My official prediction for the Rockies’ 2013 season: 75-87.
I’m slightly more optimistic than most, which is really saying something since I’m picking them to finish 12 games under .500.
The single reason for all the pessimism and negativity and complete lack of excitement about this team is the starting rotation. Anybody with a clue knows the rotation stinks. Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio, Jeff Francis and John Garland. Seriously. Those are the five starting pitchers on a Major League Baseball team. In 2013. (Deliberate sentence fragments for dramatic effect).
I suppose I’m a little more bullish than most because I can’t imagine the rotation is as bad as last year, even if it consists of the guys mentioned above. Last year the rotation was historically bad. It was a laughing stock. It was legitimately one of the worst performances by a starting staff in the history of baseball. If nothing else, regression to the mean suggests they’ll improve at least a little bit.
The key is Jorge De La Rosa. A few years back he had the makings of a legitimate number-2 starter and borderline ace. Then his arm exploded and he had Tommy John surgery. If he can his regain his control and throw in low-to-mid 90s (rare from the left side) and win 13-16 games, that would change the dynamic of the rotation and bullpen dramatically.
Aside from the rotation, here are some things worth keeping an eye on:
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST could be the best division in baseball this year, which doesn’t bode well for the Rox. The Giants are trying to establish a dynasty. The Dodgers are spending more money than any team ever. The Diamondbacks should be battling for positioning with those two. Even the Padres have a bunch of decent pitchers in a pitchers’ park and a fringe MVP candidate in Chase Headley (who’s a Fountain-Fort Carson grad). And the Rockies… don’t have any pitchers. Is it too late to change my prediction?
DEXTER FOWLER could be an all-star.
TODD HELTON IS 80 hits shy of 2,500. He’ll get there if he stays remotely healthy. That would be a significant milestone in his Hall of Fame case.
Here’s hoping 2013 sends the Toddfather (and hands-down my all time favorite athlete/childhood hero) out in style. Nothing in sports would make me happier than watching Helton belt opposite field doulbes off the wall and turn on down-and-in fastballs and slap bloop singles after flicking away six 2-strike pitches and charge bunts like a mad man and scoop up bad throws like a ballerina with a glove all summer long. (Run-on sentence for dramatic effect).
TROY TULOWITZKI’S HEALTH. If he misses long stretches again this year, that’s just who he is. Then we start talking about “glimpsing greatness” and “what could have been” and making stretch comparisons to Ken Griffey Jr. and Kerry Wood. (I know, I know. That’s why I said stretch comparison.)
HOW LONG NOLAN ARENADO AND DREW POMERANZ are playing in Colorado Springs. It would bode well for the Rockies if they both headed up I-25 and contributed sooner than later.
CAN WILIN ROSARIO catch the damn ball?
WHO EMERGERS AMONG all the role players. Jordan Pacheco hit .309 as a rookie last year but Chris Nelson is starting at third base. What about Arenado? DJ LeMahieu could be a decent player. Josh Rutledge came out guns blazing last year, then faded. So did Tyler Colvin, who is starting the year in AAA. Jon Herrara has had his moments. Why is Reid Brignac on the roster? Can EYJ ever be an everyday player? Can Dan O’Dowd trade all of these guys for a starting pitcher?
ATTENDANCE. Will the fans continue to support a bad baseball team? Attendance has not suffered much the past couple of years, despite the team’s failures. If Coors Field continues to host 30,000 or more each game, it’s hard to see the Monforts changing their business plan.
OTHER STUFF FROM THE SPORTS WORLD AND THE WORLD WIDE WEB
The Nuggets championship run may have been completely derailed when it was announced that Ty Lawson had a complete tear of his plantar fascia. Lots of confusion around this one. Ty said he was at about 60 percent when he played (and aggravated his injury) against San Antonio. Nobody can seem to figure out why in the hell he played in a game the Nuggets didn’t really have to have. Also a little weird that he figured out what the injury was nine days after he injured it. Also a little weird that he is listed as “day to day” when this injury usually takes several weeks to heal.
The bottom line is, regardless of seed, the Nuggets won’t be going to the NBA finals without Ty Lawson and his incredible speed and his incredible burst flying around at 100 percent. With Manu Ginobli’s injury announced on Monday, it seems like the road is being paved for another Heat-Thunder finals. I honestly had no idea David Stern had the power control which players get injured.
Not all that surprised though.
Just look at the reaction of these people.
Of course, if you haven’t been living in a cave since Sunday, you know those people recoiling in horror just saw Kevin Ware’s leg do several things a leg is not supposed to do. If you haven’t seen it and want to, you can find it on YouTube. For me, the most interesting aspect of Ware’s injury is the way the media handled it. Should we show it? Should we link it? The reaction of people on social media was naturally way over the top, acting like we had just seen live video of someone entering a woodchipper in Fargo and anyone who references or shows or links to it is a crazy animal.
Don’t get me wrong it was gross. I squinted, pushed away from my laptop, made a face like I smelled rotten milk, covered my mouth with the back of my hand and said something along the lines of, “Hohhhewwwwughh.” But we didn’t watch anybody die. I have no problem with news outlets linking or showing the video with a little warning. Hell, Daniel Tosh makes a living out of showing crap like this with no warning whatsoever.
Also, the whole incident provided one of the sports images of the year.
This made it’s way around Twitter Sunday. I’d prefer it without the hashtag, but what a great shot.
Trey Burke will probably win the national Player of the Year award and on Saturday night he hit the biggest, most unreal shot of the tournament.
Are these the best commercials ever? Seriously, everybody just loves these. I’m an avid commercial muter, but if I’m in the room with someone and one of these comes on, demands of, “Unmute it!” are flung in my direction. One would have to imagine they’re scripted, but the kids are just goofy and sincere enough and “that guy” is just enough of a dick to really make it seem like they’re not. There’s like 15 of different ones, but I suppose this one is my favorite. (Just ahead of “Hold on I’m watching this” and “Sand full of sugar” and “Tape a cheetah to her back“.)
Naturally they went and ruined the concept by making these horribly acted, horribly scripted spots with basketball legends.
This is what happens when you combine “Peter” and “join us.”
Ocean’s 11 was based on the thievery of masterminds like this:
Or maybe not.
A couple links that are about sports, but aren’t really about sports:
This moving story about overcoming adversity.
This long feature about douchey NBA players competing in the world of high-end fashion.
And finally, my prediction for the rest of the NCAA tournament: Give me Louisville over Michigan Monday night in a game that isn’t particularly close. All that talk about having “no elite team” in college basketball is way off base. Nobody is beating the Cards.
Happy Tuesday everybody.
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