Ladies and gentleman, Rockies baseball is finally coming. I waited a long off season for Friday, April 1st to come…and here it is. Like a kid on Christmas, this is the gift I have been waiting for. I just returned from Scottsdale, Arizona, where I took in some Cactus League Spring Training. I had never attended any games before, even though I lived in Arizona for the past 4 years. Sad, I know…but the Rockies look sharp.
The Salt River Fields complex is ridiculous. It is so nice, and absolutely huge. With lawn seating available and tickets ranging from only $8 to $25, there’s truly not a bad seat in the house. And after visiting Phoenix Municipal Stadium to see the Rockies play the Oakland A’s, I appreciated the new Salt River stadium even more.
So here’s a toast to the Rockies leading the National League standings in Spring Training, and to that momentum carrying into the first month of the season. Buckle up and get ready for the ride…this season will be a good one.
Denver, The Beautiful
Earlier today, as I drove South on I-25 after meeting a new friend for coffee, I was slightly taken back by the beauty of the city of Denver. Obviously the state of Colorado is known for it’s scenic landscapes featuring snow-caped mountains and acres upon acres of open wilderness… But that isn’t necessarily MY Colorado.
I’ve grown up in this city, and besides college, lived here my whole life. The idea of the concrete jungle doesn’t appeal to many, and wears numerous individuals down. But after leaving the coffee shop I passed a snowy Coors Field on my way home and with Downtown Denver as a back drop, I saw a level of beauty that others would see when they think of the scenic Colorado known on postcards.
I cant help but see the city, along with facilities like Coors Field, Pepsi Center, and Invesco Field at Mile High, as beautiful - and in the setting they’re in, it makes Denver all the more sumptuous.
The 2011 Rockies
This year is going to be a tight race in the NL West. What used to be hailed as one of the worst divisions in baseball, now produces some of the tightest competition in the MLB. Depending on how the Dodger’s decide to come out this year, and how the Padres rebound from losing their all-star first baseman (Adrian Gonzales), the division will most likely be producing the NL Wild Card winner. The World Series defending champ San Francisco Giants are atop the division in many’s minds, with the Colorado Rockies close behind, making this season in the NL West look like it’s going to be a thriller down to the stretch - just as 2010 came down to the Padres vs Giants series finale.
The Rockies have some questions to answer at the back end of their rotation, along with the question of who can consistently play and produce at second base and in the 5th spot of the batting order. With Carlos Gonzales and Troy Tulowitzki hitting 3 and 4 respectively, the management needs to find someone who can give these hitting-machines a chance to score runs.
Look for the Rockies to push to win the division this year by improving on their road wins. They’ve proven they can win at home, and this season they will also prove that they can do so on the road. Every win will matter, so it’s also going to be necessary to win games in April, which the club has had a problem with in the past.
MLB Dream Job
I applied for the MLB Dream Job position today and on the application there were a couple intriguing questions about the upcoming MLB season. I figured I would also post my answers to these questions here, since it is purely opinion, and I haven’t written in a while. Keep in mind that these had a 500 word max. so I didn’t elaborate as much as I would like to, however I probably will soon. So here are my thoughts:
In the first part, tell us about yourself and why you love baseball.
1) Since 1993, when the MLB decided on an expansion team in Denver, I have become a huge baseball fan. Although my favorite team, the Rockies, have definitely experienced some failures, it has made me grow to appreciate the entire league. Baseball is one of the most pure forms of sport in that players display a set of skills unique only to this game (pitching, fielding, batting, base-running). In a game where age has not impeded success, and where hot streaks can carry teams to greatness.
What will be the biggest MLB storyline of 2011? Explain why.
2) I believe the biggest MLB story line of 2011 will be that of the Phillies starting rotation. The rotation is already being hyped as possibly one of the game’s all-time best, however, they do not have a solid fifth starter in place. If the starters do well, they will be praised, and if the do poorly the “what went wrong” discussion is sure to ensue. There is already a high amount of expectation coming from the organization and the media, and it will take more than just pitching to win games.
Broncos Hire John Fox
John Fox is a 55 year old, peppered-haired, professional football coach. He has been in the league before, so there was no question of his experience. He is announced today as the new head coach of the once power-house Denver Broncos NFL franchise. As badly as he needed a new job, since he was released by his former team the Carolina Panthers (where he held a 2 - 14 record for the 2010 season); the Denver Broncos needed him more. This pairing seems appropriate and hopefully a wise choice for the organization and its new Director of Football Operations, John Elway, as the choice has been the first major one Elway has made in the Broncos’ front office. Coming off of the organization’s worst season in franchise history, the once mighty Denver Broncos, with a fan base stretching largely through the Rocky Mountain Region, was almost caught in a bind. With said as having some of the leagues most loyal fans, the organization was beginning to lose their trust and satisfaction. Elway has made a smart move in my opinion, hiring a tenured coach with the leadership skills the front office currently lacks. In 2010 the Broncos’ defense was atrocious, ranked last in both points allowed and total overall defense. Fox brings to Denver the defensive coaching mind, something former coach Josh McDaniels lacked. This is not about what McDaniels did wrong, but more about what needs to be done right. Fox brings a new energy and spunk that will hopefully allow the Broncos to regain fan’s trust and approval by once again topping AFC West foes, and making a playoff bid - which the organization has not done successfully since 2005. Fox will not be running player out of town as did McDaniels’ ego, instead he is excited to continue the things the organization has been doing for years. “The Broncos have a culture of winning, and I am excited to continue that legacy. I can’t wait to get to work,” stated Fox. Quarterback Tim Tebow will also be a topic of interest discussed in Fox’s upcoming meetings with the press. Although, Elway stressed in his discussions of hiring a new head coach that they were looking for someone who is interested in playing Tebow in the upcoming season.