Baseball is nearly here, and that's a good thing. Any day with baseball is superior to any day without baseball, and that's a scientific fact. April baseball is especially groovy, since you can fool yourself into thinking your favorite team is still a contender.
But that doesn't mean that baseball doesn't come with its own package of annoyances. Especially Rockies baseball. It's like being invited to a backyard pool party, but it's slightly overcast, all they have is pineapple pizza and Mike's Hard Lemonade, and Annoying Gary shows up. Overall it's a good time, but there's still plenty to complain about.
Last week we covered ten reasons to get excited for Rockies baseball. We also looked at reasons why you should be skeptical of the Rockies' chances. As a final preview, let's look at the things that are going to be just straight-up annoying in 2015. Here's a non-exhaustive rundown of the annoyances Rockies fans are going to have to put up with this year. Perhaps by examining them before they happen, their magnitude can be diminished. Or maybe this will just ruin your Friday; reader beware.
The five minute Twitter freakout every time Troy Tulowitzki runs out a grounder and winces
Troy Tulowitzki is injury prone. Water is wet, you don't get involved in a land war in Asia, and Sean Connery is the best James Bond. Some things just go without saying. So please don't freak out on Twitter every time he makes a face after jogging up the line after a ground out. He's probably just annoyed at himself for making an out; he isn't masking the pain of his disintegrating hamstrings. Also, Tulo naturally stops his running gingerly; it might look like he's favoring a leg, but that's just how he runs. It's nothing. Probably.
Just wait until the next inning to see if he comes back out onto the field. If he doesn't, freak out to your heart's content. Up to that point, keep it to yourself. Social media is great, but we all need to do our part to keep Twitter feeds unspammed.
Granted, that's a small complaint. They get larger.
Watching the offense dry up on the road
Twenty-two years of Rockies baseball, and the story is always the same. Explosive offense at home, futility on the road. Last year they slugged a .902 OPS at home but managed a .636 away. They're Jose Bautista at home and Alcides Escobar on the road.
It's gonna keep on happening too. They have to play their road games in Petco and AT&T and Dodger Stadium, against the likes of Kershaw, Greinke, Bumgarner, Shields, and more. Balls in play don't drop (.361 BABIP at home, .285 away), fly balls don't go out (52 fewer homers away), and the strikeout rate skyrockets. If anyone can figure out how to get Rockies players to hit on the road, that person deserves a Nobel Prize and free Party Deck drinks for life.
The most frustrating part isn't just the bad hitting. It's the Narrative. It's the same conversations held by the same people talking about this same issues over and over, with no answers in sight. Opposing team broadcasters bring up the splits incessantly when talking about a Rockies hitter. Walt Weiss gets the same questions after every 1-0 loss on the road. It's like being forced to watch the same annoying movie over and over again.
Seeing the same commercials over and over and over and over again
Eighteen half innings per game, plus four or five extra breaks for pitching changes. Five commercials per break. That's basically 100 commercials to sit through for each Rockies game. Multiply that by 162 games. The math is terrifying.
Get ready to be squealed at by the latest Geico creation, know all the bargains at Dealin' Doug's, and be scolded by the Wendy's red-head for eating lunch wrong. Capitalism makes baseball possible, but it also makes it annoying as hell.
Dinger camping out behind home plate during save situations
This is the worst one. It's always been the worst and always will be the worst, until whoever is in charge at 20th and Blake finally wakes up from his coma. Unless that coma is Dinger-induced. It wouldn't surprise me if staring into its bugged-out eyes for too long causes brain death.
It legitimately makes me embarrassed to be a Rockies fan to see that Lynchian purple nightmare spin its head around during the most dramatic moment of a game. Instead of focusing on the game I'm thinking about what the fans of the other team are thinking. I imagine they roll their eyes and think to themselves, "welp, what do you expect, the Rockies are basically as professional as a glorified BASEketball team anyway."
I'll support the Rockies until my dying day, but this is bush league. No other team in the league allows this kind of chicanery. Dinger is fine for the kids (presumably; I remember being terrified of him as a child), but they have to get him away from the camera in the ninth inning.
Baseball is great, but nothing is perfect. Sometimes you just have to roll with the things that annoy you to appreciate the greater whole.