Todd Helton is relieved all the hype of a year ago surrounding the big-spending Colorado Rockies has subsided significantly.
Slugger Carlos Gonzalez acknowledges that the $80 million, seven-year contract he received last offseason and Troy Tulowitzki's monster deal might have been a distraction for a club that began 2011 as an NL West favorite.
Helton says, ''When we play with expectations, we stink.'' Now, the immense pressure is off and Colorado is committed to playing together as a team focused on finding a way to contend again for the division title.
Manager Jim Tracy and the Rockies geared up for their first full-squad spring training workout Monday at Salt River Fields eager for a fresh start after two disappointing seasons. Tracy has said he takes responsibility for the failures.