Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Every Headline I Tried Felt Like a Jinx
2007-10-03 22:37
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Man, everything sets up too well. After the season just completed, it doesn't feel like the playoffs should be this... relaxing. What do you want to see happen in the first game of a playoff series on the road? Well, you hope your ace beats their ace (check), your bullpen holds down the other team's hitting stars (yep) and your hitting star does something decisive (Matt Holliday's solo homer made Manny Corpas's job a lot easier). Other than to say that, sorry, Chase Utley, but the Rockies have another lefty starter going tomorrow, I don't want to break down the series any more than that. I feel like the only thing I can do is damage.

So let's see what writers elsewhere have to say, why don't we? Sure, there is a disappointing number of writers out there -- professional baseball writers -- who don't know the names of any of the players on the Rockies and have picked the Phillies to win their series for no reason other than that to pick Colorado would force them to actually DO THEIR JOBS and learn those players' names. But there are some smart guys to whom none of what the Rockies have done in September and October comes as a surprise.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune: "I think the last team to qualify for the playoffs is the strongest in the NL." Well, thanks. Now we're going to catch Chicago luck, and that's not what you want following your team around in October.

ESPN's Jayson Stark: "The Team That Never Loses." Kind of unwieldy for a T-shirt slogan, but it has its appeal.

(Our own) Cliff Corcoran, "The Rockies are proof that... often what is thought of as good pitching is actually good defense. Outside of strikeouts, walks, home runs, and errors, it's often impossible to tell where to separate the two. The Rockies this season have done an excellent job of suppressing the last three outcomes on that list, and where they might lack in strikeouts, they compensate with great defense. Mix in a powerful offense, and it all adds up to a team with a 1-0 lead in the NLDS." Powerful? Really? I might choose a more judicious, measured word like "functional" or "acceptable."

Christina Kahrl, Baseball Prospectus: "The Phillies will win it five when Hamels beats the Rockies a second time." It's always good to be going against the stathead grain because as we all know, that sh-- don't work in the playoffs. And there's a good example in the BP piece of why teams should never fire their entire pro scouting staffs and just subscribe to BP's premium service: "One of their most important supporting players, Brad Hawpe, is really a platoon player without value against lefties," Kahrl writes. Anybody who has been watching the games down the stretch knows that one of the single biggest things that got the ball rolling on the Rockies' win streak and playoff run was Hawpe's sudden mastery of southpaws. (Full disclosure: Hawpe was 0-for-4 today.)

This one is either a breath of fresh air or chilling to the bone, depending on for how long you've been following Colorado baseball: according to the Denver Post, the Rockies will raise their payroll by a "significant" degree in 2008. All that's mentioned in the text of the article is the cost of extending current roster talent like Matt Holliday, Brian Fuentes, and Garrett Atkins, but it's never too early to start worrying about ownership making a dramatic misassessment of the franchise's overall position and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in ruinous free agent signings. Well, it did happen that one time. Read between the lines here and you'll get a raging clue that Kaz Matsui, Jeremy Affeldt, and Josh Fogg will not be Rockies next season.

I absolutely love the condescension in this New York Times headline: "Rockies, In New World, Enjoy Familiar Result."

Oh, and here's a good one: Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford blames the loss on Cole Hamels' long sleeves.

2007-10-04 06:40:30
1.   Sam DC
Dave Sheinin of the Wash Post has the Rockies going to the WS (and losing in 7 to the NYY).

2007-10-04 07:25:54
2.   Daniel Zappala
Hey, I also have the Rockies going to the World Series and losing to the Yankees, and I published my predictions on Dodger Thoughts, the Griddle, and the True Blue LA contest. What am I, chopped liver?
2007-10-04 08:10:47
3.   mbtn01
Bill Madden of the snooze has the Rockies getting to the series but losing in 7 to the Red Sox.
2007-10-04 10:58:37
4.   tj5825
Thanks Mark, I needed to read some of that.

After the Rockies won on Monday, I had 3 phone calls from buddies who know I've followed the rox since their first day and they all the way, he missed the plate. F* U! was my response, where were your calls all through september??? I've been so pissed about it I've stayed way from all the media crap (with the exception of watching the game of course).

Also (sorry, I'm on the soapbox and I'm going with it). I don't think the media has said word one about how we're doing this (and HAVE been doing it for quite a while now) with a couple of good pitchers (Cook, Hirsh) out for a good long time now. We haven't heard about that, noooo...all we have heard is how we're lucky to be in the playoffs at all.

I liked the article about the Monforts actually, maybe spending some money. I threw my Blake Street Bombers poster on the fire when the last of the 4 were gone.

Go Rox, kick some serious ass.

2007-10-04 10:59:29
5.   tj5825
I should say I've "tried" to stay away from the media crap....LOL.
2007-10-04 11:46:22
6.   Bob Timmermann
Is it time to nag about having a game thread?
2007-10-04 12:02:38
7.   Linkmeister
Every time there's a possibility that a team from a non-coastal part of the country might actually (GASP!) go to the World Serious the sports media (and the non-sports feature writers for the rest of the press) pretend to be Captain Renault from Casablanca: "I'm shocked!"

I'm always reminded of that famous New Yorker cover which depicts the US as Manhattan and every other region as an outlier.

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