John Russell's sports column appears Tuesdays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy part of Colorado history.
For the bargain basement price of $33 million, you could own a small piece of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.
Last week, the media group that owns The Denver Post announced that it would sell its minority share — that’s about 7.3 percent of the team that won 64 games in 2012 while losing 98.
I would run to the bank to make a withdrawal, but sadly, I don’t have $33 million right now.
I’m still holding out hope, however, that I will be that one person out of 176,000,000 that hits all six numbers in the Powerball someday and brings home a big jackpot. But until then, I’ll just have to imagine what it would be like to own part of a major league team.
I’m not sure how much control 7.3 percent of the team buys you, but since this is just my imagination talking, I'm going to say that would give me total control to change the things I don’t like about the team — and I’m not just thinking about the price of the nachos and the beer at Coors Field.
I wouldn’t change much. Who wants to mess with a team that won 64 games last season ?
I might spend a little money to try to find some pitching, but others have tried that in the past. Personally, I would rather hit the free-agent market to find a few more experienced and consistent bats for the lineup.
I wouldn’t be looking for the big-name power hitters, since the Rockies never really seem to have the payroll for that. No, I would look for the type of guy who knows how to make contact with the ball. The type of guy who knows what to do with the bat when runners in scoring position and the game on the line.
As an owner, I would bring back solid hitters like Larry Walker, Andres Galarrage, Ellis Burks and Dante Bichette. Sure, these players could knock the ball out of the yard, but they also knew that a base hit keeps a rally alive; striking out doesn’t.
I love the fact that the Rockies are going to give Walt Weiss a shot at manager. I’m not sure what to expect, but he was another one of those former Rockies who always seemed to play the game right when the Rockies needed a run or two.
Sure, pitching is key for any team wanting to win the World Series, but the key to baseball’s success in Colorado is putting an entertaining team on the field, and fans love to watch the ball fly in our thin Rocky Mountain air.
I never cared that the Blake Street Bombers failed to win a World Series or that they lost in their only playoff appearance to the Atlanta Braves.
Those older teams were more fun to watch, and that’s what has been missing the past few years.
Luckily for baseball fans in Colorado, the Rockies' chances of winning a World Series are a lot better than my chances of winning enough money to buy the team. I also will encourage those fans to sleep at night knowing that if by some chance, I happen to win, I’ll be too busy working on bringing fans the best nachos at an affordable price to worry about personnel decisions.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com