It's a jinx to start talking about your team's moves in the offseason when they're still alive in the playoffs. I know it. But on the other hand, never have I been under more pressure to come up with interesting new Rockies content every day. There was something Phil Rogers wrote yesterday that was just killing me, I wanted to post it so badly, and then this morning I woke up and started reading all of the Yankee obits and I had another Hot Stove notion that combined with Rogers' tidbit overwhelmed my fear of putting the evil eye on Colorado.
Besides, the Rockies are playing now in a series where they have so many intangibles going for them in almost seems like a good idea to try to put the whammy on a little just to balance it out. A solid 70% of ESPN.com poll responders say they are rooting for the Rockies in the NLCS, which makes sense given 1) their September run was a hell of a story and 2) the Diamondbacks won a World Series quite recently and nobody particularly needs to live in a world where Florida and Arizona have two championships apiece. Especially Phillies fans.
Here is the real kick in the face about the Diamondbacks, though, with thanks on the link going to Buster Olney: As of this morning, some 12,000 seats for the NLCS at Chase Field remained unsold. I told you Phoenix was a crummy sports town. Of course, that didn't do the Yankees much good in 2001, but that Diamondbacks team was constructed of veterans from other organizations, many of whom got their starts in cities to which big chunks of the retired community in Arizona remained loyal. Rockies fans are now completely on board with this youth movement thing; Arizona fans still seem to wonder where Luis Gonzalez and Mark Grace went. It's hard to develop from the inside in an area where half the biggest stars in the game play for peanuts right in your backyard for a month every year. Phoenix might be a market where you have to get at least a few already-famous free agents on your roster to convince fans you mean business. The Cardinals and Coyotes certainly work this angle, although look how successful they've been. The best franchise in the area is the Suns, who have mixed and matched free agent signings and player development, but I've always felt like the Suns are far more appreciated by NBA junkies out of town than the locals, who show up for the games when the team is good but will never approach the loudness of the fans of Sacramento or Denver.
OK, so here are my two offseason stories, and I'm knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, and tracing pentagrams in the rug with my toes while I write this: Number one, Rogers says that Dan O'Dowd could make a run at Johan Santana with a package including Garrett Atkins and Brian Fuentes. That is too dreamy to even really comment. Number two, I have this fantasy where the Rockies' magical playoff run convinces the increasingly threatened and inessential George Steinbrenner that the Yankees HAVE to have Clint Hurdle, and the Rockies get a nice prospect from New York AND get rid of Hurdle and his sacrifice bunts. Probably not going to happen -- randomly cherry-picking the coaching staffs of the last year's most successful teams sounds more like a Daniel Snyder move than Steinbrenner, who has His Guys. But it would be awesome.