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DENVER -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle could have some sleepless nights awaiting him with the World Series on the horizon, and the games have nothing to do with it.
Hurdle is still contemplating his 25-man roster for the World Series and has not made any decisions public after discussions Friday and Sunday. The biggest decision Hurdle has to make involves his pitching staff. Opening Day starter Aaron Cook has not pitched since Aug. 10 because of an oblique strain, but he has declared himself ready to go.
"Basically, it's brutal for me to get to this point in time and have to tell a couple guys that they can't participate in the World Series," Hurdle said. "This is the one part of the job that I would classify as brutal."
If Cook is brought back, rookie starter Franklin Morales could be moved to the bullpen, which Hurdle acknowledged on Sunday was an option. He did announce that Jeff Francis would pitch Game 1 and Ubaldo Jimenez will start Game 2.
Hurdle has said in the past that it's speculation on anybody's part what the Rockies plan to do.
Well, speculate away.
It appears Josh Fogg would start either Game 3 or 4, leaving the other start for either Cook or Morales.
If Cook is active, a pitcher in the bullpen would get dropped from the roster, and Hurdle isn't looking forward to delivering the bad news.
"If they're like me," Hurdle said, "they've been doing this since they were 6 in the backyard saying, 'I'm going to be in the World Series,' and you have it all planned out and you make believe as a kid.
"Well, we're not making believe as kids anymore, we're going. We're going to be there, and we can only take 25."
Hurdle said on Sunday that the coolest thing for him since the Rockies won the National League pennant has been the buzz around the city.
"To see the city absorb this and the way the city has been able to embrace it for six days," he said. "Whether I've gone grocery shopping or taken Maddy, [his daughter], somewhere or Christian, [his son], or my family, and sometimes when I'm not involved, on the periphery, I've never seen so much purple.
"I've never seen a tent set up on the side of the road with a line forming to Rockies gear on Santa Fe. I've never seen that, just anywhere you go. I'm so happy we've been able to bring joy to so many people on so many levels and for so many different reasons."
Cover boy remembered: Todd Helton received about 50 issues of Sports Illustrated on Saturday from March 20, 1978. The cover features a 20-year-old Hurdle in his Royals uniform -- labeled as "This Year's Phenom."
"They always show up," Hurdle said. "They're like boomerangs."
Helton shared the magazines with his teammates and offered one to Hurdle, who turned down the offer.
"He doesn't need any ammo to make my life more challenging," Hurdle said with a smile. "He thought it was quite humorous.
"Do I wish it would go away? No, I don't wish it would go away. There's nothing I want to hide from. I've had some personal demons I've had to face; this isn't a demon by any means. It's something that happened at a particular time in my life that I look back on as a great life experience. It'll never go away. I didn't know any of them were left, and 50 showed up the other day."
Hurdle estimated he signs three to four dozen of the covers every year.