Welcome to 5 Quick Questions, a series here at Mile High Sports where we will ask as many Colorado Rockies ballplayers as we can, and maybe a few coaches, front office members and media too, the same set of questions.

We will be keeping track of trends and making note of particularly fun or interesting answers while also adding a bit of context wherever it may be needed.

Next Up: Jake Bird and Michael Toglia

Who were your favorite players growing up?

Jake Bird: “Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw. I tried to do (Lincecum’s) little weird mechanics…I tried but I never got there.”

Michael Toglia: “Derek Jeter. My dad was from New York so we watched the Yankees a lot. His favorite player was Lou Gherig  so it just ran in the family. Now I love Trout, I love Judge, I love how they play the game.

When you think of the Rockies, who is the first player who comes to mind?

Jake Bird: “Probably Todd Helton, Larry Walker, and Vinny Castilla. Definitely those three.”

Michael Toglia: “Todd Helton. No doubt about it.”

They say that the triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Do you agree and if not, what is?

Jake Bird: “I’m more of a pitching guy.”

I mention that both Tyler Kinley and Brent Suter chose walk-off homers.

“To each his own (laughs) but I would say probably just a routine comebacker ground ball. Oooh no, a comebacker ground ball throw it to second, flip it to first for the double play. A little 1-6-3.”

Michael Toglia: “Either that or one-up it with an inside-the-parker. Why not? Right? It’s just a little bit more exciting.”

Toglia is 6’5, 226 lbs. (conservatively) and I can’t imagine being in the cleats of a catcher and seeing that guy wheeling around third on a dead sprint so I had to ask if he’s ever hit one before.

“Uhhh, yes. In short-A I did. I was flyin’ man. Centerfielder crashed into the wall and tripped over his shoes a couple of times and I was still just barely safe. Barely made it.” 

If you could have any job in the world other than your own, what would it be?

Jake Bird: “Probably musician. Either a music designer or a concert pianist. I’m not very good but I’m learning. Maybe in 10 years I’ll be better but I hope I’m still playing baseball at that point.”

Toglia: “That’s a tough question. I don’t know. You know what? Let’s go with astronaut, knowing that I will never actually be an astronaut ever in my life. I’m not crazy enough to do that but it would be cool.”

What is your favorite ballgame that you have played in?

Jake Bird: “Each season you kinda have a different one. There’s lots of personal moments but I feel like this question is more about the coolest game you’ve watched. The coolest game I’ve been to as a spectator was the World Baseball Classic Championship in 2017. Even though it wasn’t a very close game it was just a really cool vibe.”

Michael Toglia: “Playing in my debut was special but I’m gonna have to go back to college when we were playing super regional against Michigan. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball. Yeah, I’m opening up the yearbook. That was fun.”


On March 22, 2018 at Dodger Stadium, the United States beat Puerto Rico 8-0 to win the fourth ever World Baseball Classic.

Marcus Stroman pitched six scoreless innings and surrendered just one hit. Ian Kinsler was the big hero on offense, knocking in two, scoring two, walking and hitting a home run.

On June 8th, 2019 UCLA beat Michigan in the second game of the Los Angeles Super Regional tournament thanks in no small part to Toglia who scored and drove in a pair of runs including hitting a key home run in the eighth inning, part of a rally that would send the game into extras.

His Bruins came out on top on a 12th inning walk-off. The Wolverines starting pitcher that day was current Rockies farmhand Jeff Criswell. Michigan ultimately won the three-game series. 

Toglia offered an absolute and ambiguous vote for Todd Helton and Bird agreed while adding Larry Walker and Vinny Castilla. It’s our first recorded vote for Castilla though (spoilers) it won’t be the last. Helton stands at eight votes, Walker has four, and Charlie Blackmon has three while Castilla and Carlos Gonzalez each have one. 

Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and Derek Jeter all make their debuts in this series with Lincecum being objectively the coolest one. 

Bird breaks the trend of relievers choosing their worst nightmare as the most exciting play in the sport and gets himself involved on defense with a pitcher-started twin killing.

Toglia offers another logical vote, recognizing that an inside-the-park home run is exactly 90 feet and one run better than a triple. Also, serious, imagine being that catcher.

For alternative jobs, Toglia really reached for the stars (sorry) because yeah all the romantic things about being an astronaut are cool… it’s once you start thinking about the realities that it becomes one of the scariest jobs on the planet. Or not, as it were.

And Bird is now our second would-be musician along with Kris Bryant. Can we get enough to put a band together?