If you love good horror, search “Rockies offense” on Google and dive in. If you just want to rubberneck the disaster, one stat should suffice: the Rockies were 2-30 with runners in scoring position in their series against the Diamondbacks. Two. For. Thirty. That’s an .060 batting average. In the biggest series of the year. At Coors Field.
Everyone is scrambling for solutions. Bud Black is shuffling the lineup. Rockies fans across the Front Range are experimenting with facial hair, seating arrangements, phrases, mannerisms—anything to conjure up the mythical Hit with Runners in Scoring Position. Even Ryan Spillbourghs is doing his part:
If wearing those boots is the only way to fix the offense, then I’m willing to start over again in April. But Spilly is on to something. Surely there is a greater force behind the Rockies offensive prowess that needs to be awoken through some sort of grooming wizardry.
How long have Rockies fans heard about the Coors Field Magic—the fairy tale that high altitude, a gaping outfield, and low humidity turn average baseball players into Olympian gods who can launch home runs with the flick of a wrist. The Rockies will always have a top-five offense, according to the storybooks, because they will always play at Coors Field.
But what if the magic doesn’t come from Coors Field at all? What if it’s been hidden in the oily locks of the great Rockies hitters since 1995? What if the real magic is in the mullet.
Who is the greatest Rockie of all time? Probably Larry Walker—an MVP, batting champ, perennial gold glover and five-tool stud. Was it Coors Field magic that won him an MVP in 1997, or was it something else? He hit 20 HRs and had a 1.169 OPS at home. Amazing. But do you remember what he hit on the road? A whopping 29 HRs with a 1.176 OPS! What can possibly account for a hitter being better away from Coors—the Valhalla that turns singles swatters into ball mashers? Well, check out his Canadian Passport for yourself:
Are we reading too much into his mullet? Did Walker just happen to have a Camaro Crop while also hitting .334 with the Rockies?
Vinny Castilla is another name that should ring a bell. A year after Walker’s MVP run, Vinny hit .319 with 46 HRs and a staggering 144 RBIs. He also played in all 162 games that season—a Herculean achievement. Surely little Vinny was a product of Coors Field Magic. I mean, couldn’t get a ball out of the infield anywhere else, right? In fact, he actually hit 20 HRs with 53 RBIs on the road that year, good for an OPS over .800. If it wasn’t Coors Field, what was it? Look at that North Carolina Neck Warmer:
Dante Bichette was a pretty good Rockies player, too. He hit .316 with an .892 OPS during seven years with the Rockies. Check out his Rat’s Nest:
At this point, a skeptic might argue that the magical mullet was just a product of its time—an unfortunate grooming misstep of the late 90s whose only real power was evoking a grimace or gag reflex.
The next generation of Rockies greats prove them wrong, however.
Troy Tulowitzki is one of the greatest Rockies players of all time. He was a key player in the magical run to the world series in 2007, a great leader, power-hitting shortstop, and defensive wizard. As his career progressed, so did his Wisconsin Waterfall:
Need more proof? If Larry Walker is 1A in Rockies history, Todd Helton is 1B. He hit .316 during his 17-year career with the Rockies, along with a career OPS of .953. He has the 19th most doubles in baseball history, and is a surefire Should-Be-Hall-of-Famer. As with his personality, Helton’s mullet was not conventional. But if we follow the standard definition of “short in the front, long in the back,” then Helton definitely had a Sho-Lo:
The magic is still active this season. The Rockies best hitter has been Charlie Blackmon. He is arguably the MVP of the league and has been the Rockies’ most consistent producer. Brandishing a .340 BA and 1.022 OPS, his Beaver Paddle is one for the ages:
But what about Nolan Arenado—the Rockies best player and other MVP candidate? Yep, he’s had a Tennessee Tophat too:
The only superstar in Rockies history, really, who hasn’t had a mullet is Carlos Gonzalez. Is it any wonder that his power is fading? He should be better; he hits at Coors Field. But that’s not where the magic is. The magic is in the mullet. CarGo’s time is running out, but if he truly wants to be great again and help the Rockies on their quest for rings this season, he needs a Missouri Compromise:
To all of the Rockies faithful: forget the shoes and the seating arrangements and the gestures. Grow a mullet. Grow it fast. Grow it short/long. Grow it like Billy Rae Cyrus raised you in a mudhole behind a Piggly Wiggly! Let’s get this season turned around!