Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
As Good As It Gets
2006-08-17 21:10
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The Rockies won again today, continuing their general trend of winning about as often as they lose. If I didn't know any better I would think they were a .500 team. How has it been this year? Well, it's been better than last season. And several of the seasons before that. But Colorado continues to be a day late and dollar short when it comes to seizing the moment. Take that 18-inning game the other night. Not only did the Rockies fail to win a game they had ample opportunities to take from a weak Arizona bullpen, but they also managed to set a Coors Field record for longest game on the same night the Cubs played a two-in-one marathon themselves. You'd think the longest Rockies home game ever would be enough to allow the team to lead the morning highlights shows for the first time all season, but no way. Instead it was a minute on the Cubs and a half-sentence about the poor Rockies, the team the Eastern Time Zone forgot.

It's true that Colorado hasn't lost a series in some time, but the incendiary play of the Dodgers has made earlier excitement about a division crown seem very foolish, and while still mathematically very much in the wild card hunt, the Rockies simply don't have the air of a playoff team, even one in 2006's spectacularly watered-down National League. But...they are going to win more than 75 games. That was all I asked for going into the season. I didn't think the division would repeat its pathetic showing from last season, something that Los Angeles at long last is addressing. The fact that the NL West did look like a ghost division for three-quarters of the season ought not to diminish our opinion of the Rockies, who are improving while spending very little money. If their pitching is this good next year, and why wouldn't it be, they really ought to have no excuse not to invest in a hitter or two. And there's all those young guys coming, or at least that's what they tell us. This is progress, not a blip. I hope.

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