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Final Game Preview: Helton's last goodbye

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The Rockies season comes to a close on Sunday afternoon with Jeff Francis getting the nod to go against Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers. Todd Helton will be playing the final game of his storied 17 year career. In an appropriate gesture, he will bat third, a spot he filled for many years.

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Whatever your opinions have been on the Rockies season, watching the final game should not be about those opinions. This game should be all about Todd Helton finally saying goodbye. The game is essentially meaningless as the Rockies have long been eliminated from contention and the Dodgers can neither go up or down in the standings. While many Rockies faithful, including myself, can't help but be disappointed by the result of the season, let's cherish this last game in Helton's storied career.

Jeff Francis (2-5 6.61) will be toeing the rubber in what is likely his final appearance in a Rockies uniform. He was once a pivotal member of the Rockies rotation, but he has struggled to find any consistency since being tabbed as the Rockies fourth starter to begin the season.Francis hasn't started a game since June 18th, but perhaps as a gesture and final farewell to Francis the Rockies are allowing him to start one final time.

Francis has done a lot for the Rockies to deserve this opportunity, but the real farewell is being said to number 17. Walt Weiss penciled Helton into the number three spot in today's lineup in what will likely be an emotional game for Todd. Helton batted third for the majority of his career and it's only fitting that he would end his career there. Helton is a career .323 hitter from his customary third spot spanning 3,317 at-bat's.

There isn't much intrigue in watching game number 162 of a lost season, but watching the final game of a storybook career is intrigue enough for me. Today is the day that Helton writes the final pages of his career and closes the book on a 17 year journey. Thanks for the memories Todd.