Friday Rockpile: Series finale

Doug Pensinger

This Sunday will mark the end of a long, drawn-out spectacle, filled with ups and downs, characters we've grown to love, and unceasing drama.

But enough about Breaking Bad. Let's talk about the Rockies. Today they roll into Los Angeles for the final series of 2013. The Dodgers have already wrapped up the NL West and likely won't be playing with an exceptional amount of urgency. Their main goal will be to keep their regulars fresh and ready for the playoffs.

The Rockies, on the other hand, will be spending October doing whatever. They're probably hoping to finish 2013 on a high note with a series victory against a division rival. It won't be easy, since the Dodgers are starting the top three pitchers in their rotation: on Friday, presumptive Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, on Saturday Zack Greinke, and on Sunday Hyun-Jin Ryu. That's a tough assignment.

I greet this final series of 2013 with a combination of bitterness and relief. Relief in that we can finally put this disappointing season to bed. Relief that our injured players can rest up and heal themselves. And relief that for a couple months I'm relieved of the duty to care so damn much about this team.

But the bitterness is undeniable too. Even bad Rockies baseball is better than no baseball at all. I'll miss the simple pleasures of looking at the box score of a game I missed and seeing that a young guy like Wilin Rosario or Corey Dickerson or Charlie Blackmon had a three hit game, even if the team lost. I'll miss seeing bombs from Troy Tulowitzki. I'll miss Nolan Arenado's defensive wizardry. I'll miss seeing the graphics showing Todd Helton moving up career leaderboards in various statistics, often passing players who only have black and white photographs.

So here it is. The longest season in professional sports is coming to an end. I'd like to see a couple more wins before it all wraps up (though I wouldn't complain about losses in service of a higher draft pick I suppose). I'd like to see a few more Helton base hits. I'd like to see Michael Cuddyer win a batting title. I'd like to see Tulo lead all short stops in homers (he's tied with JJ Hardy at 25). I'd like to see Tyler Chatwood and Juan Nicasio have good starts.

Let's enjoy these games. They'll be the last for a good long time.

Off-topic

LINKS

Troy Renck writes about Helton's similarities to Cal Ripken Jr., and also has some notes on the upcoming series. Apparently, the horse given to Todd in his last Coors Field game is named "A Tru Bustamove"; if I had to guess, Tulo named it.

Helton isn't the only veteran saying goodbye to the old stomping grounds; Mariano Rivera pitched his last game at Yankee Stadium last night. Say what you will about the Yankees, but it was an emotional moment and a fitting end for probably the greatest reliever of all time.

Allan H. "Bud" Selig will retire from the office of Commissioner after the 2014 season. He's had an up-and-down tenure to say the least, but overall a successful one. Baseball is in a vibrant era with a strong future. Bud gets a lot of hate, but I think he did a pretty good job.

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