10/22/07 5:00 PM ET
Heart of the Order: Brian Fuentes
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
Fuentes picked up his passion for the game watching his father's traveling police softball team, and he honed his attitude watching his hero, Dave Stewart, pitching for the A's. Fuentes was fan enough to get his picture taken with the A's '89 World Series trophy, an apparently prescient piece of foreshadowing as his Rox stand a series win from claiming the trophy as their own."Stewart had that bulldog mentality," Fuentes said. "He meant business when he went out there on the mound. I was always kind of envious of that. I thought, 'He's cool. I want to be like him.'" Fuentes has Stewart's game-time intensity, but the 32-year-old veteran has slowly emerged as increasingly worthy of the "crazed" bullpen characterization. Parenthood seems to have softened this bulldog of the bullpen. He and wife Barbara have an 18-month-old son, Giovanni Paolo, and 5-week-old twins, Benicio and Gabriella. Introducing playful pellet gun target practice in his clubhouse cubicle, Fuentes has taken the reins in unleashing pregame tensions. As for the postgame? That's "Tito" behind his champagne goggles, leading the spray assault with each successive clincher on the Rockies' road to own that World Series trophy.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.