In this edition of Around The League, we head out to Denver, to check on the state of the Colorado Rockies.
So far we’ve spoken to teams with a ton of history.
While the Rockies are a fairly new franchise, they’ve provided us with plenty of classic baseball moments in their short existence.
The Rockies were very busy this off-season, compiling the most expensive bullpen ever at the time of this post. I was looking to talk to a Rockie fan about the construction of the team, and I think I found the perfect one.
I met Chris on the online message board The Coli.
He’s a great baseball mind and I really think you’ll enjoy what he had to say.
90 Percent Mets: The Rockies are a relatively new team. Do you remember being a fan of any other team before the Rockies came into existence?Chris: The earliest team I remember rooting for is the Toronto Blue Jays…but that’s just because they won two titles during my formative years.9PM: What is the Coors field experience like? Do you remember your first game there?C: Coors Field is great. Hard to believe it’s the 3rd oldest stadium in the NL. I’ve sat in every area of the park and have never had a poor experience. Well, maybe the extra innings game the day after a blizzard. If you can build a snowman it’s probably to cold9PM: Sorry if this is a sore subject. Your Rockies played the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Wildcard game last year. It was their first playoff appearance in quite some time. That Wildcard game was arguably one of the most exciting games of the whole postseason. Could you try and describe the emotions you experienced watching that game as a fan?C: Unfortunately I planned incredibly poorly and was stuck working that night. I was still subject to the emotional swings though. It reminded me a lot of the 1-game playoff against San Diego 10 years ago. Incredible swings of hope and resignation. Still can’t believe a reliever tripled to clinch the game.9PM: The Rockies were very busy this off-season. They have six relievers signed for a total of $45.8 million, the most any team has ever spent on relievers in one season. What do you think of this approach? Are there other areas you feel need to be addressed?C: It’s certainly an interesting approach. And while I’m happy too see them spending money on the on-field product, it’s not without risk. The plan will only work if their young rotation is able to take another step forward. They’re also going to need to find something from the corners other than third base. I’m not sure they’re any better overall than a year ago. That Ian Desmond contact looks as bad now as the day he signed it.9PM: I’m sure you are tired of hearing about this. In terms of putting together a pitching staff, how big of an obstacle is it, playing in the high altitudes in Colorado?C: I’m of the opinion that it’s largely mental and about managing expectations. They’re not going to put up the same numbers as their peers. Its hard to pitch as well or better than someone and see an ERA half a run higher. It wears on you and can really stunt growth and shatter confidence.9PM: What is your opinion of the ownership and front office team they’ve assembled in Colorado?C: Never been a big fan of the ownership. They’ve been too hesitant to spend money despite always drawing well. And when they do spend, it’s rarely in the right spot. They often sacrifice talent, and wins, in favor of “good clubhouse” guys. The promotion of Jeff Bridich three years ago was, finally, a step into the modern, analytic era.9PM: You and I met on the website Thecoli.com. We have been in the same fantasy baseball league for a few years now. It seems like it’s either you or your brother who win the league every year. Is there any stop in sight to that family dynasty?C: Never. Although I feel myself losing interest. But it’s only February so that may change in a month.9PM: Who is one Colorado Rockie you feel is going to turn heads over the next few years? He can be in the farm system or already with the big club.C: If David Dahl is actually healthy, he could be the bat we need in the OF. Further down, it’s hard to not be excited by Brendan Rogers.9PM: How good is Nolan Arenado? What’s it like having such an incredible ballplayer on your team?C: I love Nolan. But if I’m being honest, I think he might be a bit overrated. His home/road splits are pretty stark. Defensively though, he’s unrivaled at the position.9PM: Could you give us a prediction for the 2018 season?C: Being in the same division as the Dodgers makes that kind of a longshot. But they have a solid shot to compete for the WC again.9PM: Finally a two part question. Your favorite Rockie ever?Must win game. Which Colorado Rockies pitcher, past or present, do you want on the mound?C: Dante Bichette or Larry Walker– Has to be Ubaldo. He pitched to a WS and had an all-time stretch in 2010.