Arenado: Tulo 'wrong' in remarks about Rox

Colorado third baseman responds after former teammate compares spring facilities

Arenado: Tulo 'wrong' in remarks about Rox

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado paused in a carpeted hallway with walls decorated with glorious photos and motivational phrases in purple lettering on beetle-kill wood. Arenado reacted to the question of the day -- whether former teammate Troy Tulowitzki was correct in his charge that Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is too nice a facility for a team to get ready for the season -- with a frustrated guffaw.

"No," Arenado said. "Listen, we were in Tucson before. It definitely wasn't as nice as this. We work hard here. We're doing the best we can.

"What he said was wrong."

The hurt and pain Tulowitzki has expressed since being traded to Toronto last July manifested again in a USA Today article on Monday, when he praised the relatively Spartan surroundings of Blue Jays camp in Dunedin, Fla.

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"I like this place a lot better than Arizona,'' Tulowitzki said. "That place was like a country club. Guys got comfortable because it was so nice.

"This place has a better feel. It reminds you of Spring Training -- the way it's supposed to be.''

Tulowitzki's quotes didn't sit well. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said at no point since 2011, when the team relocated from Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, has anyone claimed the facility was so nice that it destroyed his baseball groove.

"That's the furthest thing from the truth," Weiss said. "We have a nice place here, and we're proud of it. Our guys are mentally tough and they compete. … It's a great facility. It's beautiful. We talk about gaining a competitive edge because of this facility. A facility doesn't change your mentality."

Tulowitzki also said in the article that his role is different.

"You look around here,'' Tulowitzki said, "and there are some great players in this locker room. It's different than in Colorado, where I was leaned upon so heavily. Now I'm just another guy. I enjoy that.

"The biggest difference is that I don't feel like a teacher anymore. Over there, there was a lot of young guys. The young guys were scared to walk around. I was trying to teach these guys how to handle themselves instead of just going out there and playing the game the right way, playing the game to win. Here, we got so many veterans, it makes everyone relax.

"I enjoy not getting all of those questions now.''

Arenado agreed with the assessment.

"Tulo, he helped teach me; he was my boy," Arenado said. "He helped me a lot. He helped a lot of guys in here, also. Hey, where he's at, there are veterans. Where we were, there weren't that many veterans. If there were veterans, they were pitchers.

"He helped lead the way for guys. Some guys didn't want to follow, and that's their choice. But it is what it is. You just move on. You've got to get your work in."

Weiss, who himself was traded once during a lengthy career as a shortstop, said it's time for Tulowitzki to end any resentment.

"Tulo and I have a good connection, but in baseball timing, that's eons ago," Weiss said. "It happened last year. It's a long time ago in baseball terms. There's time to move on from it, and that's what we've done. Our guys in camp are excited. So far, it's been a great camp.

"Sometimes those things are the unfortunate part of the game. The timing of it is not always ideal. You do what you have to do."

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich, who said in the USA Today article that both teams thought leaked information could scuttle the Tulowitzki trade, declined Monday to expand on the issue.

"We're focused on the guys we have here," Bridich said. "We've got a lot to do here."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.