Another year comes to a close and, in the time honored internet tradition, people are making their lists of the best movies, music, memes, and everything in between to come out in the past year. As we are a website on the interweb, Purple Row is not immune from this. But rather than list “THE ROCKIES MADE THE PLAYOFFS” half a dozen times and call it a day, we’re taking a different approach.
Each of the past two years we’ve asked our writers to share their favorite posts that they’ve written. We do this to recognize their hard work throughout the year by putting the things they are most proud of in front of you, our readers, again.
This also serves as a reminder to you, our audience, how much we appreciate your contributions to this website: whether reading and sharing our articles, or debating or lurking in the comments and Game Threads. Believe it or not, you are why we do this and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for making Purple Row a part of your Rockies fandom.
Without further ado, here are our favorite articles from 2017.
From Eric: “Ian Desmond doesn’t make sense for first base.” Accurate statement: The title. Understatement: “Desmond has a really high groundball rate.” Wrong statement: Anything suggesting the Rockies should consider Chris Carter.”
Eddie Butler Rockies’ career was as exciting as it was disappointing - Eric Garcia McKinley | January 30
"This one I really liked because it gets at of all the things fans, writers, and social media want to make prospects represent. When they disappoint, it’s on us."
Back in February, Richard had a different take on how to project the Rockies' success or failure in the upcoming season. It's spooky how many factors he foresaw, though a few he did foresee ended up having less of an impact than any of use would've expected.
Long before what we knew to expect out of the young pitching staff or how the new manager would handle them, The Boss got to have a conversation with Bud Black.
From Hayden: "This even more interesting in hindsight, since at least some of the nice things they said about Gerrardo Parra before 2017 ended up being true."
Baseball tends to make sure you know how wrong you can be on a regular basis. So when Eric says "I swear I’m not picking just fairly accurate statements," you could forgive him if he was.
All season long Chris Jackson provided great coverage of the Rockies Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. This, an interview with Jeff Hoffman, is but one example of his fantastic contributions.
Colorado Rockies first baseman Reynolds is having a late career change - Eric Garcia McKinely | April 17
From Eric: "My favorite from “the trenches.” Mark Reynolds was candid in his remarks, and it was really fun to see him play so well for most of the year."
The Rockies were rolling early in the season, but there were reasons to believe the team could be even better. That Charlie Blackmon’s and DJ LeMahieu’s places in the batting order turned into a bit of a debate throughout the season is a mark of Ryan's foresight in pointing out this issue.
The Rockies didn't have a first round pick after signing Ian Desmond to a free agent contract (how much time is left in that?). But Matt Kok still thought it a draft worth previewing. He named two to three possibilities for each of the Rockies first three picks, even mentioning eventual round two pick Ryan Vilade. Take note: Matt's work in these FanPosts impressed us so much we eventually brought him on staff.
You'd think the release of a mostly ineffective bench bat would hardly require coverage, even on an in depth Rockies site like Purple Row. But Connor made us pause and remember why Stephen Cardullo had a story that needed to be remembered.
...Part 2. From Hayden: "This I think was my most thorough work, even if I ended up being dead wrong about "needing" to trade for an ace."
Rockies fans discuss why this team being good matters and why it feels good to win.
"This one was an accurate warning that way more people should have paid attention to." Indeed, Eric. Indeed.
As a part of SB Nation's layout change, we asked readers to write FanPosts describing why they are Rockies fans. One of those writers, Ben Kouchnerkavich, recently joined the Purple Row staff. Be sure to peruse the rest of the archives, while you're at it.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred discusses league’s ‘tremendous opportunity’ to market its young stars - Jordan Freemyer | June 8
It's not everyday you get to be part of an interview for the league's top executive. It's even less common that you get something interesting from that executive.
Next year is the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Major League Baseball being played in Denver. That's plenty of history to warrant some memorializing by the team, and Ted has some suggestions.
We all watched with horror as German Marquez had perhaps one of the worst strike zones seen all year called against him by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. But the missed calls aren't the league's most egregious umpire problem.
The Colorado Rockies hot start and four reasons why the wheels may come off - Nick Hertzog | June 15
Nick, like Eric before him, looks like Nostradamus in this pre-Father's Day prediction post. He also tapped into reasons why the Rockies were eventually able to hang on for a playoff spot.
There is blogging, there is reporting, and then there is journalism. At Purple Row we specialize in the first one, do the best we can with the second, and occasionally dabble in the third. This is an example of top notch journalism from Ted, a piece two editors submitted for inclusion.
By far the post I'm most proud of, in part because it represents a change in my personal thinking from just a few years ago and represents what I believe is a needed conversation among fans. Thanks to fellow Purple Row staffer Jen Mac Ramos for the inspiration.
From Hayden: "I liked this one because I love Adam Ottavino, and I felt like it was my most relevant article, even if the subject matter itself wasn't fun to talk about."
It's funny how quickly a fan base ban turn on a team. However, when it gives us such a downfall as they gave us in June, it calls for a little punchiness.
No, not many of Nick's predictions ended up coming to fruition, but hey, it was fun at the time. And we need more fun, don't we?
We can't legally advise gambling, but sometimes it is pretty interesting (and fun to write) about prop bets and such. Whether or not it's fun to actually place those prop bets, see the first clause in this paragraph.
The first half of the season was a whole heck of a lot of fun. Remember some of the best moments (and some of the great writing that was inspired by those moments, which I linked to, including the reaction to the number one game on the list: Nolan's Walk-Off Cycle).
Rockies pitching guru Mark Wiley emphasizes attitude, repertoire expansion - Jordan Freemyer | July 21
Jordan had the rare opportunity of interviewing Rockies’ Director of Pitching Operations one-on-one. That's not something we pass on too quickly.
Chris got the opportunity to speak with general manager Jeff Bridich during the most important trade deadline in nearly a decade for the franchise. Pretty cool opportunity, if I do say so myself.
For a long stretch of time, the Dodgers seemed completely invincible, so even if the Rockies hadn't had a few rough stretches, it would've have mattered much to their division title aspirations. How did they get to such a place? Trust the Ned Colleti Bad Trade Measuerer.
One of the most frustrating things about the Rockies season was that it started SO GOOD and the team seemed to slog their way to their playoff berth. The offense was probably the worst offender.
From Hayden: "Rockies draft and develop plan is working, kind of - they did it largely without their top hitting prospects in 2017. Can those guys break through and/or stay healthy in 2018? What would that mean for an offense that needs to improve?"
Many of Nick's posts provided some timely levity to the proceedings here at Purple Row.
This is an exception, but still a worthy entry. Carlos Gonzalez had a tough year, but his September surge reminded us why we loved him (at least a little bit) and sent him out of Denver on a (relative) high note.
This was the ten year anniversary of the magical run to the World Series known as Rocktober. Ted's contribution was one of the best we had (though there were some mighty fine FanPosts as well).
Speaking of Rocktober...
Here’s what people were saying and and seeing after the Rockies clinched the Wild Card. Fortunately for us, Richard Bergstrom was there (post-game, at least) to capture it all.
As part of our preview for the MLB Playoffs, I wrote about the Rockies pitching staff. Think of it as the easy version of what Eric and Bryan did at the beginning of the season.
The Rockies finally made it back to the playoffs! Alas, it was short lived because sometimes a relief pitcher hits a triple. And by sometimes I mean once and at the most inconvenient time.
The Boss of Purple Row stepped down after the season, moving on to bigger and better things in his professional life. You could say he went out on a high note, making his last season running the site the one in which the Rockies finally made the playoffs again. His presence has, and will continue to be, missed.
"It wasn’t so much about Chad Bettis’ results on the field, but that he was there at all."
Anytime you write the same article that Grant Brisbee writes (without realizing it, I mean), it makes you feel pretty good. That, and this article links back to two of my actual favorites from this year: the MVP cases for Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon.
In recognition of his birthday (and third to last year on the ballot for the Hall of Fame) we had ourselves a little celebration of one of the best players to ever wear a Rockies uniform, Larry Walker. It's not all stats and numbers for this guy, though.
As of this writing, the Rockies still do not have Greg Holland or Wade Davis, so I hope Ryan is right on this one. Unless, of course, they do land one or the other.
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Last year we had 37 submissions. This year that went up to 44, though I think in a season as momentous (and strange) as 2017, the extra posts are warranted. We hope you enjoyed what Purple Row had to offer in 2017 and we look forward to stepping up our game for you in 2018.