SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With Presidents Day coinciding with Monday's first official full-squad workout of Rockies Spring Training (although many players have been at Salt River Fields for weeks), Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort stopped to reflect on the two holidays -- one on the calendar, one in the heart of baseball fans.
MLB.com asked Monfort to provide his main messages to Rockies fans going into the 2017 season:
"Happy Presidents Day. This is more than a holiday. It is a celebration of some of our great American heroes. This year, it is also the start of our baseball season, as all of our Rockies players will officially begin training for the 2017 season.
"I'm always excited. Am I more excited this year? It's hard to judge. This team's very talented. That's good.
"What surprises await us? Hopefully, they're good surprises. I think you can see some surprises in the bullpen, and at the catcher's spot you can see some real surprises, too.
"The fans are all jazzed up. They saw a couple of additions. And they saw Jon Gray emerge as a pitcher last year. And this time last year, we didn't know that Trevor Story was going to be good enough to be our everyday shortstop. They saw him have a great year before he got hurt, and now they'll get hopefully a full year of it. David Dahl came up in the outfield. Tyler Anderson wasn't even in the mix last year or in the conversation for our starting rotation. So they see all this, and hope for a better bullpen.
"I, for one, am eager to get this season underway. Enjoy your Presidents Day, and let's play ball."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. 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.