Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs Baseball is a constant grind. It’s 162 games, hopefully more. It’s springtime revival, summer bliss and, if you’re lucky, fall fun.
But sometime during the past year, the Colorado Rockies had started to take some of that away.
I’ll watch too many games this year, get too invested and eventually be let down. I know this. It’s a fact of sports.
It’s just the general fundamentals the Rockies have come to accept that are frustrating.
Whenever the team has expectations, it falters. When the spotlight isn’t on them, they succeed.
It’s not a foreign concept. But in this, their 20th year, it’s getting infuriating. There is something to be said in any sport about a team that or an individual who meets expectations. It’s easy to be under the radar and succeed when no one cares and no one is watching. It’s something completely different to be in the spotlight and succeed. If they say in New York, “If you can succeed here, you can succeed anywhere,” what should they say about the Rockies?
“If you succeed here, people are surprised?”
Regardless, I see the Rockies winning 76 games this year. Of course, my expectations are lowered so you know what that means. Championship.
Here are my picks for the year:
■ American League MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit — The best hitter in the game gets to hit in front of Prince Fielder now? Yikes.
■ AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Anaheim — He’s the ace on what is baseball’s best team.
■ AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Tampa Bay — Just look at his postseason start last year.
■ National League MVP: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado — I am picking Tulowitzki until he wins it. Best shortstop in the league. Please, please, please stay healthy.
■ NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg, Washington — He helps usher in a new era in the nation’s capital.
■ NL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Bauer, Arizona — He’ll help the Diamondbacks to the playoffs. Look up his throwing routine. Interesting stuff.
■ AL Wildcards: Tampa Bay, Texas
■ AL East: New York
■ AL Central: Detroit
■ AL West: Anaheim
■ AL Division Series: New York against Texas; Anaheim against Detroit
■ AL Championship Series: Anaheim against Texas
■ NL Wildcard: Atlanta and Arizona
■ NL East: Washington
■ NL Central: Cincinnati
■ NL West: San Francisco
■ NL Division Series: Washington against Arizona; Cincinnati against San Francisco
■ NL Championship Series: Washington against San Francisco
■ World Series: Anaheim beats San Francisco in six games
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com