Here we are at the midway point of the season, a critical time for the Rockies. Only five times before (1995, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007) have the Rockies been at or above .500 entering the All-Star Break. Of those five times, the Rockies finished the season above .500 three times ('95, '00, '07). Of those three times, twice did the Rockies make the playoffs ('95, '07). Once did they make the World Series ('07). Zero is still the number for World Series championships.
The second half of this season has yet to be written, obviously, so we don't know where this one falls yet; however, there's one thing to say about the next two and a half months:
NO SURRENDER, NO RETREAT
No surrender, no retreat? Absolutely. First, a little explanation about that line. It comes from an episode of Babylon 5 with that title. Captain John Sheridan of Babylon 5 can no longer stand by and watch the tyrannical Earth Alliance government order the destruction of civilian ships. He decides to make a stand at Proxima 3. Ultimately, his fleet does battle against the Earth Alliance military that he nobly served. From that point forward, there's no taking back what he started. The liberation of Earth and its colonies is the only acceptable result--anything less is failure.
The Rockies have reached that point. They were dead for the first two months of the season (did I mention that John Sheridan died and came back to life. Twice.) and then received a breath of fresh life with the removal of Clint Hurdle and the ascension of Jim Tracy (John Sheridan really did receive a breath of new life, as Lorien, the first sentient being to ever exist, was able to transfer life energy back into Sheridan. Twice.). That started something good and there's no turning back from that now. The Rockies can't give up on what they're doing, they can't retreat from the playoff race. They're in it to win it (uh, now I'm borrowing lines from The West Wing).
So, I leave it to everyone here: What predictions do we have for the players and for the team as a whole?
As a starting point, let's look at a few of Rox Girl's preseason predictions from January 2 after the jump.
Garrett Atkins - Will regain some lost discipline and shed his free swinging ways. In 2006 and 2007, Atkins drew walks in at least 10% of his plate appearances, in 2008 that number was down to 6.1%. If he wants to restore his value before he hits free agency after the 2010 season, he'll have to show himself to be a complete offensive player once more.
He did gain some of the plate discipline back (9.7%), but everything else . . . yeah.
Carlos Gonzalez - Will find the fertile field we call Security Service cures all his contact and discipline woes like a revivalist tent preacher.
Carlos Gonzalez could not be contained with the Sky Sox. The same cannot be said while with the Rockies.
Ubaldo Jimenez - Will emerge as the NL West's next great ace.
He's getting there, even if he doesn't receive that much attention.
Jason Marquis (pending) - Will teach U-ball how to hit.
Who knows if Marquis has made any difference, but U-Ball does know how to hit now. I was tempted to edit the entry and make it into "Will lead the league in wins at the All-Star Break."
Ian Stewart - Will drive in the winning run when the Rockies clinch the NL West.
Still could happen.