It’s a tradition unlike any other, an occasion that arrives each spring heralding a rebirth and renewal of hope for the months to come.
Opening Day, what a beautiful sight to behold each year. However, there is a bittersweet feeling this time around as the Colorado Rockies prepare to face San Diego to kick off the season.
On one hand, the Rockies are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a team. That milestone brings with it plenty of opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the history of the franchise. Yet, on the opposite side of that coin is the reality that the Colorado Rockies have achieved very little in their history and have seemingly failed to put any plans in place to celebrate the good parts and players of their history, all while heading towards what many projections and media pundits have concluded will be their first 100-loss season.
Opening Day in 2023 for the Rockies feels more like preparing to storm the beaches of Normandy with nothing but a squirt gun and a pack of gum.
The Rockies are in a dismal place heading into their 30th season. Since the inaugural season in 1993, the team has reached the postseason just five times, all of which came as a Wild Card team because they have failed to win their division despite a few close calls. In fact, the Rockies have just nine winning seasons (a record over .500) in their history and have never won more than 92 games in a season. Sure they have never lost 100 games somehow, but judging by their priorities they are okay with being mediocre with a misplaced optimism of “we just need to play better and then we can compete.”
If you keep saying “we’ll get them next year,” again and again, at what point does optimism turn into delusion?
I won’t be one to grip and complain (or at least devote a lot of my time and energy to it) to how the Rockies are choosing to jumble together their roster into 2023. However, like many of you, I recognize the problem of not having a solid plan in place to acquire and play the best players for the team. I like the Mike Moustakas and Jurickson Profar signings, but should they really be on the 2023 Colorado Rockies? Probably not, but I will cheer for them to do well because I want to see competitive and winning baseball.
Even if the Rockies are likely to not be competitive in 2023, there is no excuse for the team to not pull out all the stops (or not announce plans if they do have things planned) to hype up and celebrate the 30th anniversary. At the very least, give fans a reason to come to the games and celebrate some of their favorite players in team history.
The Miami Marlins, the Rockies' sister team, has enjoyed an interesting history in their 30 years of existence. Thanks to the Wild Card, the Marlins have two World Series titles in the midst of all of the rough and bad years. Much like the Rockies they have developed some amazing home grown talents only to trade them away to have success with other teams. Yet, there is continual growing excitement for the Marlins thanks to some interesting acquisitions to go along with some of the best young starting pitching in all of baseball.
There was also the announcement that in honor of their 30th anniversary, they would be holding flashback Fridays at home where they will wear their originally designed Florida Marlins uniforms. They will welcome back former players and the like while setting up a historical display at the stadium for fans to visit. The Rockies on the other hand are simply putting patches on their sleeves and maybe showing some videos online.
You can’t help but feel a little jealous. The Rockies have sadly grown quite indifferent to their player history, choosing to only focus on a small handful of players.
So, as Opening Day approaches, what can I do to try and inject some enthusiasm into the Rockies organization for myself and make this 30th season palatable if hope feels lost?
Much like the Rockies are trying to do, look towards the future.
There are exciting prospects knocking on the door waiting to come and play. We will get to see two of them with Elehuris Montero and Ezequiel Tovar getting chances to play every day. We’ve seen the future of Zac Veen, Drew Romo, Gabriel Hughes, and Brenton Doyle shine in Spring Training. There are plenty of prospects to be excited about in the organization and you’ll have more opportunities to follow them in 2023.
Thanks to a revamp of MLB.TV, the MiLB.TV package add-on is now included at no extra charge, meaning if you can’t or don’t want to watch the Rockies, you can simply pop on the audio or television feeds available and support the farm teams. Thanks to a more universal calendar schedule, you can follow these teams all summer long for 130+ games each.
Perhaps even more important with looking to the future is something I’ve been trying to do is simply not put too much stock into what the Rockies are doing. Sure, we can all get frustrated (and rightly so) for the things they are doing, but I refuse to let Dick Monfort or anyone else tarnish my love of baseball. We are very lucky to have a team in Colorado with a wonderful stadium environment and a team that does have many likable and talented players that are easy to root for, even if the result will be a lackluster record.
I don’t want to be used to the likelier odds of losing baseball every year, but alas it is the reality that we are currently living in. So, despite my reluctance and slight pessimism about what is going on at 20th and Blake, I will eagerly await the first pitch of Opening Day, trying to hold onto that slim sliver of hope that just maybe things could go right.
Together, we just might be able to get through this.
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Danielle’s MLB Insider: Meet the person who kept the Rockies analytics department running | The Denver Gazette ($)
Danielle Allentuck provided a nice story about the Rockies' analytics department and the one woman who kept it alive during and after the 2020 season.
Young, old, and revivals a bad mix for Colorado Rockies in 2023 | Call to the Pen
The Rockies are basing their hopes on a mixed bag of personal with hopes it will pay off in 2023, but will it work? Aaron Hurt does not think so.
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