Because the Rockies aren't in the playoffs doesn't mean that we can't sit on the sidelines and complain about all the teams that are, anyway, here's one Rockies fan's perspective of the four series:
New York Yankees versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: This series is tough for me and I'll probably try to avoid it altogether. I mean on the one hand you have the Yankees, and the only reason anybody besides Yankees fans ever watches the Yankees is to hope the Yankees lose, yet their opponent is the team that introduced professional cheerleaders to baseball and now has such a bizarre identity crisis I'm surprised that there hasn't been a special interest group formed to lobby Congress for protection of "Teams that feel they were born into the wrong city". Anyway, I think in this one I'll have to root for the Angels anyway because I'm liberal and have a soft spot for transfolk and other special interests. Angels in four.
Former Rockie Connections: Obviously the biggest one here is hometown fave Shawn Chacon, who's made himself millions of future dollars over the last two months pitching for the Bronx Bombers, while Anaheim has former farmhand Chone Figgins playing a prominent role and making me wince everytime I think about that day Dan O'Dowd dealt him for Kimera Bartee.
Boston Red Sox versus Chicago White Sox: Put them in the laundry together and you come out with cute and girly pink sox! Just kidding, anyway I currently reside in territory claimed by the Red Sox Nation, and am beginning to loathe their brand of fanatacism almost as much as I do the Yankees'. Okay, that was harsh, I don't loathe it that much. Still, it's only fair that they pass the baton of curse reversal on to the South-Siders, who if they make it to the World Series again hopefully will have a few more scruples this time around. White Sox in five.
Former Rockie connections: The Red Sox don't have nearly the ex-Rockie flavor they had last year when Mark Bellhorn also was on the team and Gabe Kapler was healthy (Gabe's here thanks to a midseason reacquisition from Japan but a ruptured Achilles has him out for the playoffs) leaving LOOGY Mike Myers in the pen as the only BoSox to have a Rox past. Unlike with Figgins, the loss of Myers didn't turn out so lopsided against us, with JD Closser being a result of that trade to Arizona.
With the White Sox, I'm going to have to bring up more bitterness. Twelve days after making the Bartee for Figgins trade, O'Dowd traded Neifi Perez to Kansas City for Jermaine Dye and he should have stopped there. Dye's career as a Rockie lasted only a few minutes however, and he was immediately flipped to Oakland for prospects Jose Ortiz, Todd Belitz and Mario Encarnacion. In 2002, Juan Uribe and Ortiz were the Keystone Kids - the first incarnation of Gen-R and destined to be our middle infield for years to come. Ortiz was a complete bust. Uribe was young talented and incapable of meshing with management and was finally traded away for Aaron Miles. In the interim, one of the players we tried at second was another current White Sox, Pablo Ozuna (acquired in the Mike Hampton/Juan Pierre to Florida deal). Ross Gload had a brief stay with the Rox as well, but he wasn't put on the Sox roster for this series despite being integral to Chicago's success down the stretch. Gload was a waiver wire claim ( a strength of DOD's) from the Cubs, but was traded (a weakness of DOD's) to the White Sox for Wade Parrish - if the name isn't familiar than you're probably not alone.
Saint Louis Cardinals versus San Diego Padres: Yeah, this looks like a bit of a mismatch, doesn't it? The Padres squeaked into a winning record on the last day of the season, while the Cards in the NL Central - let's just say my hair in the late eighties didn't roll as much, and believe me, I was big into my curling iron then. Anyway, don't look for miracles where they aren't to be found, Cards in three.
Former Rockie Connections: Last season the Rox were in need of freeing up some cash and the Cards were in need of a fringe Hall of Fame type slugger, so we came into an agreement that Larry Walker to Saint Louis for next to nothing was a good idea. Okay, not next to nothing. Byung Hyun Kim's presence is partially a result of that trade (Chris Narveson was traded to us, who we traded to Boston with Charles Johnson for Kim in a salary swap) as is intriguing relief prospect, Jason Burch. Julian Tavarez was a Rockie in 2000. For the Padres, Eric Young was a big part of our semi-glory years as was Pedro Astacio. Damian Jackson was a Spring Training cut of ours in 2004.
Houston Astros versus Atlanta Braves: I don't envy the Braves in this series, as the Astros front three of Clemens, Pettitte, and Oswalt makes them a strong candidate to win it all, as pitching like that is just way too tricky to bat around. The Braves have reloaded this year with fresh talent, but that could hurt them in the playoffs as easily as help. I think I'm going with the Astros in four.
Former Rockie Connections: For the Braves, the one that would jump out sans Mike Hampton is John Thomson who was traded in a deadline deal to the Mets in 2002 for Jay Payton, but also Todd Hollandsworth adds a fairly strong ex-Rockie factor to their roster. Neither is a lock, however, to even make the Braves roster, so don't hold me to it.
For the Astros, besides Travis Driskill who spent most of 2004 with the Sky Sox, you have to go way back in the time machine when we drafted a young catcher from the New York Yankees in the fifty-fourth round of the expansion draft. Brad Ausmus was later traded near the following deal deadline with Andy Ashby to the Padres for Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris. Seriously, I think the Rockies should just stop making trades altogether given our history.