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© 2017 LaTroy Hawkins

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Shocked, But Up For The Challenge

When they took Tulowitzki out of the game, we didn’t think anything of it in the bullpen. But then we get upstairs after the game and realize that he might have gotten traded. It took a little while to play out, but I didn’t have time to wait to see how it played out because I had family at the game and I was heading over to Indiana to spend the night with my grandparents. While I was on the bus leaving the stadium, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich called me to tell me I was part of the trade. I was blown away.

I don’t even know what I was feeling in the moment. I called Jeff on the way to the airport yesterday to talk to him because the night before I was in shock and really didn’t have a chance to tell him thank you from a place of sincerity. I didn’t want to leave on a bad note and he understood and acknowledged that we were both pretty stunned at how everything transpired. But it’s part of the business. Like I’ve said before, I didn’t put too much emphasis on what I was hearing and I didn’t want my agent to tell me much. I felt like, if it happens, it happens. And it happened.

I want to thank all of the people at the Rockies organization, even the guys who got me there the first time, like Dan O’Dowd, Bill Geivett, Jeff Bridich, the Monfort’s. I want to thank all of my teammates and the managers I had there, pitch coach Steve Foster, bullpen coach Darren Holmes. There are a lot of special people in this organization who don’t get enough credit and those are the people that I stopped and talked to everyday when I walked into the ballpark. Bob at the front gate, Glen, John, Jerry. All the guys on the grounds crew. It didn’t matter how I was feeling, when I walked into the ballpark, they always put a smile on my face. I’ll miss those things. I’ll miss the fans and I’ll miss the stadium, one of the best stadiums in professional baseball. I had a chance to sign at a lot of different places in ’07 and I picked Colorado for the challenge. We did some pretty special things that year…being able to go on the run that we did and make it to the World Series. I always said that if I had a chance to come back here I would. Dan O’Dowd made that possible. But all good things must come to an end and Denver will always have a special place in my heart.

I’m happy to be a Blue Jay. I’m excited about helping them win some games and get in to the playoffs. Somebody Tweeted me and said, “It’s kind of cool to have a whole country root for you, not just one city.” I thought that was pretty impressive! I’m also excited about getting the chance to live in another country for two plus months. I’m looking forward to all of that.

This is my last go round as a professional baseball player and hopefully we can get to the promised land. Hopefully we can get that elusive World Series ring that I don’t have. But I’ll never watch the standings. I’m a firm believer that if you take care of your business, the rest will fall into place. I think that second wild card makes it very exciting for some other teams that normally wouldn’t be in it. But it’s great to see that the Blue Jays are making moves so that they can stay in it. I know it’s exciting for the guys already on the team to see the front office making moves. And I hope we can make the front office look good!

Toronto is getting an unbelievable player in Troy. He’s starting to move like he used to back in the day and he’s going to be something special. Watching him play is a thing of beauty. The first time I saw him play during spring training in 2007, I said, “Who the heck is that?!” I was told that he might be our starting shortstop. Might be?! He WILL be. Look at the confidence he walks around with. He doesn’t have to say a word, but demands your attention. I’ve always been a huge Tulo fan and I’m excited to be playing some meaningful baseball with him again. And even though we won’t be in Colorado, I’m glad to be able to play with him until the end in Toronto.

I have not looked at the schedule yet. My wife told me that we are going to Texas. Eddie Guardado already texted me and told me that they are coming to Toronto. Those are two teams that I didn’t think I’d see again, so that’s exciting.

I’m extremely tired right now because I haven’t gotten much sleep. My phone has been blowing up! But I’m always up for the challenge. I think I’m mentally prepared for any situation. My father-in-law always talked about how “proper planning prevents poor performance.” And I feel like I’m mentally strong and mentally prepared. Everything else will take care of itself. 

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