It was looking like Deja Vu for a while there, with the Rox winning 10 in a row and setting the stage to put the Padres in the rear view mirror after a three game series at Coors/Miller/Molsen. But things fell apart in a hurry when the Blake Street Bumblers fumbled away a couple of close games that they normally win on the home turf and plummeted to a daunting three and a half games behind division-leading San Diego. This makes today’s last game of the season series with the Padres almost a required victory to get Colorado within two and a half games with 16 left to play after today. Fortunately, most of the remaining games are against non-contending teams like the Dodgers (6), Diamondbacks (3) and Cardinals (1). Unfortunately, starting Thursday the next six are on the road. To have a reasonable chance to win a division or wild card berth in the playoffs, the Rockies must win at least 14 of their remaining 17 games, in the eyes of the Baseball Observer, because from the beginning of the season, the Observer predicted that it would take 93 wins to make the playoffs in the National League. That’s a pretty tough row for the Rockies to hoe, only losing 3 more games out of the next 17, so don’t use one today. Three strikes left, use them wisely.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
They are the defending National League Champs, just as the Baseball Observer predicted before the season last year. In fact, the Observer has been uncannily accurate with Rockies predictions for all 15 years of the Colorado team’s existence. That puts the pressure on for 2008. Virtually every media outlet outside of Denver is predicting that the Rockies will return to form in 2008, and finish fourth in the West, ahead of only the woeful Giants of San Francisco. The pundits feel that the “Rocktober Streak”, when Clint’s cadre won an amazing 20 of 21 games, was a class A, lead-pipe fluke. They say most of the team had career years on the mound, at the plate, and in the field. They don’t have any respect for Hurdle as a manager, and they don’t think the team can escape major injuries to key players as they did in 2007. On the other hand, the Denver media outlets all predict the Rockies will easily advance to the World Series and will win it in 2008.
As usual, they are both wrong. The Rockies did perform as a 4th place team up until the last three weeks of the season, and the stretch run was not so much a fluke as a series of fortunate events. As a result of the streak and the visit to the Fall Classic, the Rockies have finally moved to the next level. They have progressed beyond the perennial last or next to the last place team into the land of solid mediocrity. Last year, we compared them to the Montreal Expos of the 1980’s who had good teams because they recruited great young talent, but never moved into greatness because they couldn’t afford to sign their stars to long term contracts. The Rockies are in the same boat. They have managed to sign the current group of stars, but they won’t be able to sign the next group to fill up the holes they need to plug to move into the dynasty role. So, the Rockies are will remain mediocre. They had their moment in the sun, and now they will settle into the annoying Chicago Cubs syndrome, coming close year after year, but never approaching the dizzying heights of 2007.
We believe Colorado will finish 2nd in the Western Division in 2008, and probably won’t be good enough to be the Wild Card. Furthermore, 2008 will be a prototype year for many to come. Colorado fans will remain entranced by the team, and remembering 2007, they will spend the end of each season breathlessly waiting for another streak that will never come. What certainly will come are higher prices. They may even get to the playoffs one of these years, but probably won’t make it back to the World Series in any of our lifetimes.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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