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Wednesday Morning Rockpile:

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Dear diary,

I haven't seen the Rockies in four days. The media tries to comfort me with the last vestiges of the Yankees/Indians series and the downfall of the Bronx Empire, but it's a poor substitute. I don't know how much more of this I can take. Distantly, I remember of something called the "off-season" and how it would last for months at a time and I marvel that I was once able  to endure that long without Rockies baseball. I am told that there are many baseball fans enduring that right now, and I pity them. Thankfully, my own torture is about to end soon, the players are back on the field practicing, the manager is recovering from the flu and I am told tomorrow there will again be Rockies baseball for me to watch and absorb. Thank the heavens. -RG


More nascent rivalry talk, this time from Eric Byrnes and the D-backs side. Nobody would like a retro style rivalry to form between these two clubs more than Jeff Moorad and the Monfort brothers. In April and May, these two teams had trouble drawing 20,000 for games between the two, and it was only because of the Opening Day sellout that the Rockies were able to keep the overall series attendance total respectable. Even as late as mid-August, when both clubs had proven to be decent at the very least, and were fighting for playoff spots, the D-backs only drew around 25,000 for the three games at Chase Field. By the end of September, Rockies fans had finally caught on to the talent of their club, and Coors was packed, of course, but the owners I'm sure would be thrilled if they could count on that kind of support earlier in the year. That kind of loyalty and passion needs to be earned, but both teams are doing a fine job of that this year.

Both teams are also doing a fine job of relying on their own to get them to this point. When new Pirates GM Neal Huntington speaks of a lack of organizational cohesiveness as a reason to start from scratch, you can see what he means by looking at how the two NLCS teams operate. There is a high level of personal involvement and vested interest in their prospects, from the top of the organization down. There is patience; nobody's getting alarmed if Ian Stewart isn't putting up the numbers of a superstar, or if D-backs pitching prospect Max Scherzer hits a bump at AA. If you're ready to rise fast, like Tulo or Justin Upton, the teams will promote you aggressively, but if you're not, it's not a big deal, just keep growing.

At the same time, though, both teams are pretty good at eventually sifting out those that are legit everyday big leaguers from the role players. For example, Ryan Shealy and Matt Chico both were traded despite decent minor league numbers but have proven to be at best borderline talent for a contending team. Not perfect by any means, but both teams' scouting departments provide them with enough depth to cover mistakes like letting Dan Uggla slip away. Okay, enough rambling, I want to get to scouting reports today, so I'll end this here.

Update [2007-10-10 21:34:25 by malakian]:
NLCS Roster Announced