CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Rockies’

Denver Sports More Fun Off The Field

Posted by The Minkster on December 8, 2010

Rox fan

It's a happy winter for Rox fans

It used to be about this time of year I’m deciding if I can work out a trip to watch the Buffs in their bowl game, anxious about whether the Broncos can win the West or have to go to the playoffs as a Wild Card, and reading that the Rockies did nothing at the Winter Meetings.  Times sure have changed!  Instead I’m contemplating who will be captaining the HindenBUFF and BRONCOtania in the near future while watching the Rockos wheel and deal their way through the offseason.  Have I been beamed into a parallel dimension.

At this point we know it will be an all-star Buffaloes alum coaching staff undertaking the arduous task of leading a beleaguered gridiron team into the Pac-10/12 next fall.  I don’t know if it will work – heck I thought Hawk was a good hire – but it has to be better than the last regime.  Even if these guys that bleed black and gold don’t win big I can’t see the haters digging the fangs in too deep on one of their own. 

Did you see the firing of McKid coming, because I sure didn’t?  I figured he might be gone after this season or Bowlen would keep him on another year figuring a lockout was a high probability relieving the Broncos of carrying three head coaches on the payroll.  Didn’t figure Little Hoodie would be packing up his office this week!    This will certainly be an interesting hire and, despite some naysayers, Dove Valley is still a coveted office in which to hang glory days pictures.

What about those Rockies!  Signing Tulo to a Heltonesque contract was a great move and keeping the #2 pitcher De La Rosa was impressive.  They still need another bat, but it looks like the guys in purple ties are mixing and mingling instead of watching pay-per-view in their hotel rooms at the Winter Meetings.  The Coors Field crew is even going after Michael Young currently under contract with the Rangers.  It’s crazy, but I actually have confidence that the Rox will sign a bat and a safety net for the Iannetta Project.  Ho ho ho, I wish us a merry Christmas Denver fans.

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Counting Feathers After Turkey Weekend

Posted by The Minkster on December 1, 2010

Broncos fan for the night

My Steelers fan cousin in Broncos jersey after losing bet.

Now that the Buffs’ painful football season and Hawk era of love are officially over up in Boulder it seems like an appropriate time to take stock of where Colorado sports are as we sleigh ride into the holidays.  Although the only Colorado team to show-up on the gridiron this fall was the Zoomies, it is still the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans.  Let’s take a moment to rate the teams that strap’em on and sweat for our entertainment during this time of year.  One Rudolph means shopping on Black Friday morning at Cherry Creek Mall would be less painful than watching a game, and five Rudolphs mean you would be forgiven if you traded your child’s sold-out-for-months hot Christmas toy for a ticket to the big game.

  • Air Force Academy Football – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Avalanche – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Rapids – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Broncos – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Nuggets – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Football – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Denver Hockey – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • CU, DU, AFA Men’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • DU and AFA Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer

EVERYBODY GIVE IT UP FOR THE RAPIDS – YOUR 2010 MLS CHAMPS!!  I know soccer can be painful to watch in general, but the championship match against Dallas was a great game with the intensity you would expect in a title bout between two scrappy underdog teams.  Show your love next season for the only Colorado pro team to bring home hardware since the Mammoth had a Gait on the sideline by going to the pitch at Dick’s next spring.

No need to rehash football except to congratulate the Zoomies on bringing the Commander’s Trophy back to the front range.  Two wings up boys!  Looks like the best basketball team in the state might be the CU women roundballers, but they have a tough Big 12 gauntlet to maneuver through including a visit from the Baylor Bears – a team that should’ve ended U Conn’s NCAA record-setting win streak a couple of weeks ago.  I’m excited about the new Boyle regime up in Boulder, but it will take some time to recruit and get his system in place.  The Pios are a young hockey team and keep getting better as the season progresses.  Definitely catch a game at Magness this season.

Back to the pro teams, the Nuggets have been banged up but should keep the playoff streak alive with or without Melo.  The Avs look like a playoff team although still very young and have had to make some trades due to injuries, but catch these guys when they are playing like Sacco says they are capable of and they’ll put one up in the W column.  We should see the “A” in the playoffs again this year and hopefully into the second round.  And last but not least the Rox!  They’re playin’ when they’re not playin’, know what I’m sayin’?  With the lifetime signing of Tulo, getting a deal done with Rosey and actively shopping for a big bat the Rockies are more exciting than McKid’s gang on Sunday afternoon.

Dear Santa, my wish list is short this year: Les Miles hired by the Buffs, Melo signs the Nuggets new contract, the Rox bring Adam Dunn to the Mile High City and Bowlen brings on Elway to help McKid with talent evaluation (see John’s success as Crush owner).  What’s on your sports wish list this holiday season?

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Helton Deserves to Wear Purple Pinstripes

Posted by The Minkster on September 29, 2010

The Denver Post today confirmed that Todd Helton plans on being back in a Rockies uniform next year and finishing out his contract extension through 2012.  Although he has had recurring back problems Helton is still a better first baseman defensively than most guys out there, which really makes a difference when you got a rotisserie at second and a cannon blasting at you from short.  The Toddster was also putting some wood to the ball earlier in the season before he started to experience back pain again.   

Helton isn’t valuable to the team because he can hit 50 dingers each season, but for the defense, work ethic, team commitment and good at-bats that he brings to the table.  I know most baseball fans don’t even think the game has a defensive strategic side, but most of it’s so subtle the average hot dog eating, beer swilling, scalped outfield ticket sitting guy doesn’t even know it’s happening.  Do you realize that the Rockies broke the team fielding record  

Todd Helton

Todd watching another one fly out of the park

 

during the miracle 2007 season?  Defense along with hitting and pitching wins games, which is why Todd still a valuable everyday starter in Colorado.  

One last note before I jump off my soapbox and have a Scooby snack, Vladimir Guerrero is the only major leaguer (with a minimum of 12 years under his belt) to have hit over .300 more often than Helton during his MLB career.  Vlady started his career full-time in 1997 for the Expos and has a .300 or better batting average every year since except 2009 when he hit .295.  His fielding percentage average as an outfielder over 12 years as a regular defensive starter was .963, which is way below Helton’s .996 at first base.  Todd has hit .300 or better 11 of his 13 full seasons with the Rockies and was on track to make it 12 in 2010 until the back started flaring up.  By the way, Vlady has been a DH that last two years, so he only has to play half a game each day.  I think I’ll keep Todd around for another couple of years.  What about you?

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Been a Great Rockies Ride

Posted by The Minkster on September 28, 2010

I have to be straight up and say that I didn’t pick the Rockies to win the West as the majority of prognosticators did back in March, but I was as hopeful as all baseball fans were for their respective teams.  Great starts by Uby and Rosey on the mound got everyone excited and the run at first place in the West right before the All-Star Break made it seem like the Rockies first division title was actually within the grasp. 

As all teams experience during the long baseball season, Colorado had some ups and downs and injuries.  With NL West teams so evenly matched it has come down to another exciting September pennant race with the

Tulo swinging for the fences

Rockos mixing things up.  It’s that time of year when Tulo gets cranking and he really had an amazing run at the finish, but with too little consistent help from other bats except CarGo’s and tired arms on the pitching staff it wasn’t enough to punch a ticket for October.  I’m hoping Jimenez can pick-up #20 to cap off an incredible season and CarGo can take two out of three in the triple crown race, but it is all over but the freebie handouts after the last home game. 

Thanks for a great season Rox and some day when I’m telling BS stories in a nursing home I’ll talk about this season and how it set Colorado up for string of World Series runs.  And, how we all got to see Hall of Famers Tulo, Ubaldo, CarGo, Helton, CY Jr. and Dexy all play in purple pinstripes for all or most of their careers.

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Thanks for Another Rocktober

Posted by The Minkster on October 13, 2009

Mad and sad Rox season over

Mad and sad Rox season over

My friends and I went to both NLDS Rockies games and are still trying to recover, and thaw out, from the disappointment.  It was an exciting ride as Drew Litton captured so well in his rendition of Colorado’s season.  The guys had a great run and just ran out of luck, along with healthy arms, by the end of it.  For such a young ball team they handled the pressure really well, but I think being home and having the burden of producing another World Series run on their shoulders was too much to bear. 

Tulo is one of the best shortstops in the league, but putting that kind of pressure on a young guy can be daunting.  Yes, he came through in 2007 but by most accounts (and in Todd Helton’s opinion) he was too young to know better.  Hopefully he will chalk this up to experience and it will provide building blocks for years to come, but it sure is hard to swallow now.  Also, remember Houston Street is a young guy of 26 and may have come back too soon from his biceps tendon strain that occurred the beginning of September.  Streeter had 35 saves in 37 attempts coming into the postseason, but he seemed a little shaky since coming back. 

Tulo in warmer weather

Tulo in warmer weather

For the most part this young team will come back in tact next year and be another year wiser.  Atkins will most likely not be tendered a new contract with Stewart moving into the starters role.  It is highly doubtful we’ll see Giambi back in purple pinstripes since he was a hired gun for the playoff run.  Francis should be back healthy and hopefully back in the ace spot.  Chacin and Smith will be given a shot at earning rotation spots in the spring.  Buckholz will be back after elbow surgery and Embree will be a welcome addition back.  The Rockies have a solid pitching staff when healthy and all the main position players are committed to contracts next year, so fans have a lot to look forward to next season.  In the mean time, fans have McKid’s Broncos, a solid Nuggets team and young feisty Avs group to help erase the sour memories of this week.  By March we’ll be talking about what a great year the Rockies had in 2008, and looking forward to spring snow and baseball at Coors Field.

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Rockies Get No Respect

Posted by The Minkster on October 8, 2009

We stick out our tongues at the MLB

We stick out our tongues at the MLB

Our Colorado Rockies are back in the playoffs for the second time in the last three years – much to the chagrin of Major League Baseball.  Fox decided that the Rockies at the Dodgers game played on April 18 was worthy of a nationally televised game, but that was it.  Of course, that game was BT (before Tracy) and the Rockies lost 9-5 where the bats didn’t show up until the sixth inning.  If you recall the Rockies had exactly ZERO regular season nationally televised games during their 2007 World Series year.  I get the fact that the major market teams with long histories draw TV ratings, but I still think it stinks.  Does anybody outside of the northeast look forward to a regular season Red Sox/Yankee game anymore?  I’d rather Tivo that Joy of Painting guy on PBS that teaches you how to freehand landscapes!

Gold Glove Award

Gold Glove Award

There was a video floating around the internet promoting the MLB Playoffs with Jon Bon Jovi belting into the microphone and spliced with season highlights.  Do you think there was one shot of the Rox in it?  Nope, nada, not a single one!  Back in 2007 Colorado broke the MLB record for team fielding percentage and not a single Rockie was awarded a Gold Glove.  If that had been the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs or Dodgers multiple players would have that shiny coated glove in their trophy case. 

I know we should be used to it with the dissing of Broncos in the Hall of Fame, the Buffs having to share the national title with a team from the then weak ACC Conference, and complete disregard for the Nuggets during the playoff run this past spring.  Let’s just think of it as giving our guys a little more motivation to win as underdogs than the big boys toting their oversized wallets.

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Weekend Wrap-up

Posted by The Minkster on October 5, 2009

Best time of year!

Best time of year!

There was too much to make note of after this huge sports weekend, so I’m just going to touch on everything today.  Unless you live in a cave outside of Boulder, you know the Broncos passed their first “test” of the season – as if playing any other NFL team is Powder Puff football.  And if  you are just a passing fan you should know that the Rockies didn’t win the West, but are in the postseason.  What you may not know is that the Rapids missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot, the Roller Dolls are off to Philadelphia, and the Avs remain undefeated.

The Crush is back!

The Crush is back!

Let’s start with Orange Crush Redux.  The Broncos passed their first real test, as the crow eaters are calling it, by beating the Cowboys 17-10 at Invesco Field yesterday.  The vaunted D gave up 10 points in the first half, but after the break shut down the league’s second leading rushing team and sacked Romo 5 times in the game.  After four weeks of competition the Broncos defense is ranked second in the NFL behind the Giants in total yards allowed.  Here’s something I bet you didn’t know, Denver’s running game is ranked fourth overall – just behind the Cowboys which dropped two spots after visiting Mile High.  Just a note to all you season ticket holders that still don’t believe – if you’re going to sell your tickets pawn them off to a Bronco fan instead of a visiting team fan.  It was embarrassing to hear the announcers say there was a large contingent of Cowboy fans in the stands yesterday and you could HEAR them! 

Toad isn't the only one with a ride.

Toad isn't the only one with a ride.

Local baseball fans finally stepped off Mr. Tracy’s Wild Ride on Saturday night when the Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-0, after a Frankie Morales meltdown in the 7th, to win the NL West.  Colorado had the Dodgers back on their heels and wondering if they made a mistake waiting to pop the champagne in celebration of the postseason until they captured the division crown.  LA celebrated with the So Cal fans, but the Rockies shrugged it off since they had already sprayed their celebratory beverages.  The NLDS starts for the Rox Wednesday in Philadelphia at 12:37 PM Colorado time on TBS.  I’m guessing employers might see a spike in sick days this week or at least extended lunches.

If you have followed the Rapids since the team donned the green and yellow unis, then you are aware that the team hasn’t tasted the postseason since 2006 after six straight appearances.  Colorado could have clinched a spot in the postseason with three points this past weekend, but could only muster another tie.  The team (40 points) is idle this weekend and could be overtaken by New England (38 points) and drop into the eighth and final playoff spot with two games left in the season.  The Rapids have the ability to score, but seem to have gotten cold feet over the last four matches.  They all ended in ties and Colorado hasn’t found the back of net more than once in any of those games.  Get ready for another nail-biting end to a Colorado team’s season with the Rapids visiting Dallas and rival Salt Lake to finish the regular season.

WFTDA Nationals

WFTDA Nationals

For those of you that missed it, the Denver roller derby teams hosted the WFTDA West Regional tournament (Derby on the Rocks) this past weekend, and both Denver teams earned a trip to the National Tournament in Philadelphia to be held November 13-15.  Although the Oly Rollers from Olympia, Washington won the event the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and Denver Roller Dolls took the #2 and #3 spots, respectively.  Only the top three seeds from each of the four regional tournaments are awarded a spot at nationals, so congratulations are in order for our Denver teams.  Good luck in Philly!

Again, unless you’ve been hanging out in a tent at RMNP the past week you know the Avs kicked off their season on Thursday (same day the Rockies clinched the WC spot) with a tribute to longtime captain and future hall-of-famer Joe Sakic that culminated with the raising of his number to the rafters of the Can.  The young team was so amped they went out and whupped up on the San Jose Sharks (last year’s Pacific Division winner) by a final score of 5-2.  Then Craig Anderson, the newly acquired 28 year-old net minder hailing originally from Illinois, pitched a shutout (3-0) against the Canucks on Saturday for the second Avs win of the season.  Colorado is 2-0 and leading the Northwest Division!

For sports fans in the Rocky Mountain region it’s another fun and glorious fall with playoff contenders fighting for titles and high hopes for teams early in their seasons.  Let’s hope the Rockies and Rapids can take us on another long wild postseason trip.  Although I didn’t mention the colleges, there is still hope for conference titles and bowl games in the young season.  Who needs a Disney ticket to catch a wild ride if you’re a Colorado sports fan!?

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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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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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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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