Losing is never fun. Ask any fan, and they’ll tell you the same thing: it’s hard to stay engaged when your team isn’t competitive. There’s a rush and thrill we all get out of watching success; it’s only natural we’re drawn to it in almost every aspect of our lives, and sports are no different. Your favorite memories from your sports teams more than likely come from wins, successful seasons, and times of bonanza all around. So what happens when success is not on the horizon?
As you can probably attest to if you frequent the Rockies’ Reddit page or if you’ve simply paid attention to the fanbase in the past few months, the morale among the Rockies faithful is not very high, which makes sense, since the team has all but waved the white flag when it comes to competing (even if they aren’t admitting it). The departure of Jeff Bridich might make things better for some folks, but that high can only last for so long before the on-field product and the lack of winning get to you.
So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to craft a list of tips to maybe help you enjoy this season (and likely the next few as well) of Rockies baseball:
Find individual players to attach yourself to
This is a reliable tactic that fans of many teams have employed throughout the years. Attaching yourself to specific ballplayers and following their progress is a pretty solid way to care about the game you’re watching, and this Rockies team has quite a few likeable guys to follow. Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, and Raimel Tapia are a few of the position players, but I personally find myself drawn to the rotation and their exploits. The starting pitcher is the most important player on the field, after all.
Bask in the tire fire!
This one might be a bit more malevolent, but why not suggest it? You know that whole “it’s so bad, it’s actually good” thing? Those can be the Rockies at some point this year, in particular if a few key players get traded. I’m not saying you should enjoy watching them be terrible, but I’m also not saying you shouldn’t. Maybe it gets ownership to change its tune, too!
Realize it’s still baseball at the end of the day
This is the big one for me. Last year was pretty brutal for most of us, but I never realized how much I missed having baseball on every single day for about seven months until it was taken away from me, and watching this season be somewhat normal baseball has been such a blast and a breath of fresh air by being a breath of stale air. Baseball is such a wonderful sport with its own unique quirks, traditions, and an atmosphere unlike any other. That slow and relaxed pace, the depth of the pitcher-hitter battle, the way it manages to build up tension steadily when it’s close, and so many other little things that are hard for me to put into words.
So really, that’s the most important thing I wanted to get through here. Baseball is a beautiful sport that we all love, but if your love for baseball is being disrupted by your following of a particular franchise, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Perhaps relax a bit on your fandom and simply enjoy the game itself for what it is without quite as much care for the stakes. Just enjoying baseball and everything it represents is often good enough.
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Some interesting quotes and information here. Among them, I found it funny (and very in character) that it was Bud Black who was behind Matt Adams’ promotion to the major league team. Also, apparently Austin Gomber was tipping pitches when he got shelled in San Francisco two starts ago, but he fixed it and was much better in Arizona. That and some other stuff (Charlie Blackmon quotes, etc.) from Nick Groke.
From Rockies Magazine, an overall look at the Rockies’ revamped Minor League system, which features two new affiliates in Spokane and Fresno.
It feels so great to have Minor League baseball back. The season started yesterday, so even if it’s not 100% Rockies related, an all-purpose guide to MiLB is a good thing to read. I’m very excited to watch Helcris Olivarez, Chris McMahon, Drew Romo, and others. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
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