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July 23, 2014 at 10:18 am ET
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Prairie Dogs

prairie-dogWhen a prairie dog colony is threatened by, say, a menacing hawk, one of them will stand tall and squeak its fool head off to draw the marauder’s attention while the others scamper to safety. Only then does this one attempt to flee. If necessary, it sacrifices itself.

Geography recap: Denver is not in the mountains. It is way, way out on the prairie. It just happens to be a prairie that sits about a mile higher than a lot of the country does. The far-off mountains do form a heck of a pretty backdrop.

Zoology recap: Prairie dogs are really cute and altruistic but can carry bubonic plague, aka the Black Death.

Taking one for the team recap: It might just be Troy Tulowitzki’s time.

Sure, at 29 he’s the face of the franchise, a tremendous shortstop, a vocal leader and workout guru to the young dudes, and he can hit a little bit (.340 with 21 home runs), as the dented walls and pitcher egos around the league show. But with the hawks circling this dysfunctional franchise, it seems Tulo knows where this needs to go.

He has already started squeaking, as we know, suggesting that he might maybe perhaps be open to a trade someplace where they, um, don’t lose so much. That’s not exactly altruism. (Unlike the heroic prairie dog, Troy will certainly be running off to a nice, safe den — St. Louis?) But it could work much the same way.

Because an unhappy Troy Tulowitzki could end up being a plague in the clubhouse. It’s not altogether fair to say he will, but he could. He’s not a happy-go-lucky dude on his best days. And we, as fans, could turn on him as too rich ($118 million still to go on his contract), too injury prone, even too whiny, spoiling all he stood for as the dynamic “Tulo!”

He’s on the DL again, by the way. Hip flexor. (Maybe the young players shouldn’t be so quick to follow his regimen.) So no trade-deadline magic is going to happen, apparently. And no way Tulowitzki gets through waivers later this summer. After the season, we need to talk, though. The Rockies have so many needs, and a rock to build upon: 3B Nolan Arenado, his spaz baserunning notwithstanding.

Meanwhile, if one of his legs is up to it, maybe Tulo could step on the tail of Carlos Gonzalez. What would the hawks give us for that one, eh?

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