I'm going to be straight with you: I'm not handling things well. Like most folk in the area, I didn't enter this season with even a tiny little bit of a clue the Rockies were going to overdeliver, belatedly, on last year's stated goal to "play meaningful games in September." Well, it's September, as late into the month as the calendar can go, and the game today has playoff implications. For the Rockies. The Colorado Rockies.
But unlike most other metro-Denverites, I have spent the entire season shoveling dirt on the Rockies. I'm a pessimist by nature, but this year has made me look a bit absurd. This team will not die, and I feel I only feed its strange resilience with my ongoing if's, or's, and but's. I got really fired up to watch the Rockies game as a fan on Friday night, dressed up, invited friends over, made an event of it. As suited the occasion. But the game itself was such a downer -- it was clear from the first that Brandon Webb had his Brandon Webb thing working and there wasn't much the Rockies could do but bend their knees when they swung and run as fast as they could to first -- that I panicked. I was having flashbacks to 2003 and 1998 with my former long-term baseball commitment, the Cubs. I had never expected in this year of all years to have serious emotional involvement in the Rockies winning or losing any games. I thought at best they'd win 75 games again.
So I've been relentlessly wrong, which is frustrating, and every time I try to take my medicine and admit it, the Rockies tend to swoon. Now I've become superstitious enough of a fan that I believe I may have been having a malign influence to them. I looked true fan commitment in the eye, and I blinked. I gave away my (single) ticket to the game Saturday night. I didn't really watch much of it on TV, preferring for the first time in my life college football for my complete lack of rooting interest. (Although, hey, look at those Cal Bears!) I couldn't bear the thought of a having to see the best season in Rockies history (and way better than any of the sentient seasons I spent as a Cubs fan, no fooling) end with a final on an out-of-town scoreboard. So with my eyes mostly shielded by my hands, I peeked in a couple times. It looked, to be honest, like the opposite of Friday's game. The Edgar Gonzalez thing, if any exists, was not in evidence as the Rockies made the last eight innings a well-deserved Coors victory lap with a four-run first.
Troy Tulowitzki hit a grand slam. He might be good.
Oh dear. I can't possibly watch the game tomorrow, can I? If they lost ugly it would be all my fault. What cruel fate is this? Finally the time I've spent giving the Rockies my intellectual (if not until quite recently my emotional) attention is paying off, and every time I flip over to just peep at the score I see a Rockies reliever turning to watch a double bounce off the wall. It's becoming just eerie enough to really start to spook me. Nope, must stay away at all costs from any information regarding tomorrow's game.
Directly, anyway. I did watch a lot of Milwaukee-San Diego, perhaps perversely, and look how that turned out. Clearly, to maximize the Rockies' mojo Sunday, I should focus intensely on that game with the sound turned off and the part of the screen where the scoreboard crawler runs covered by duct tape.
Of course, if they make the playoffs, then to hell with superstition. I'm going to the games. Besides, the worst will be over and they'll have made the postseason (even though they consider tiebreaker games to be the 163rd, or 164th or 165th, game of the season, they're beyond my wildest expectations and more than enough to make a rare satisified man out of me.