If we've learned anything about Octobers the last few years, it's that the month tests, stretches and hones every aspect of loyalty fandom.
Therefore, to adequately preview the madness that is the baseball playoffs, we've invited some of our favorite writers for each of the eight playoff teams to write about their teams. These will be running all day today and tomorrow, and we very much hope you enjoy them.
Up right now: The Colorado Rockies. Your writer is Russ Oates.
Russ Oats runs Purple Row. His words are after the jump.
It has been 12 years since the Rockies made the playoffs, and they made it in quite a dramatic fashion. The Rockies knocked around Jake Peavy, but that wasn't enough. Adrian Gonzalez hit a grand slam, but that didn't give the Padres an edge. Clint Hurdle committed his regular Hurdlisms with his use of pinch hitters and the bullpen. Those moves, however, didn't kill the Rockies. It looked bleak after Hairston's homer, but if there is one thing this team has shown time and time again this season, it's that they never give up.
They could have given up after an 18-27 start, with one member of the Denver media calling for a boycott of the team until a new owner was brought in (and now is a bandwagoner). They could have stopped caring after the 1-9 stretch they had during June when Brian Fuentes blew four consecutive saves. They could have mailed in the rest of the season after losing the first two games against the Marlins in the middle of September, but they didn't. They went on a most improbable run and capped it off with an improbable extra-inning win against the Padres. If Matt Holliday doesn't exemplify the heart of a champion after scoring the winning run (all right, maybe he didn't touch home plate), then I don't know who does.
With the momentum from this victory it's hard not to like the Rockies' chances. Some will argue that teams with the best momentum heading into the postseason often don't win. Maybe the numbers prove that, but have any of those teams ever gone through what the Rockies just did? The Rockies will have two phenomenal rookie pitchers starting games two and three, Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales. With everything coming up Rockies right now, I have all the confidence in the world that U-Ball and Frankie will deliver nothing less than stellar performances in their first postseason experiences. Ridicule me if that doesn't happen, but to quote a bit of Hendrix, "Purple haze / You're makin' me blow my mind."
It's been a rollercoaster ride for the Rockies this season, and they most certainly are the reason why my hair is grayer these days, but it's been well worth it. A World Series or an exit in the first round, it's been a hell of a season.
And Helton's finally playing October baseball! What baseball fan doesn't want to see him there?