Friday, October 05, 2007

Rockies Play for Mike Coolbaugh's Family

As if there wasn't enough reason to root for the underdog Rockies, the expansion team with the crazy short-sleeve uniforms and ridiculous triceratops mascot. In all seriousness, it is admirable that the team members are generous, too. From the Globe and Mail:

The Colorado Rockies are playing this postseason for Mandy Coolbaugh and her children.

The Rockies have voted to give a full playoff share to the widow of Mike Coolbaugh, a first-base coach with their Double-A Tulsa affiliate, who was killed this year when he was hit with a line drive during a game.

The Coolbaughs had two children and a third on the way at the time of the accident.

“Some of the older guys talked about it and brought it up and it was something we all wanted to do,” Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said yesterday. “We felt that, as a team, it was the right thing to do.”

Players on teams with a chance at the playoffs convene a meeting late in the season to vote on how many full and partial shares will be doled out from a pool of revenue generated during the league championship series and World Series. (Players get 60 per cent of ticket sales from the first four games in each series.) It's a political matter that often tells a great deal about the makeup of a clubhouse.

Last year, the St. Louis Cardinals, the World Series champions, divided more than $20-million, with 48 players and club employees getting full shares of $362,173. Twenty-three others received partial shares.

The American League champion Detroit Tigers divided $13.3-million among 39 people who received full shares of $291,667, while 15 people received partial shares.

League championship series losers (the Oakland Athletics and New York Mets) received $124,430 for each full share.

Full shares for teams that lost in the divisional series ranged from $37,539 for the Minnesota Twins to $27,035 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Second-place teams that didn't make the playoffs also receive payouts, with the Blue Jays making $11,830 for each full share.

“Doesn't surprise me with this group we have – and they didn't do it just for you guys to find out, either,” Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said.

“That's what happens when you have a team like ours [largely home-grown]. There's a common thread you don't find when you bring a lot of players in from outside the organization.”