Strolling around the stadium, Monfort proudly pointed out revamped suites, a sustainable garden out back that features fresh herbs and vegetables, a new restaurant/bar called "The Press Club," seats behind home plate with more leg room and a play area for kids who are more interested in fun than the actual game.
As for the upgrades on the field, well, those have been a little more modest.
Expected to finish near the bottom of the NL West again, the Rockies open the doors at the renovated Coors Field on Friday against the San Diego Padres .
Monfort understands the skepticism, especially after Colorado didn't make many offseason moves after losing a franchise-worst 98 games in 2012.
"We've got to get better," Monfort said. "We're just as disappointed and embarrassed as anybody with our record last year and the year before that.
"We can have the nicest guys in the world, the most talented guys in the world. But at the end of the day, you've got to win."
So far, the Rockies are on the right track, taking two of three in Milwaukee. The lineup was as potent as advertised, too, as they scored 19 runs and pounded out 41 hits - including eight homers. Carlos Gonzalez is 6 for 15 with two home runs and Troy Tulowitzki is 4 for 12 with a pair of homers.
"If we can keep doing those things, we're going to win our share of games," Monfort said. "We've got a lot of talent but we've got to keep working it."
In a 7-3 win in Wednesday's series finale, Monfort didn't even stay in his seat for the ninth inning. He was just too nervous.
"I usually leave my seat and go up to the concourse. I can see the game but I'm walking," he said. "Even with a four-run lead, I was walking the concourse."
"I'm trying to treat it like another game," said Francis, who went 6-7 with a 5.58 ERA last season.
"I say try to treat it that way," he said, grinning. "It's exciting, the crowds are full. We want to show everybody what kind of team we have."
Francis, though, didn't give the home crowd much to cheer about in 2012, posting a 6.96 ERA in 12 starts in Denver. The left-hander wasn't particularly sharp in his two starts versus San Diego after last year's All-Star break either, yielding 11 runs over 8 2-3 innings.
Marquis had similar problems in last season's series, going 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts. The veteran righty joined San Diego last May after being released by Minnesota and was 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts for the Padres.
Gonzalez went 3 for 6 with a homer and triple against Marquis last year.
Unlike the Rockies, the Padres sputtered offensively in their first series, combining for eight runs and a .172 batting average with four of their 16 hits going for extra bases. They beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Thursday as highly touted prospect Jedd Gyorko doubled in the go-ahead run for his first RBI.
"To get that first win is big," winning pitcher Eric Stults said.
|San Diego Padres|
|March 31, 2013||Cory Luebke||60-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 31, 2013||Casey Kelly||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery, out for season|
|March 27, 2013||Logan Forsythe||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis, right foot|
|March 22, 2013||Chase Headley||15-Day DL||Broken left thumb|
|March 22, 2013||James Darnell||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|March 22, 2013||Casey Kelly||Day-to-Day||Right elbow|
|February 14, 2013||Edwar Cabrera||60-Day DL||Left shoulder impingement|
DENVER (AP) -- For a pitcher who rarely shows any hint of nerves, Jeff Francis certainly had a bundle of them.
Home opener. Packed park. New manager's Coors Field debut.
Francis wanted this day to be memorable. So, he made sure it was.
Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler homered, helping Francis and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 Friday in manager Walt Weiss ' home debut.
"You try to treat it like any other game, but there's a lot of energy out there," the usually unflappable Francis said.
Francis (1-0) was ahead of batters all afternoon as he scattered five hits over six innings. The soft-throwing lefty nearly became the first Rockies starter to throw more than 100 pitches since last June, but was pulled after striking out Nick Hundley on his 97th offering to finish the sixth.
The last time a Colorado starter reached the century mark in pitches was last June 12, a stretch of 106 games. It's the longest string in the majors since records started being kept by STATS in 1988.
This was Francis' first home-opening start for the Rockies and he was sharp in front of the raucous sellout crowd. With a fastball that barely creeps above 86 mph, Francis kept the Padres' off balance. He retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced.
"I just felt like I could throw anything today," he said.
Especially when he ran into trouble, which was rare on the picture-perfect afternoon.
"I always have confidence in Jeff that he can wiggle his way through stuff when he starts to get some traffic or things start to happen out there," Weiss said. "He does a nice job when he gets into trouble of figuring things out."
Troy Tulowitzki kept up his quick start, breaking a tie with a two-run double in the third. He also added a single.
Jason Marquis (0-1) was cruising along early before a costly fielding error by shortstop Everth Cabrera in the third paved the way for the Rockies's three-run inning. Marquis lasted six innings and gave up five runs, only two earned.
"It has happened all my career. I don't know how many times," Marquis said of the miscue. "We are a team. We pick each other up. There are going to be times where they make great plays and get me out of a big inning. And I have to do the same for my teammates."
That two-out error by Cabrera certainly opened the door for the Rockies. Cabrera couldn't cleanly corral Josh Rutledge 's slow roller, allowing Chris Nelson to trot in from third. After Carlos Gonzalez walked, Tulowitzki hit a two-run double to left-center.
"Tough play," Cabrera conceded.
Tulowitzki hasn't missed a beat this season after missing a majority of 2012 with a groin injury that eventually required surgery to remove scar tissue. He already has six RBIs this spring.
Rosario is off to a great start, too, and his power is a luxury so deep in the order. It was his second homer in as many games.
"Rosario is not going to be a No. 7 hitter for real long in his career," Weiss said. "He's an impressive kid. He's got crazy power. We can sit there and watch him take batting practice and even the big boys marvel at his power."
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the team, the organization brought back members of the 1993 squad. Rockies hitting coach Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla , the team's assistant to the general manager, drew the loudest cheers when they sauntered out behind the pitcher's mound.
Weiss received quite an ovation, too, as he made his managerial debut at home. It was a moment the former big league shortstop refused to think about in the days leading up to the game, only because he didn't want to show any emotion.
Hard to know if he did behind his dark shades. Weiss is making the huge leap from high school coach to major league manager as he tries to turn around a team that lost a franchise-most 98 games last season.
"The fans have always treated me well here, for whatever reason," Weiss said. "The fact I get to run out there as a manager in a Rockies uniform, that's really special to me."
Same with Todd Helton , who may have played in his final home opener. The 39-year-old is in the last year of his contract.
"A great day. A great opening," Helton said. "The weather was great and we got a win - couldn't ask for anything better."
NOTES: Padres 3B Chase Headley will have an X-ray on his left thumb Monday to see how it's healing. ... Rockies RHP Jon Garland will start Saturday for the first time since June 1, 2011. He had shoulder surgery that season and missed all of 2012. The Padres will counter with RHP Tyson Ross , who was acquired in a four-player deal with Oakland last November. ... Before the Rockies' streak, the longest string of starters not throwing 100 pitches in a game was held by Washington, which went 33 games from Aug. 31, 2011, to April 10, 2012. ... To show there were no hard feelings, pitchers Juan Nicasio and Edgmer Escalona hugged in the clubhouse before the game. They had a skirmish during a public workout at Coors Field on Thursday. "It's no big deal," Nicasio said.