Two years and three days ago, ESPN.com previewed the imminent 2011 baseball season. Of the 40 in-house experts the site surveyed, 25 of them picked the Rockies to make the playoffs, and one intrepid prognosticator thought the Blake Street Bombers would win it all.
I don’t need to remind you, they didn’t. Instead, the team followed a promising 83-79 record in 2010 with a disappointing 73-89 in 2011—which, in retrospect, was worthy of a confetti-strewn parade down the 16th Street Mall compared to last season’s 64-98.
Right now Rockies fans could use a pick-me-up, maybe one of those anti-bullying video campaigns reassuring them that yes, things will get better. Unfortunately, such a message would be unsupportable. In scouring the Web’s dozens of MLB preseason prediction stories, I’ve yet to find one that projects the Rockies to finish anywhere near the playoffs this year—not surprising, since the National League West is one of the deepest divisions in baseball.
But it gets worse for Colorado fans. One ESPN story says they’ll finish about 10 games under if everything breaks exactly right. Another says they’re headed for a 53-109 campaign, which would be among the worst ever in the 162-game era. That’s seven expected games worse than the fire-sale Miami Marlins and three games behind a starting-from-scratch Houston Astros team whose entire roster makes about $6 million less than the combined salaries of Jorge De la Rosa, Troy Tulowitski, and Michael Cuddyer.
I’ll spare you the laundry list of what’s wrong with the Rockies, if only because I’ve offered it so many times before. (And before that….and before that.) And I’ll also spare you the trite, saccharine, and ultimately meaningless baseball-as-life faux-poetry that encourages us to feel like guileless children again because, doggone it, everyone’s a contender on Opening Day. Just know that as I’m writing this, in game one of 2013, the Rockies jumped ahead of the Brewers early thanks to homers by Tulo and Carlos Gonzalez. Then their pitchers couldn’t hold the lead.
It’s a script all Rockies fans will soon know by heart.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock
—Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.