I want to state up-front, the Rox still have a chance to be part of the Wild Card race, but I can’t stick with them right now. Too much pain and energy.
As a lot of you know, I post a lot and am like a 6 year old during games….sharing every thought that pops into my head. I bet most of you wish I wasn’t like a 6 year old (my wife has the same thought from time to time – danger of marrying a bi-polar individual).
I love the roxwalkoff community, it makes the baseball season significantly more fun, and it gives the feel during games like you are at the stadium with friends just talking baseball. Truly awesome! You all have great insights, ideas and comments. And I love to read them all and get my mind changed sometimes by your perspectives. That is fantastic.
But after last Monday night…I can’t do it anymore. You might have noticed that I tend to come down hard when people get to being gloomy Guses (is that how you do the plural of Gus?). I don’t get why people are negative? I have personally never gotten anything out of being negative. We all need to vent our frustration from time-to-time (and the last 4 weeks is enough to drive anyone to yell, drink, or kick their cat), but I really don’t get pessimism. After all, if you feel like it’s a wasted season…go do something else.
Which is why I am stepping aside from roxwalkoff. I love baseball – the length of the season, the need for not just 25 guys, but many more you call up in the season. I love the highs and lows, the fact that the best in the world still fail 2 out 3 times. I love how natural baseball is with the grass and the bats (hate college baseball, coach high school and younger but despise aluminum bats), the leather of the glove, the baseball…all of it. I love how you can go to a game and in 3 hours become best friend with the folks sitting next to you. And I love how after the World Series is over, even the worst teams get to start a new, with the chance to win the World Series next year (like the Sox did last year), that failure doesn’t go forward.
But that love, and especially my love for the Rockies, has gotten off-kilter. I went back to read my season preview and totally spaced that I said the Rox will win 84 games, +/- 10 depending on injuries (I have mentioned it before but never realized the negative 10 games is a reality based on the team’s healthy…which right night stinks). Well, Anderson, Chatwood, Chacin (who I suspect is either not healthy or he really needed Spring Training more than we know), and then Nolan, whose glove we focus on, but he extended the line-up, he was an excellent 2-strike hitter, and found a way to get two our RBIs. They hung together pretty well for 5-6 weeks, but these things take a toll. The lack of quality starting pitching has created a tired bullpen that can no longer give 3 or 4 scoreless innings (Tuesday to Thursday night was just one of those periods like against the White Sox, where every reliever – aside from Morales, who is probably the freshest guy down there now – has his bad days together). This team might still be in the Wild Card race in August, depending on whether the bats can get back to somewhat near April (I suspect with Nolan out and CarGo struggling before he hit the DL, they were all trying to do too much, a recipe for bad ABs and a lot of swing-for-the-fences mentality). The starting pitcher may improve – Butler’s first start showed some weaknesses, but if he can get sharp and avoid the bad pitches over the plate, who knows? Anderson and Chatwood will come back. There may be other called up soon. Nicasio has somehow out-performed his under-lying numbers, and that may continue. Jordan Lyles, who I really believe in, should have started the year in AAA (which I was happy to see before the Chatwood hamstring put in the rotation) so he could work on fastball command. Good fastball command gets you strike one and makes they go after his great moving sinker and hit the ball into the ground or swing-and-miss. Over the last few weeks, no one needed to chase because he can’t get ahead in the count. Now of course…he is on the DL with a broken hand…of course! When he comes back, If he gets back to April’s work, he can be a great #3. Alas this team with Lyles, Morales, Nicasio, and Chacin until today have been bullpen killers the past month.
But all is not lost. There are some bullpen arms in AA and AAA that might help refresh the pen. Tulo has been scuffling until the last AB Tuesaday, and that is what drives this team. Butler may improve, and Christian Bergman may end up being a real solid #4 or #5 (his age and performance in AAA tells me he is ready for a try at least in the Majors.
All that being said…I got too invested in the team, and their….let us say less-than-perfect play on the bases and in the field (along with the ABs) just drove me crazy. So, when I am no longer enjoying baseball, when I am becoming a Gloomy Gus and a Negative Nelly at the same time (don’t tell me how that works), it’s time to walk away. Does that make me a fair-weather fan? Yep! Agree. I remain (or will hopefully return) to being the ultimate optimist and the fan who can find something positive. If the Rox are in the hunt for the Wild Card will I jump back on the bandwagon? Not sure. But for now…I need a long break from the Rox and maybe baseball altogether. Have to keep a positive view on life and baseball. Life is too hard to be negative. If Jaredean needs help with a game, the pre-game (I have yet to set it up properly) or a post-game, I will help out. I will keep up the posts with the stats and 10% reviews, since I started that.
But for now…I need a Rockies cleanse. When the love and positivism comes back, I will happily be back posting and commenting during games. For the interim, playing with the kids and taking evening walks with my wife are going to take precedence.
As always, GO ROCKIES!