If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s baseball is very superstitious. Todd Helton is not only the Toddfather, but the Father of Superstition as well. For example, he recently shaved off all his facial hair. Most would accredit this to his 0-15 slump, however; Todd will tell you it was a mistake he made while shaving. Todd’s had the same facial hair for quite some time, but… I guess everyone can make a mistake, although I’m not entirely sure it was one. Now, he grew it back, but he did get a hit that day.
Since watching baseball, I’ve begun to become a little superstitious myself. Let’s rewind to two days ago, the first day of the postseason:
I was set. 12 hours of baseball and an HD TV.
The only thing that was missing was the beer. Of course, being a lightweight, 12:37 was a little early to start my drinking, so it wasn’t terribly missed. Yeah, sometimes it pays to be asian (cheap date).
I sat down; ready to watch the Rockies take on the Phillies. 12 hours of baseball meant I wasgoing to sit in my pajamas and my new Rockies sweatshirt.
“Bring on that Rocktober magic.”
No doubt, there was magic… that is, up until the fifth inning of that game. The Rockies gave up five runs between the fifth and sixth, suddenly, the magic entering the game seemed to fade. The Rockies faces lacked the luster they had when the first pitch was thrown, and the sheen of being the team to start off the playoffs right was deteriorating before my eyes.
“Wh… what is happening?!”
However, the brilliance of Cliff Lee certainly did not lack. Credit must be given where credit is due, and that guy? He was spot on. Giving up six hits and one run, throwing a complete game.
If we’re taking the Harold Reynolds approach, “here’s a guy” who wasn’t even talked about during the trade deadline. It was all about Roy Halladay and the possibility of him moving to the Phils. So, Cliff Lee? That acquisitioin seemed to pay off (possibly understatement of the year).
My beloved Rockies would fall to the Phillies that day, and it hurt. Bad.
I had looked so forward to this moment, to this game, and now that the Rockies had taken such a beat down… it was like my soul hurt.
“It’s just game one… it’s just game one.” It was like being in the Wizard of Oz and reciting tomyself, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” We can come back… we have o come back.
The Rockies have been on fire at home, so in reality there really is “no place like home.”
Next up was the Twins and Yankees game. For the most part, I didn’t care tons. Sorry TWinkies, but the Yanks are a damn good team, I don’t see many beating them out despite my dearest friend’s opinion.
However, I was cheering for the Twins. With the Red Sox, being my number two team, there is certainly no room for Yankees cheering.
Although the Twins would strike first, the Yankees would be quick to respond. I watched, yet again, as the team I had hoped to see win fell.
I have one more chance for redemption. The Cardinals are my number three team.
“Please don’t fail me.”
How could they? An ace on the mound, Albert “God” Pujols, Matt “Everyday’s a holiday” Holliday, no way, the Cards had to win.
However, I faced disappointment. Again.
The Dodgers would not let up, pushing runs, pushing defense. Both teams had amazing scoring opportunities, in fact, they had a combined total of 30 men left on base! But the Cardinals just couldn’t catch a break.
I couldn’t catch a break either. All three teams I wanted to see win lost that day. After that Rockies loss, it was like adding insult to injury.
My sweatshirt had failed me. “How can this be?” The first thing I did when I got it was sprayed linen spray on it and called it “not smelling like it came out of the maufacturer’s ten minutes ago.” You know, that new clothes smell, but not nice new clothes…?
When I first got my Matt Daley shirt, I went and watched the game with my good friend after being super domesticated. It was that day when Rafael Betancourt gave up a grand slam.My shirt had failed me that day, but after washing it, it’s won every time I’ve worn it.
The same had to be done with my sweatshirt. It needed a wash; the stench of loss is far worse than any “new sweatshirt” smell. I was confident in my sweatshirt’s winning capability after the wash. I was ready for game two.
And what a game two it was.
The Rockies came out swinging, and before I knew it, we were up 4-0. Aaron Cook was on fire! Which was good considering it’d been some time since he pitched. However, worry struck in the sixth inning when Cook’s sinker was no longer sinking and the Phillies would start a rally that felt like it wouldn’t end. Huston Street came into the ninth inning and was able to shut down the Phillies, and now the series is tied after a nail biting 5-4 win.
Next was the Cardinals game. I felt confident in the ability of my sweatshirt after that. The Rockies won after I washed my sweatshirt, it was like my Matt Daley shirt. “Cardinals, don’t prove me wrong.”
The Cardinals, however, would. But I can’t be entirely sure it was my sweatshirt. When I left the Cards to hit the grocery store, they were up 2-1. I didn’t want to leave, but my dad needed me to go get dinner since he was sick. I returned to find the Cardinals had lost, not only that, but Matt Holliday had a huge error.
Suddenly, I realized… it was my fault. I left at a critical point in the game. How could I do that to the Cardinals? I left, wearing my sweatshirt, to go to the grocery store. I failed the Cardinals… and now they’re 0-2.
I had to move on, it was time for my number two team, and I couldn’t go into it feeling guilt ridden. However, I would miss various portions due to eating dinner and putting together a shelf. The Angels would win the game 5-0. Once again, I left down another team, this time my beloved Red Sox.
So, the sweatshirt would win the Rockies game for me… but I had no one to blame but myselffor the other losses. I should’ve known better than to leave a game at such a crucial point. I should’ve waite
d to put together that shelf.
It’s superstition, and it’s gotten the best of me. Suspicious of my sweatshirt, my Daley shirt, my baseball socks, all these things.
I may not adjust my batting gloves after every pitch like Troy Tulowitzki or take my hat off and readjust it on my head like Huston Street after he throws a pitch; but everyone’s got their quirks, their habits. And now, I have mine.
“I wonder what it’d be like to live in a world where it was always June.” L.M. Montgomery
Right now, that’s the question that’s been stuck in my brain. It’s been a wonderful month of June for the Rockies, and a warm welcome after the tragedy that was May.
The Rockies managed to really turn it around this month winning 20 of their last 26 games, a total 180 from May where they won 12 of 29.
During that month it was tough to think, “it’s still early, they can turn it around.” It was a hopeful belief, but the way things were going, it was hard to find the confidence to believe such a thing. Well, the Rockies seemed to have no trouble proving the thought right and the doubt wrong. It’s been beautiful, three of the top four NL win leaders from the month of June are coming from the Rockies: Aaron Cook, the winningest Rockie; Jason Hammel, who posted a 1.99 ERA during June; and Jorge de la Rosa, who didn’t have a win until the month of June rolled around.
The only series of interleague play that didn’t really look spectacular was against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Rockies swept the Mariners, took the Tampa Bay series, lost the series to the Angels, and most recently swept Oakland.
The Oakland sweep was bittersweet, while it was good to see Matt Holliday again, it was sad to see him sporting the green and yellow jersey. As much as I wanted to see him succeed at the plate, I wanted to see him fail. I wanted to see him hit that longball, but I wanted to see Carlos Gonzalez chase it down. I enjoyed Huston Street pitching (although I wanted him to have an off day before he headed to LA) but I wanted to see a match up between the slugger we lost and the essential closer we gained. While I missed Matt Holliday, the guys we got have proved themselves indispensable, well, at least the ones I’ve seen. I don’t know how Greg Smith is doing.
While in Oakland, Gonzalez had seven at bats, four hits, and two walks. While he is having so much success, it seems that Dexter Fowler has begun to struggle with a bat. Of Fowler’s nine at bats, he has five strikeouts and one run.
Today when Jim Tracy changed up the lineup, I wasn’t too happy. After the success that Ryan Spilborghs had the first game and Garrett Atkins the first two, I was a bit surprised not to see their names. But, who was I to question the skipper? Jim Tracy is 21-7 since he took over the Rockies and that 21st win came tonight. Well, it’s not like I haven’t said it before, but I’m still pulling for Atkins and Spilborghs.
As we approach this series against the Dodgers, hopefully the month of June will continue to stay kind to the Rockies who are now 7.5 games behind the Dodgers.
If I were to write a letter to one of Colorado’s most longed after prospects, it would go something like this:
Dear Tim Redding,
If you were to come to Colorado, I would approve.
With Redding’s agent Tom O’Connell saying that Redding is expressing interest in Colorado, maybe we can add some pitching talent. Although it’s not the way that the Rockies desired, with Taveras out of the way, we could put Ryan Spilborghs into center. Anyway, with our pitching rotation consisting of Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Jeff Francis, Redding would be a welcome addition. While each pitcher is incredibly talented, they all have their weak points as well: Cook has injuries, Jimenez can lose control, and Francis needs to learn how to command the field. Redding’s six years of experience behind him will help out when it comes to pitching. Not only that, but with all the possible prospects: Greg Smith, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh, it will demand everyone to step up their game.
One of the things that is on my mind is Manny Ramirez. I was watching Around The Horn,
definitely one of my favorite shows, and they were talking about how no one has stepped up to the plate (yeah, baseball pun) on grabbing for ManRam’s contract. Although the Dodger’s had expressed interest, they revoked their offer to him. In his fifteen years of experience, he’s come out with 527 home runs. In my personal opinion, I can’t help but think that there’s not too much of a surprise that no one is leaping at the opportunity to sign him to a contract. I can certainly tell you right now, that the Red Sox fan in me doesn’t much care for him. In fact, I think that if it hadn’t been for David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez would have been the DH. There was this one incident in 2004 that always makes me laugh: it was during the ALCS, but I can’t remember exactly what happened, there was a long ball that I think Johnny Damon ended up getting, and he went to throw it to short (I think short) and Ramirez made this diving catch to cut it off. It was kind of like, “what are you doing?!” Then after that, Manny Ramirez caught a high fly ball and then ran up and high-fived someone in the crowd. It’s kind of hilarious, actually. Anyway, his attitude has never impressed me, and so, I can’t blame people for not taking up his contract. I don’t, repeat do not think that he is a bad player. He’s incredibly talented, in fact. But, his agent is Scott Boras (yet again, I must mention his name) and that means that they’re looking for the bucks. Anyway, I’m sure that someone will pick up Manny. He’s expressed that he doesn’t want to retire until he’s hit at least 700 home runs. He gives fans what they want, and I guess, as long as he has a good time doing it, that’s what matters. Does that sound contradictory to what I’ve been saying? I don’t know. I guess my thoughts are that the guy just made $20 million this past season, so if it’s money he’s looking for, he should… well, knock it off.
The last thing that I would like to say is that I’m about to graduate. I feel as though I should be more excited for it. Not excited that I have to be there at 8:15 in the morning (it’s called sleep people), but at least have some kind of nerves or be slightly emotional. Anything. I’m on Facebook, something that has potential to be a cult, and I wrote in my status that I was more relieved to see Garrett Atkins’ name remain on the roster than to be finished with school. Hmm… obsesso much? But I feel like I should be exhilarated, anxious, something. I’m about to go out into a terrible job market and hope that my letters of recommendation get me a job (preferably one with the Rockies, but… hmm…. we’ll see). Shouldn’t there be something about me that’s scared? Or should something have been like… a punch in the face telling me that this is real? I have some kind of head chest cold weird thing, and I should probably go to the doctor before my insurance runs out. Should I have taken this as a sign? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m graduating. Maybe it’ll take the ceremony in and of itself for me to be like, “oh crap, now I’m graduating and have to go get a job.” I don’t know. But I guess we’ll see after tomorrow’s ceremony… tomorrow’s two-hour, horribly boring, 8:15 in the morning ceremony. Looking forward to it.