David Ortiz takes infield practice. Scared? Don't be. Just another sign that we're in the World Series. Y'know, just in case you needed one.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
First off, these are not your father's Rockies. Because, in your father's day, there were no Rockies. Young upstarts, blah blah blah. Believe it or not, I had some worse jokes prepared.
None of that means anything, because this is a tough team we're up against. They've been playing red hot baseball for the past 4-6 years if I've been hearing those people on ESPN properly.
A warning. Expect no sympathy if we lose. We've become the New Evil Empire to most of our baseball fan "brethren". They're free to feel that way. I've got a thousand arguments for them, though they're not likely to be willing to hear them. As for me, I'd prefer for them to call us the: "Money-grubbing juggernaut that dispenses fear and clam chowder." Other nickname suggestions? "New Evil Empire" or "Evil Empire II" only serve as examples of unoriginal thinking.
Back to those Rockies, which is the true focus here. Those fans telling you that Troy Tulowitzki is and/or will be the best defensive SS in the ML are not exaggerating. The ones touting Matt Holliday as NL MVP? Not so crazy. The ones who enjoy the distraction Manny Corpas and a water bottle created? Completely sane.
What've we got going for us? Inexplicably, the Rockies have chosen to throw Aaron Cook (1.337 WHIP) in Game 4 rather than young Franklin Morales (1.22 WHIP). The until-recently injured Aaron Cook, who hasn't started a competitive game since Reagan was president. He did have a successful start against the Sox this year, ending up the tough-luck loser against Tim Wakefield, but it seems strange to go on that rather than Franklin Morales's recent success (his lackluster postseason notwithstanding). I don't know. Any Rockies' fans want to chime in on this?
Rockies' Game 1 starter, Jeff Francis, had no real home/away splits this season. He pitched effectively against us at Fenway this season, in undoubtedly one of Josh Beckett's worst starts all season. I'd not bank on Francis pitching worse than he did, though I am counting on Josh Beckett to pitch far better.
- Runs: 860, #2 in the NL.
- OBP: .354, #1 in the NL.
- BB: 622, #2 in the NL.
- SLG: .437, #4 in the NL.
- Yep, they have one of those too.
- Manny Corpas and Brian Fuentes serve as their two-headed monster at the end. (Orioles fans may not believe it, but LaTroy Hawkins could make a strong argument for a three-headed beast.)
- Jeremy Affeldt will most likely be called upon to retire J.D. Drew or David Ortiz in tough spots. It's a little like us calling on Javier Lopez to do the same against Todd Helton or Brad Hawpe (i.e. Affeldt's splits this season do not support him as a LOOGY).
I dunno. Anyway, your pregame thoughts, if you please. And don't forget to suggest a more creative nickname for the team that emphasizes the audacity of spending money on professional baseball players.