rockies didn’t treat him fairly. Tulo responded by saying:
I don’t like bad-mouthing people…but it’s tough to hear those things. While I’ve been here, everybody’s been treated fairly. There’s a certain point in this game where you go play and you shut your mouth. And you don’t worry about what other people are doing.
Cargo’s disappointment with Jimenez stems from his description of Cleveland “is like being in heaven”. Gonzalez’ thoughts on that:
Sometimes players need a different place to play, a different atmosphere…The problem was, we all had great seasons [in 2010], Tulo got an extension, I got an extension, and he didn’t because he was under contract. He took a contract earlier than me and Tulo. Sometimes, you make decisions that hurt you later. You have to realize that no one forces you to do anything in this game. Every decision you make is going to be there for the rest of your life. Once you make a contract decision, it’s always going to be there. As players, we just need to be smart about it. When you decide to sign a contract, you have to be smart about it…We play baseball, from my standpoint since I was about one-year-old, because we love it. That’s what I love. That’s what I do. I started playing the game not because of the money, but because it’s what I like. We don’t play for contracts. There’s no other reason than to play the game we love the most. When you make those decisions, you have to be smart and then you have to be happy. If you think you deserve more money, no. It’s what you get. It’s nobody’s fault.”
The article goes on to say that “several Rockies” stated “jealousy set in almost from the very beginning in 2011 over the new deals granted Tulowitzki and Gonzalez” and that “It was clear as early as the season’s first month that Jimenez had mentally checked out.”
When asked about it, Tulo went on to say:
You try to get a feel for a teammate, and we can’t get anything back…People ask, ‘Well, he’s your teammate, don’t you know what’s wrong with him?’ We tried to ask him. And we couldn’t get anything in return.
When asked if it made for an uncomfortable clubhouse, Tulo said:
Without a doubt. You don’t know what the deal is. You begin hearing trade rumors, and once those started flying, you don’t hear a guy say, ‘This is the place I want to be.’ You don’t hear a guy say, ‘I don’t want to be traded.’ When you have a situation like that from a team standpoint, you think the guy wants to leave.
CarGo has run into Jimenez during spring training and said it was good to see him and went on to say, “we all wish him the best because he’s a great person and a great athlete.”
The article summed up CarGo’s thoughts, and reply to Jimenez’ statement about Cleveland being heaven, perfectly when he said:
Now…I feel like Denver’s heaven.
You can read the whole article HERE.
Original Jimenez Interview Highlights:
In an exclusive interview with Tracy Ringolsby today, Ubaldo Jimenez admitted, for the first time, that he was looking to be traded last year coming into spring training. He took it personal that Tulo and CarGo were signed to long-term contracts, while the team decided to wait on his extension.
I read in the paper that the Rockies said they were only going to sign two guys, they couldn’t do three guys…I was the third guy. They signed the two guys they were going to sign and they gave them more (years) and bigger (salaries).
After a tough spring training, with the infected finger, and an even harder start to the season Jimenez said he wasn’t healthy but still wanted to pitch.
The first two months of the season I tried to pitch through the problems, and I never was able to build up the arm strength for my velocity…It wasn’t the season I feel I should have, but I am happy I kept pitching…I was not going to get traded if I was on the disabled list. I wanted to move from Colorado (from the start of last spring). It wasn’t working for me with the team. So I was happy when I got traded.
The article goes on to say that Jimenez, even after the trade, was never 100%. His arm was fatigued, but he didn’t want to stop trying. He says that this spring his arm is much better and his velocity is up. His first outing was terrible on the scoreboard, but in his mind he felt that the speed of his pitches, mixed with how many strikes he threw, was all he needed to consider it a successful day.
You can read the whole article HERE.