8/7/2014 12:19 A.M. ET
Tulowitzki spells it out: Wants to stay with Rockies
Superstar says reports of him wanting out of Colorado couldn't be more wrong
By Tracy Ringolsby / MLB.com
DENVER -- A week removed from the non-waiver Trade Deadline and Troy Tulowitzki is still with the Rockies.
That's how he wants it.
The rumors and innuendos that he wanted to be traded have died down.
And that's how he wants it.
He's been with the Rockies organization since the day they selected him as a first-round Draft choice -- the seventh player selected overall -- and would like to think he will retire as a member of the Rockies' organization sometime in the future.
"I'd love to play in one uniform my entire career," he said. "That would be special."
Right now, though, things aren't so special, and the frustrations for Tulowitzki were underscored with a whirlwind of events leading up to the week before the Trade Deadline in which he was reminded of just what a microscope athletes live under, particularly star athletes.
It all started with a July 4 newspaper column in which Tulowitzki said he was frustrated with losing and he wants "to be somewhere there's a chance to be in the playoffs every single year." That was turned into Tulowitzki wanted to be traded. And that was turned into wild speculation about the Rockies looking to move him.
Tulowitzki doesn't deny the quote, but he does deny the assumption he wants to be traded.
"People twist stories how they want it to be," said Tulowitzki. "I never said I demanded a trade or wanted out. I said if it was the best interest of the team to trade me for prospects and they came to me. … But I signed a contract because I want to be with the organization for a long time.
"Yeah, I'm tired of losing. I think all of us are."
And then came the weekend before the Trade Deadline, when Tulowitzki was given a stronger reminder of the spotlight he is under as the face of a franchise, a player who has earned four All-Star selections in his eight full big league seasons, and is leading the NL with a .340 average, despite having been placed on the disabled list 15 days ago with a left hip flexor strain.
First, on the Saturday before the Deadline, a Rockies giveaway of Tulowitzki shirts became an Internet sensation because the second "t" in his name was omitted. Then, the next day, he was spotted in the stands at Yankee Stadium, watching Derek Jeter, his childhood idol, play.
Next thing Tulowitzki knew he was being portrayed as upset over the shirt incident, and trying to force the Rockies to unload him.
"Yeah, the jersey didn't help, but for people to think I was retaliating is ridiculous," he said. "I understood it was a mistake. Those things happen. Too much was made out of it."
Just like, he said, his presence at Yankee Stadium was overblown.
He had an appointment the next day in Philadelphia with a doctor. New York isn't that far from Philly, so he decided to make a detour to the Big Apple so he could see his mother, who was visiting the city, and also so he could enjoy watching Jeter play.
Should he have been hidden from public view? Probably, but to Tulowitzki it was such an innocent moment he never even though of a negative reaction.
"I am a fan of Jeter," he said. "I had never watched him play a full game. I wanted to see how he prepares. I wanted to see what he did between innings. I wanted to see what he did to warm up. I wanted to see what he did when he was on deck.
"People blew it way out of proportion. They claimed for me to do that meant I wanted out. It was a day off. I was in New York. It was nothing more than that."
So simple to Tulowitzki, but such a complicated mess on the national scene.
He can only hope that now that the Deadline has passed, so will the erroneous claims that he wants to be traded.
It's been frustrating enough living through this season without having the media create false wars between himself and the Rockies.
Tulowitzki was looking forward to the 2014 season. The season opened with arguably the best roster in franchise history, and until the first week of June the Rockies were a definite factor in the NL West.
Then the injuries began to pile up, and the Rockies season turned into arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
Oh, they pulled out a 13-4 victory against the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field on Wednesday night, but they are still 45-68, the worst record in the NL and second worst in the big leagues to Texas, which is 45-69.
And that wears on Tulowitzki and the rest of the Rockies.
"I really like our team and thought we were going to really click," he said. "That's what makes this extra frustrating. It's very hard."
It doesn't help that Tulowitzki can't do anything about it right now. He did take batting practice for the first time since July 19 on Wednesday. He is hoping to take ground balls for the first time on Thursday. And if all goes well, he is hoping he can go on a rehab assignment and maybe even be ready to return to the active roster by the time the Rockies return home a week from Thursday.
Then he wants to be part of putting a strong finish on to what has been a weak season.
"It'd be easy to just pack up things and throw these games away and say, 'Hey, we're out of this thing.' And move on to next year," he said. "But in that clubhouse, we need to finish strong and end on a good note. Some guys need to prove themselves for next year. And some guys need to get more experience to help out the team."
That is the first step for the Rockies in attempting to head down a path to success.
And that is all Tulowitzki ever wanted, regardless of how his statements were twisted and turned.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.