Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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My girl is done.
After months of my roller-coaster baseball relationship with the Colorado Rockies, it’s time to concede that October will in fact not be Rocktober.
It’s been tough. In April, I committed a grand failure in my uneasy relationship with baseball.
I went all in and thought the Rockies could win the World Series. I cursed the Rockies again. Every year I’ve publicly predicted Rockies success, it turns into a postseasonless time. I predicted 73 wins for Colorado in 2007. I predicted the postseason in 2008. Last year, on cue, I predicted no Rockies postseason.
But I learned from watching way too much baseball this year that Colorado didn’t deserve the postseason. There were too many glaring weaknesses blind love will make you miss.
The rotation faltered all season. Ubaldo Jimenez was great for the first half and then was nothing better than a third starter in the second half.
Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook all missed time. Outside of De La Rosa’s second half, Francis and Cook were borderline horrible this season. The rotation wore down; the bullpen was even worse.
The lineup was inconsistent on all fronts outside of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
The five spot in the lineup was too often like a black hole. They couldn’t hit with two outs and runners in scoring position. Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith never got consistent at-bats. Todd Helton looked old.
The Rockies couldn’t beat bad teams. They couldn’t win on the road.
It never quite became apparent until the series at Arizona. The Diamondbacks haven’t played a meaningful game since 2007, yet they looked like the team in the pennant race.
They stole multiple bases without throws on Miguel Olivo. They took extra bases. Their bullpen — much maligned for the entire season — grew up.
I still had talked myself into the postseason after the Arizona series.
Sweep San Francisco, and there was hope.
But Tim Lincecum did Friday what Jimenez couldn’t do in the second half. He was dominant just when the Giants needed it.
For the record, my new October team is the Minnesota Twins, or any team without New York in its name (who, for the record, won’t win the World Series with that starting rotation).
Rocktober will be missed, no doubt. My girl is done, and my six-month affair with the Rockies is coming to an end.
It’s OK, sigh.
Six more months and we’re back at spring training. And everybody knows 2011 is our year.
— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org