Luke Graham: A year of the Rockies

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

— Despite being swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series - God knows when I take eight days off from work I don't come in at the top of my game - the Colorado Rockies have galvanized baseball in Colorado. I've loved watching them throughout the year, and it's always fun to look back at how you perceived your favorite baseball team at various points of the season.

The following excerpts are from columns yours truly wrote during this baseball season with a little explanation of where my Rockies psyche was.

- April 9

NL Rookie of the Year: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado - I'm a Rockies fan, so someone has to win an award and it's obviously not going to be Executive of the Year for general manager Dan O'Dowd. Tulowitzki has an all-for-nothing swing, but here's betting those gaps at Coors Field will give him a .270 average, 15 homeruns and 80 RBIs. Plus, it's a thin crop in the NL this year.

and

NL Wild Card: Colorado

Not bad, Mr. Graham, not bad at all. Hey, Tulowitzki still might not win the award, but he's still more deserving than Milwaukee's Ryan Braun despite Braun's gaudy numbers. As far as my slight toward Dan O'Dowd, my apologies. Like Dr. Kevorkian, I have no patience. You knew what you were doing with this youth movement and everybody just needed to relax.

On the wild card pick, I like the underdogs. Did I really think the Rockies had a shot? Yeah, I figured they'd play tough until mid-August then put together a classic 11-game losing streak, not rip off the streak they did.

- July 16

The Colorado Rockies are giving me headaches. It's to be expected, however, when you root for a team like the Rockies. They can sweep the Yankees (yes, playoffs!), follow that up with a 1-9 stretch including four blown saves (hello football season), then sweep the Mets (we own New York), then give up only three hits to the Brewers on (July 14) and still lose, and then:well, you get the point. If not, watch a week's worth of Rockies games.

This may have been the most interesting point of the season. I remember thinking, "This team is way too inconsistent to make the playoffs," then thinking, "Wow, they're the best team in the National League," and finally, "This team is horrible." One out of three isn't bad.

- Aug. 20

Three games against the wild card-leading Padres, and the Rockies get shut out, win one, then give up eight runs in an inning - all with two outs - and end up losing two of three. Nothing's going right with the rotation, the lineup is inconsistent, and the bullpen - once a strong point - is showing signs of wear. On the plus side, we're talking about the Rockies in August, and it doesn't begin with, "Looking ahead to the 2008 season."

We certainly are talking about the Rockies, and the conversation does include "Looking ahead to the 2008 season," because despite the Rockies losing the World Series, does anyone think - with this blend of young talent - this will be the last time Colorado contends? I think we might have four to six good years on our hands. I question O'Dowd's ability to keep the core together, but I won't doubt him again. I promise.

- Oct. 8

The Rockies bandwagon is suddenly so full with posers and fakes, it resembles Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

It's sickening if you've been a fan for the duration.

I still feel this way, and I'll argue to the end that I hate bandwagon jumpers. Really, pick a team and stick with them. But I will admit it has been nice talking about Rockies baseball in October, even if it's with people who don't know a lot about the team.

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