August 29, 2008
By: John Fontana
Last year we had Rocktober, the Colorado Rockies’ improbable run to the World Series. I live about 3 miles east of Coors Field and the Rockies were so hot I could see the glow on the night horizon. Thankfully, we have the Democratic National Convention in Denver this year because the Rockies won’t be providing any fall fireworks this post season.
The Rockies, now 12 games under .500, are a glass half full team at the moment.
Why? Because they didn’t have a trade deadline fire sale forcing them to unload players such as outfielder Matt Holliday and pitchers Brain Fuentes. Because they nurtured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki through his tough times this season knowing he’s on stardom’s doorstep. The team could have easily imploded the whole sinking ship, waited to see what floated back to shore and started over.
They didn’t, and even though fans will have to wait another year to see results, a glimpse of the future was visible just the other day. On Aug 17, the Rockies pulled off a victory with its key players doing things they don’t normally do. The team spanked the Nationals 7-2, getting all their runs via home runs but getting no hits (0-for-13) from three of their best batters – Clint Barmes (.288), Matt “Make-me-a-Fathead” Holliday (.339) and Garrett Atkins (.300). But the trio didn’t take the night off. Barmes turned two nifty plays including one to save a run, Holliday made two defensive gems – one racing toward the wall and one racing toward the infield to snag a pop-up. Atkins twice protected the right field line, robbing hitters of not only extra bases but any base at all.
Defense ruled the night and guys who couldn’t get it going on the offensive end still kept their focus on defense. That sounds like a maturing bunch of youngsters to me. The win gave the Rockies a sweep of the series and nine wins in their last 13 road games. And it also gave fans the hope that, next year, a young talented team that knows how to weather adversity and scratch out wins will take the field every game.
Besides a new humidor, what more could you ask for?