Two thoughts crossed Todd Helton's mind when he awoke to a snowstorm yesterday.
"Good hunting weather," the Colorado Rockies first baseman said. "We don't have to go out on the field and practice today. That was my only other thought. It will be a short day for us, a good day. A good day to sit on the couch, I know that."
The snowstorm forced the Rockies indoors for their next-to-last workout before flying off to Boston, where they'll take on the Red Sox when the World Series starts Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox advanced by beating the Indians last night for the AL pennant.
Batters took their cuts in cages beneath the stands at Coors Field, and pitchers split up and threw off the indoor mounds next to the batting cages.
"I played street hockey in Canada," pitcher Jeff Francis said. "Do you think some snow is going to bother me?"
A few players ventured outside and tossed some baseballs and snowballs around near the tarp-covered infield.
The snowfall isn't necessarily a pretense to what the teams will face when the World Series returns to Denver Saturday night.
"Well, we don't play here for another week and you know how the weather is here," Helton said. "It could be 80 degrees in a week, so I'm not concerned about that."
The snow began melting by the afternoon and the forecast for Denver called for a high of 53 degrees today with upper 60s and lower 70s the rest of the week.
Yankees fire back
Hank Steinbrenner, who has begun to take control over the Yankees with brother Hal, shot back at former manager Joe Torre's comment about the team's contract offer being an "insult." "Where was Joe's career in '95 when my dad hired him?" Hank Steinbrenner told the New York Post yesterday. "My dad was crucified for hiring him. Let's not forget what my dad did in giving him that opportunity - and the great team he was handed." Hank Steinbrenner said he believed the Yankees' offer was fair and that Torre needed to accept some of the blame for the team's zero championships since 2000. "You can't take credit for success when you're going good, and then not take some of the blame when things change," Steinbrenner said . . . Former major league pitcher Hideo Nomo made his debut in Venezuela's winter league with an eye toward attempting a comeback in the United States. The 39-year-old Japanese righthander, who last pitched in the majors with Tampa Bay in 2005, threw 17 pitches in one inning Saturday night before a rainstorm interrupted play.