The title above is one of several articles that always seem to come out this time of year. After all, what's not to love about the beginning of Spring Training? Pitchers and catchers have reported sporting new jerseys, reliever Matt Daley is giving tours of the new facility, and Jorge De La Rosa is even expected to make an appearance today.
The players love the new facility, Tulo has been there for two days already and it looks like Jhoulys Chacin is pretty excited too. From the looks of things, the Rockies are preaching caution to their pitchers, especially the phenomenal Ubaldo Jimenez, who is setting his sights on having an excellent 2011. Chris Iannetta is ready to be the man this year.
There are so many good things happening, it's hard not to feel...hopeful.
Then again, there's a part of me that is sort of dreading the next few weeks. Jeff Sullivan put it pretty well when he recently examined the meaning of pitchers and catchers reporting. Sure, the things I like about Spring Training (lots of baseball news, a reasonable fascimile of baseball action) outweigh the things I don't like (the fact that most of the baseball news is pure fluff, that the fake baseball of Spring Training almost makes real baseball seem farther away), but sometimes I just want to block it all out and be woken up when Opening Day rolls around.
Maybe it's because I'm more interested in the business/GM machinations of baseball that occur during the offseason than hearing about how Chacin's bullpen session went. Maybe I prefer the hot stove league to the spring news cycle. Or maybe it's because I'm an emotionless robot sent from the future to destroy all the joy of watching baseball. Whatever the reason, I have found it difficult to muster the joy that many around this site have shown in the last few days.
All this doesn't change the fact that I love baseball and that I'm psyched that I'm encountering lots of people that are actually talking about the Rockies in a non-Purple Row setting. That's the great part about Spring Training for me: the ability to discuss my favorite team with others.
With all of that said, I am feeling pretty darn hopeful about the Rockies' chances in 2011. As you may know, last year I fell flat on my face with my guarantee of a NL West crown for Colorado. I think that my problem wasn't hubris, as the Snake Pit suggested (okay, maybe a little), but rather, it was that I wasn't specific enough. This time I won't make that mistake again. Without further ado, here are my three Rockies guarantees for 2011:
1. The Colorado Rockies will win their first NL West title in 2011.
2. They will do so by at least three games.
3. The number in the Rockies' loss column at the end of the year will be less than 70.
What are your guarantees for the Rockies in 2011?