Why I Like the Colorado Rockies in the NL West

Todd Helton, .324 hitter, but past his prime.

Let me say, my ramblings in no way reflect “The Opinion Of The Management.” I like the Colorado Rockies. I liked the Rockies last year. I liked them in 2009. Playing mile-high baseball gives a great home-field (and home-run) advantage. (Looks as if the ball is juiced again this year with early season scoring unusually high, undoubtedly to attract recession-era fans back to the major leagues. The Year Of The Pitcher seems past, and the balls ought to be flying out of Coors Field.) And no matter what the personnel, the Rockies also always seem capable of those weird 20-game winning streaks, as the Oakland Athletics sometimes have in them.

The NL West, like its American League counterpart, is weak. I’m not sold on the Giants. The Dodgers have rookie manager Don Mattingly, who we hope studied the rule book in the off season. (To Donnie Baseball: Your second trip to the mound in the same inning means the pitcher is gone. Hello!) The Diamondbacks I don’t see as a big threat to anyone. The Padres may be a factor, and the Rockies have a difficult interleague schedule against the Tigers at home and the Indians and Yankees on the road. The other side: visiting Denver is one of the hellish experiences for opposing pitchers and their managers.

The Rockies have two mega-stars in Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, who has signed a wealthy multi-year contract, and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (winner of 19 games). The signing of veteran (and former Met) Ty Wigginton should help the offense, and he plays a couple of positions. I like Carlos Gonzalez; I like the staff: Jhoulys Chacin, lefty Jorge De la Rosa, and reliever Matt Belisle.

To echo the words of John Denver: Colorado!


About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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