Today was both a blessing and a curse for me, a day that was bittersweet for different reasons. With great anticipation, I turned on the television to MLB Network, and what was playing? Game 4 of the 2007 NLCS. It was beautiful. Like a glorious moment shining down from the heavens. I was reminded of the spectacle and awe that was game 4 and the amazing feat that took place in Rocktober. Through the struggles that landed a clean sweep, the game itself was phenomenal; the only word to describe such an unthinkable streak. I was reminded about the wins, 20 of 21, the heart that went into it, the love of the game.
It was odd to find myself still yelling at the TV when the umpire called a strike and it was clearly a ball or when there was a chance that the Diamondbacks would catch up. I heard the commentators say that the Rockies were one inning away from a sweep, and in my mind I was yelling at them “don’t jinx it!!” Of course, what was I thinking? This had already happened. They couldn’t have possibly jinxed it, I’m just ridiculous.
The game came to the top of the ninth. Two outs, tying run at the plate, Eric Byrnes. Boos could probably have been heard from space when that guy stepped up. Byrnes made contact with the ball, sending it between short and third. Carroll missed it, but Tulo was on it, and then the throw. I could feel myself stop breathing, my heart racing, pupils dialated, a moment where time slows down and my eyes were glued to the television, and then…
The feeling is unmistakeable. The unbelievable, implausible, inconceivable thing had happened. The Rockies were moving on to the World Series. At the time, who they would play was not yet known, but for the first time, this team was moving on. I can still feel the chills that ran up and down my spine. The Rockies had won it, and it was as if it happened all over again. The disappointment on the Diamondbacks’ faces that Eric Byrnes hadn’t done a damn thing for them, while on the other side, the celebration had only begun. Sorry Arizona, but this was our time. This was our game, this was our series.
The celebration and the euphoria on their faces when they knew. Todd Helton’s catch. God, it was glorious. It was unthinkable. A team that no one had ever heard of or had made no strides in baseball was going to the World Series. No one deserved it more than these guys, and I don’t just say that because of my love for this team. The passion, the determination, the heart that went into this series was unmatchable by any team. And the celebration that ensued afterwards was well justified.
It reminded me of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. I do have a thing for hockey, and I loved the movie Miracle. I bought a documentary about the actual events, that’s how much I loved that game. Although a rivalry exists between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies, the win was like that of the USA hockey team over USSR. Although I wouldn’t compare the Diamondbacks to the USSR, the win for the US was like the win for the Rockies. The pure and utter ecstasy that ensued afterward. The triumph that told them, they were better.
Yes, this day was bittersweet for me for different reasons. It reminded me of how much withdrawal I’m going through without baseball. How much I actually need this game in my life and how much I truly love it. The feeling of winning, the time, the practice that every player puts in to prove that they deserve to be there. I miss this game so much. How I’m surviving I have no idea. The second reason that this day was a blessing and a curse was it reminded me of how bad 2008 was for the Rockies. Falling from contenders in the World Series to third in the NL West.
After the 2007 World Series, some people who did not follow the NLCS or the Rockies story did not believe that they deserved to be there.
To take on the Boston Red Sox. First, those people are wrong. But second, I believe that the Rockies will prove to you this season that they are worthy to be there, that they were worthy to be there, and that they deserve to be called World Series champions. So, for 2009, get ready to be rocked. Ha ha, that last sentence was corny.