CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Archive for September, 2009

Braves Still Chopping at Rockies

Posted by The Minkster on September 30, 2009

Grrrrrrrrr!

Grrrrrrrrr!

Since the day the Rockies were born the Braves have owned them!  According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Rockies have a .371 all-time winning percentage against the Braves.  That is the worstagainst any MLB team that Colorado has faced more than 25 times up to this point in their history!  Guess which team is next.  Yes, the hated Dodgers!  The Rockies have a .424 winning percentage against the NL West foes.  Just in case you are wondering, the Blake Street Bombers own a .443 and .507 lifetime percentage against the Phillies and Cards, respectively.

I’m not purporting that the past is any indication of the future, but I am saying that I really don’t like the Braves and tired of them kicking sand in our face and stealing our food/beer every time we invite them to a picnic!  This season the Rockies have split the series 8-8, but with the new tiebreaker rules the boys in purple pinstripes would travel to Atlanta for a 1 game playoff for the right to compete in the NLDS.  That’s because the Braves had a better record against their division opponents (NL East) than did the Rox (NL West). 

My disdain for the Dodgers outweighs my angst against the Braves, but I’d have to find a Bobby Cox pinata to wack on if the Rockies are ambushed by Atlanta.  If Iannetta, Giambi, Tulo and Stewart keep up their late game heroics we won’t have to worry about seeing Bobby Cox and his Braves’ version of 2007 Rockies next Monday.  Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if the Fish and Mats stepped up and helped a fellow MLB newbie out.

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Dolls High Seed in Regionals

Posted by The Minkster on September 28, 2009

If you are a Colorado sports fan you know that the Rox are leading the Wild Card race in the NL, the Denver Broncos are sitting atop the AFC West at 3-0 and the Rapids control their own playoff destiny, but did you know our very

Shotgun Betties vs Slamazons

Shotgun Betties vs Slamazons

own Denver Roller Dolls Mile High Club is ranked #2 in the West Region by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)?  Next weekend the Roller Dolls will host the Western Regional Roller Derby Tournament (Derby on the Rocks) at the Bladium, which is the last of four regional tournaments where teams can earn a spot in the finals in Philadelphia the weekend of November 13-15 to crown a national champion.  If you aren’t familiar with the 21st century version of roller derby, it has the atmosphere of a Mammoth game, timing aspects of soccer, shot clocks as in basketball, line changes similar to hockey, and the quick scorign and contact of arena football.  No fake WWE throwdowns here – these girls hit concrete when they land!

If you haven’t been to a match you should go check it out.  The sport has evolved over the last five years here in Denver, and I’ve seen a big jump in skill level, game knowledge, strategy and overall talent.  There are three home teams in Denver (Bad Apples, Green Barrettes, and Shotgun Betties) along with the All-Star travel team Mile High Club.  During the season they compete against each other along with Colorado teams from outside Denver metro and across the country.  The Roller Dolls season runs from March to November, and each player pays ($40/month) for the opportunity to get the crap knocked out of her while circling a flat track on the old-fashioned four-wheel skates.  Players must tryout then be chosen to particpate in the one month training camp called the Dollhouse, after successful completion they are eligible to be drafted by one of the regular teams.  If a player isn’t drafted she can continue to improve her skills at practices and test up into the A or travel teams anytime during the season. 

Green Barrettes vs Bad Apples

Green Barrettes vs Bad Apples

These players must show they can do more than skate backwards to “Let It Whip”, they are put through a set of drills including cone sprints, jumps, falls and hitting skills.  Yes, there is a strategy to falling.  The league currently has about 100 active players who practice four days per week for a couple of hours each session.  The Dolls work on agility, endurance, derby skills and core body strengthening.  Many were speed skaters or hockey players in their younger years, but anyone with a competitive spirit and desire to smash into someone can tryout.

There is one local match remaining (Oct. 24) in the season between the Bad Apples and Shotgun Betties to crown the Dolls league champion coupled with a men’s bout.  The early match-up pitted the Denver Shotgun Betties against the Pikes Peak Slamazons up from the Springs.  The visitors were overmatched, but the wispy and agile Clitty Clitty Bang! Bang! did her best to put points on the board for the ‘Zons.  Too many good jammers (those are the speedsters and only member of the team that can score) on the Betties, and the marked difference in strategic maneuvers and skill level made this match lopsided in favor of the home team.  The final score was 185-39. 

The second game of the double header had two Denver teams face off with the Bad Apples taking on the Green Barrettes.  It was a close match in the early going, but the Apples had a good lead on the Barrettes by halftime.  It looked like it was going to turn into another blowout until the Barrettes

Green Barrettes vs. Bad Apples

Green Barrettes vs. Bad Apples

made a late run to close the gap.  With a little over three minutes left to play the Barrettes had the lead jammer (the only player that can score points in a jam) and were positioned to potentially grab enough points to take the lead, but Coach Joe Mamma called off the jam (only the lead jammer can do that prior to the two minutes expiring in a jam).  I’m guessing he thought he could get a better match-up in the next jam, but Fonda Payne lapped the pack like they were in an 80’s roller rink and racked up 20+ points before the two minutes mercifully expired.  Fonda Payne had been racking up points for the Apples all night, but she was knifing through the opponents blockers like they were hot butter in that late pivotal jam.  The Green Barrettes made a final push in the last two minutes, but couldn’t overcome Fonda Payne and her Bad Apples for a final score of 141-133. 

The Roller Dolls play their regular season games at the Denver Coliseum (family friendly venue) and the Filmore (16 years of age and over only) where PBR, nachos and pretzles are standard fare.  The Western Regionals will be played at the Bladium on October 2-4, and either one day or three day passes to the event are available.  You will be impressed by the athleticism and strategy of today’s roller derby and I encourage you to go support our local Dolls this weekend.

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Tracy Fancy Pants

Posted by The Minkster on September 24, 2009

The Rockies are tearing it up and are only the third team in MLB history to win 63 games in a season after firing its skipper.  Given this little stat it is hard to fault Tracy in any moves that he makes, but don’t you think he’s getting a little fancy with the bullpen?  I know, I know, after pulling the starter it becomes all about match-ups.  The problem is I just don’t buy it.  Sometimes the righty lefty thing works, but sometimes it doesn’t.  The way I see it, if a guy has his stuff on any given night then leave him in there until he screws up!  For example, why did Street leave after getting two out on Tuesday night!?  Yes, it was his first game back, but he had only thrown a handful of pitches and that would have left more options in the bullpen for Tracy in ninth when the Padres came roaring back on the Rockies! 

Last night he used 6 guys from the pen in a 6-3 loss.  What if the bats had come alive and the Rox tied it up in the bottom of the ninth?  How many guys would he have left for extra innings and not tire out arms for the big series against St. Louis this weekend?  The bullpen is 21-18 with a 4.43 ERA on the season and has given up 420 hits in 432 1/2 innings.  At one point earlier in the season the staff had 7 of the 10 guys up from the Sky Sox.  We aren’t talking a veteran bullpen here, so you have to expect some streakiness.  All I’m saying is ride the horse a little longer before saddling up another youngster.  It will be a wild ride in the playoffs for sure!

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Bring on the Old Guys

Posted by The Minkster on September 21, 2009

That's what I'm talkin' about!

That's what I'm talkin' about!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE THIS DEFENSE!!!!  We all like to see the exciting offensive plays  where a running back breaks off a 60 yard TD run or a receiver climbs the ladder in the back of the end zone for the one-handed grab for six, but defense is smack down time.  Maybe it was the fact I kicked my little baby carrier off the counter and landed on my noggin’ when I was 6 months old or the pent up frustration over the Buffs lack of swagger, either way I love the new aggressive 3-4 Broncos defense!

Any Broncos fan worth their salt has seen flashes of Elvis Dumervil as the sack master in the past, but the Shanny defenses could never keep consistent pressure on the QB and stop the run.  With a very athletic front three that have l since the first ugly 2009 preseason game the rest of the D is free to blitz and pick-off passes.  Big and athletic linebacker Andra Davis leads the Broncos with 19 tackles with 10 of those against his old team (Cleveland) this past Sunday.  Champ and I are both happy that he won’t lead the team in tackles again this year.  There are four DBs over the age of 30 and they are giving quarterbacks fits.  These guys may have lost a step since their early 20’s, but knowledge, anticipation and trust in teammates makes this over-the-hill gang a scary bunch.

Granted the Broncos have Cleveland’s number with 9 straight wins and Brady Quinn is no Tom Brady, but the Bengals are an explosive offense that put up 31 against the Packers in Lambeau.  This defense will be fun to watch and if it can stay healthy will carry the Broncos into the playoffs.

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Westword Gets Its Sports Talk On

Posted by The Minkster on September 18, 2009

Joe Tone of the Westword and blogger Vince Grzegorek discuss biggest loser in upcoming Broncos vs Browns game this weeked. Hysterical!!

Latest Word

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Rox Escape Alcatraz With Lead

Posted by The Minkster on September 18, 2009

Getting down to crunch time!

Getting down to crunch time!

The Rockies headed out to the Golden State for a 6 game road trip after going 9-1 at home.  As has been a disturbing trend throughout the season when visiting the left coast, the Rockos lost both series and were only able to win one game in each bookending the trip.  Despite losing ground on the Dodgers (now 5 games back), which swept the Pirates, the boys in purple stayed 3 1/2 games ahead of the Giants in the NL Wild Card race.

With only two weeks left in the season, the Rockies are in the drivers seat of a Prius heading into the Collegiate Peaks.  After this weekend in the desert, Colorado plays 9 of its last 12 at home where the bats have heated up of late.  That’s the only bright spot in a home stand that includes two teams out of playoff contention but with spoiler attitudes in San Diego and Milwaukee, and Central Division leader St. Louis.  I’m sure the last regular season weekend series, which just happens to feature ex-Rockie Matt Holliday, will be well attended and electric.  I for one plan on catching one of those games in person and bringing my boo box for use whenever Matt steps to the plate or makes a play. 

The Dodgers on the other hand fly to Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego after a home stand against the Giants this weekend.  Can you say division title?  If the Rockos can get on another home hot streak they should have the NL Wild Card birth wrapped up before going into LA for the last three games of the season.  The Giants have that three game series against the Dodgers this weekend, but finish the season against the D-backs (2 series) and Cubs all of which have the potential for SF sweeps.  We all know the Rockies will be lucky to pick-up one game in the City of Angels, so let’s hope the Blake Street Boys can get this thing wrapped up before then.

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MLB Decides Coins Are Outdated

Posted by The Minkster on September 17, 2009

The Lords of the MLB have decided that using a coin flip to determine home field advantage is archaic and have instituted a new tiebreaker system to be implemented this season.  Head-to-head regular season records are the first step in deciding home field for the play-in game, then it moves to division winning percentage, and finally second half intraleague record.  So, the best teams through 162 games are awarded home field throughout the playoffs – what a novel idea!  Now, if we could get most important series of the season (aka, World Series) to get in line instead of using a high school type popularity contest to determine home field we would have a real grown-up postseason system.

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Buffs Can Still Salvage Season

Posted by The Minkster on September 14, 2009

Too early to give up on the Buffs

Too early to give up on the Buffs

If you haven’t heard by now, the Buffs were blown out by Toledo in Ohio on Friday night by a score of 54-38 and they looked just as bad as the score indicates.  Although losing the first two games to non-BCS conference teams seems like a good reason for fans to pack it in, I must say, “Not so fast my golden horned friends!”  The way I like to look at it is that Colorado has 4 “preseason” games to gel before starting their conference schedule.

I stand by my prediction that CU will win the North no matter how ridiculous it sounds right now.  Anyone that follows the Big 12 knows that the two teams to beat this year are Kansas and Mizzu – sorry Nebraska, but not your year.  After losing their leader when Chase Daniels graduated, the Tigers will have an up and down year.  That leaves Kansas as the outright favorite, but after feasting on cupcakes and a Big 12 opener against Iowa State they will be tested.  The Jayhawks have Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas on the schedule after visiting Boulder on October 17.   I can see CU pulling a Barnett and backing into the championship game by taking care of business in the North.

The Buffs should continue to improve as the O line grows up on the job, and Lil’ Hawk adds another receiver to his thin corps with Markques Simas finally seeing action this weekend.  The four-star recruit from San Diego was redshirted in 2007, academically ineligible in 2008 and suspended for the first two games of this year.  The defense will get better because they just can’t get any worse.  With 7 days of prep and licking their wounds fans should expect an improved team against Wyoming this weekend.  Don’t give up on the Golden Buffaloes yet, there is still hope in this young season.

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Buffs Enjoy Holiday Weekend Elsewhere

Posted by The Minkster on September 8, 2009

Buffs, what happened?

Buffs, what happened?

I must confess, I had high hopes for the 2009 version of the Colorado Buffaloes.  That is until somewhere around 7:00 PM on Sunday night.  Prior to this weekend I figured the Buffs would be 4-0 going into Austin in October, and had on gold tinted glasses when I bet a brew and bragging rights on my bold prognostication.  Not only did the embarrassment of the loss in the annual rivalry game with CSU hit me in the wallet, but it took all the suspense out of the season.  The boys in black looked like they were playing in their first scrimmage together and really didn’t care much about winning.  It wasn’t all their fault, Hawk and his staff were out coached and apparently lost out on the recruiting trail along the way too.

Yes, we all know that CU has no receiving corps to speak of this year and it was made painfully obvious in the first game.  Looks like any team in the Big 12 will be able to cover the receivers one-on-one and load the box.  That should keep the Buffs four quick backs bottled up most of the season.  With an O line that can stand toe-to-toe with the Broncos front, I’m shaking my head watching Little Hawk running for his life when he drops back and our backs running sideways instead of north/south.  The defense is young and mistakes were expected, but the CSU receivers were setting out lawn chairs, umbrellas and sipping frozen drinks waiting for Grant Stucker passes while the guys in black must have been getting the ice.  The backs can’t shoulder all the blame, because Stucker had time to check off receivers twice and eat an energy bar before any D linemen got anywhere close to dirtying his white jersey.

I do have to give the Buffs credit for not giving up and making some key adjustments at the half.  They came out with new found energy and a passing game.  The outcome could’ve been different if Scotty McKnight hadn’t been decked by CSU and lost the ball.  If not for that hit it would’ve been a first down deep in Rams territory instead of the ball going the other way and McKnight wondering what city he was in.  That was a huge momentum shift and CU couldn’t get back into an offensive groove although McKnight later returned to the game.

An announcement came today that Tyler Hansen will try to redshirt this season, which will give him an additional year separation from the coach’s son.  That was the plan last year, but due to injury Hansen had to play.  If Little Hawk goes down again this year we’ll probably see freshman Seth Lobato take the snap from center. 

Toledo put up some impressive numbers through the air last week against Purdue and will be a tough match-up on the road (I can’t believe I just had to type that).  Toledo senior quarterback Aaron Opelt  threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in a 52-31 loss at Purdue, so look for another long day for the young Buffs D with only three days to make corrections.

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Rockies Sign Pitching Help at Deadline

Posted by The Minkster on September 1, 2009

Ready to Rock and Roll

Ready to Rock and Roll

How exciting is it for the Rockies to be in contention for the entire second half of the season!?  Not only do the fans care about the outcome of each game, but the Rox are wheeling and dealing for the stretch run instead of calling up prospects for experience sake on September 1 (when the roster can expand to 40 players).  The Rox picked up right-handed pitcher Jose Contreras from the White Sox yesterday, who will probably fill Cookie’s starting slot.  As a Rockies fan, did you even know there was a deadline for playing in the postseason?  Yep, for a player to be eligible for postseason play he had to be acquired before 10 PM MDT yesterday. 

Conrtreras joins Rockies for stretch run

Conrtreras joins Rockies for stretch run (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, 8/8/09)

In case you missed it, Jason Giambi has been working on his timing down in the Springs since being released by the A’s in August.  He not only brings a home run threat to the plate, but gives the Rox a guy in the clubhouse that has had many trips through the postseasonin his career.  It’s almost a given he’ll be traveling north today to pull on the pinstripes against the Mets.  The day before Giambi was signed, Russ Ortiz was meeting the boys in the Springs.  Ortiz is a veteran righty released by Houston and the Yankees Minor league club before signing with the Sky Sox.  He’ll bring veteran experience and an option as a starter, but will remain in the Springs for that team’s playoff run until the Rockies need him. 

If the bats can get hot again and the Rox have Baby G and Dexy healthy, they should be able to hold off the Giants and other NL contenders in the Wild Card race.  This three series home stand (Mets, D-back, and Reds) should provide Colorado with an opportunity to create some space in the standings as long as the boys still believe in Coors Field magic.  We do!

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