Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Some Thoughts on The Rockies’ 5-2 Start

Welcome to the 105th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where things are lookin’ up. Let’s get into it…

On Instagram straight flexin'. #OpeningWeek

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Let’s talk some baseball, folks. The Rockies have played seven games and won five of them. They’ve played four games on the road and won all four of them. They are off to an awesome start.

My favorite part of Opening Day and, by extension, Opening Week and the weeks that follow is the free-flowing optimism that permeates most every team and fan base in the league. When the Rockies jump out to a quick start, their fans fit the mold. Hope springs eternal. Optimism overflows.

With that in mind, I’m taking a stance with which I am verify unfamiliar. I’m playing the BringDown card. This is not something I’m wont to do when it comes to the Colorado Rockies, but hear me out.

Last season, sometime in mid-May, I was convinced the Rockies would finish above .500 and were a playoff contender. They finished the year 66-96.

This year the Rockies have to play 155 more games over the course of five and a half months. Things have gone well in the first week, but I’m not ready to move off my prediction of somewhere between 69 and 75 wins for the Rockies.

The reasons will not shock you:  1) Starting Pitching. 2) Injuries.

While it’s encouraging that the Rockies are 5-2 without any contribution from Jorge De La Rosa, the starting rotation is just too shaky and shallow for the team to be a contender. If Kyle Kendrick’s first two starts are any indication, his year will be a roller coaster. Eddie Butler has great stuff but hasn’t really been able to harness it in his two starts. Jordan Lyles has been solid. Tyler Matzek was pretty unimpressive in the Home Opener. JDLR should provide stability when he returns soon, but it’s just hard to envision those five guys leading a baseball team to a winning record.

And of course, the ever-present elephant in the room is hanging above our heads like a balloon we’re all hoping doesn’t pop. Injuries are going to happen. I hate to think about these things, but Precautionary Measures will transition into Day-To-Days, which will transition into 15-Day DLs, which will transition into 60-Day DLs. All we can do is hope the key players don’t miss more than a week or two at a time. If that’s the case, I do think the Rockies can outperform a lot of expectations, including my own. But I’ve learned over the years that a casual scroll of Twitter or an unexpected notification from my CBS Sports app or a text from a friend with similar Rockies-fan interests can quickly ruin my week and change the entire course of the Rockies’ season.

(As an aside, if the Rockies’ shortstop does go down, Daniel Descalso hasn’t done much to instill a lot of confidence as a backup.)

Now I want to be clear that I am not saying you shouldn’t enjoy these games and take pleasure in these wins and wonder What If?. Indeed, the seven games the Rox have played thus far have been an absolute blast. (Well, five of them at least.)

Take for example, the third game of 2015. which brought probably my favorite moment of the first week when Carlos Gonzalez hit a ball really far. I love CarGo’s I’m-pretty-sure-I-just-hit-that-ball-to-the-moon pimp strut so if you need me, I’ll be at my desk watching this GIF for the next few hours. The gorgeous swing! The bat drop! The stare! The strut!

One interesting thing I noticed after watching that about 500 times:  Immediately after the swing, the camera-person zooms out and starts to pan left under the assumption that Carlos is about to, like, run to first. Nah, bro. Not when you bounce it off the scoreboard about 30 feet up in dead center.

The official distance on that homer was 466 feet, but as Drew Goodman said on the broadcast, it sure seemed closer to 500.

But you get my point. That was fun! That’s vintage Carlos Gonzalez, something we haven’t seen much of lately. And vintage CarGo is a treat to watch. If you can’t get pumped and enjoy the hell out of that home run, you’re simply not a Rockies fan.

Through seven games, the reasons for optimism are there. The lineup looks really, really good. (DJ La Maheiu is out there for his defense and even he’s hitting .517!) The non-LaTroy Hawkins bullpen has been pretty much perfect. Walt Weiss is using defensive shifts! Walt Weiss is not messing around! (If you blow a couple saves, you’re not the closer anymore.) And yes, the starting pitching has been more than acceptable.

These are all good things with potentially positive implications, so if you feel so inclined, live it the hell up. All I’m saying is the more level-headed, less volatile among us might also see reasons to curb that enthusiasm and measure that optimism.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to watch that Carlos Gonzalez homer a few more times.

Some of the other notable stuff from baseball’s first week:

The schedule-makers didn’t do the Rockies any favors in scheduling them to play the Giants in the Giants’ first home game since winning the World Series. (The Rox won anyway.) The celebration featured Madison Bumgarner bringing in the World Series pennant… on a horse… on the field… for real.

The Marlins take the postgame interview antics to the next level:

Probably the coolest moment from around the Bigs this week was this walk-off grand slam game-saving catch from George Springer.

And here’s the other your defensive play of the week from Andrelton Simmons. We’re partial to Troy Tulowitzki ’round these parts, but yeah, Simmons is okay defensively.

And let’s hit the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

You might not have heard, but Jordan Speith had a pretty good weekend. This is my favorite moment, when he found his grandpa for a long hug after WINNING THE MASTERS. That’s not something you see too often.

Also studly from Augusta: Jack Nicklaus’ shot in the Par Three contest on Wednesday afternoon.

Douche of the week:

This douche is hilarious. HAM IT UP, PAL! YOU DID IT! … Just maybe wait til you cross that finish line first.

(Fox Sports, FTW)

That WTF look on his face when he realizes what just happened at about the 11 second mark is priceless. What a dork.

Photo/Tweet of the week:

This one pretty much speaks for itself. It is very, very amazing.

NBA Tank Watch 2015:

Only one game remains in the NBA regular season for most teams, so these are likely to be your final Tankandings. The Nuggets will finish with the seventh-worst record in the league. The day Brian Shaw was fired, they were 20-39, meaning they’ve played almost-.500 basketball (10-12) under Melvin Hunt. Before that stretch of terrible wins, they had the sixth-worst record in the league and appeared poised for a push to catch either the Magic or Lakers, or both. Stupidly, the Nugs went in the opposite direction. So much more could have been accomplished.

With the seventh-worst record, the Nuggets will have a 4.3 percent chance at landing the #1 pick and a 15 percent chance at sneaking into the top-3.

  1. Minnesota, .198, 16-65
  2. New York, .210, 17-64
  3. Philadelphia, .222, 18-63
  4. L.A. Lakers, .259, 21-60
  5. Orlando, .309, 25-56
  6. Sacramento, .346, 28-53
  7. Denver, .370, 30-51
  8. Detroit, .384, 31-50

And finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these will not ever get old.

That dad is awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for readin’. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

 

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79 Rockies Predictions For 2015

Welcome to the 104th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the dreary winter is officially behind us. Let’s get into it…

As always, the health of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki will be key to any success the Rockies hope to have. (Roy Chenoy / USA Today Sports)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I‘ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”  -Rogers Hornsby

It’s spring. Baseball is back. And as the 2015 Major League Baseball season begins, it’s officially time to turn the page and focus on the past time of America. Despite what you may have heard, baseball is still wildly popular in this country. Revenues are through the roof, attendance is healthy, and the game is going strong.

To kick off this joyous occasion, I’m providing you with everything you can expect from the Rockies this year, from their record, to the broadcasts, to the inevitable injuries, to CarGo’s WAR. Some of these are educated guesses, some are based off of historical tendencies, and some come simply from a gut feeling or hunch. And yes, I realize I’m a day late with this post, but that’s what happens when things take place on Mondays. (Also, I’m pretty much stealing this format from this Will Leitch column, but that’s okay.) Off we go…

  1. The Rockies will begin the season with a 10-0 victory over the Brewers in Milwaukee behind seven shutout innings from Kyle Kendrick and big days at the plate from Corey Dickerson, Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki. (I wrote this one on Sunday, promise!)
  2. The Rockies will improve upon last year’s dismal 66-96 season and win at least 68 games.
  3. The Rockies will not improve all that much; they’ll win fewer than 76 games.
  4. Despite my best efforts, early success from the Rockies will SUCK ME IN and trick me into being optimistic until things fall apart in June. (Or May… Or April.)
  5. When the Rockies are at Coors Field, they will hit the crap out of the ball.
  6. When the Rockies are on the road they will hit less of the crap out of the ball.
  7. The Rockies’ offense on the road will not be as disgustingly-awful as last year’s, which produced at a .228/.279/.357 output.
  8. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 160 games.
  9. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 150 games.
  10. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 140 games.
  11. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 130 games.
  12. Troy Tulowitzki will play in more than 100 games. (He played in 91 last year.)
  13. This will not be enough games to carry the Rockies into playoff contention.
  14. During the 100-130 games he plays, Troy Tulowitzki will be a top-2 player in the game.
  15. Carlos Gonzalez will play in more than 140 games. (He played in 70 last year.)
  16. Carlos Gonzalez will vastly improve upon his completely lost 2014 season (-0.7 WAR) and post a WAR around 4.
  17. Carlos Gonzalez will steal at least 20 bases.
  18. Nolan Arenado will make his first All Star team.
  19. Nolan Arenado will hit at least 23 home runs.
  20. Nolan Arenado will win his third Gold Glove in his third season.
  21. Corey Dickerson will continue to hit and hit and hit and hit.
  22. Corey Dickerson will finish with a top-5 National League batting average.
  23. Justin Morneau will again hit over .330 against right-handed pitching.
  24. Justin Morneau will have fewer than 120 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.
  25. Injuries, overall, will be less of a story and factor over the course of 2015 than they were in 2014.
  26. Keith Dugger will still have pristine hair.
  27. Drew Stubbs, a pleasant surprise last year, will see serious regression at the plate.
  28. Charlie Blackmon will not be good enough against left-handed pitchers to make up for Stubbs’ decline.
  29. This will be a problem for a team that broke camp with just four outfielders.
  30. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at first base.
  31. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at catcher.
  32. It will become clear that Wilin Rosario really needs to be a DH on an American League team.
  33. Nick Hundley’s defense, game calling, pitch receiving, and leadership will help the Rockies’ young pitching staff.
  34. Jorge De La Rosa will be back in his #1 spot in the rotation before May.
  35. Jorge De La Rosa will be the Rockies’ best starting pitcher again.
  36. Jorge De La Rosa will not be as good at Coors Field as he was in 2014 (10-2, 3.08 ERA),
  37. Tyler Matzek will turn into a semi-reliable #3 starter, with some gems and disasters sprinkled among mostly decent starts.
  38. Jordan Lyles will get hurt.
  39. Jon Gray will be called up to the Rox in May.
  40. Jon Gray will make serious and positive contributions to help bolster the pitching staff.
  41. After one particularly solid start from Gray, I will become irrationally excited about the future of the Rockies.
  42. Kyle Kendrick will not get injured.
  43. Kyle Kendrick will put up numbers similar to (but not quite as solid as) his numbers from last year with the Phillies: 32 starts, 199 innings, 4.61 ERA in a hitter’s park on a bad team.
  44. The Rockies will take that.
  45. Boone Logan will be less horrible and less injured than last year.
  46. Boone Logan will still not be worth his big-ass, $5.5 million salary.
  47. Rex Brothers will be called up in May or June, only to be sent back down a couple weeks later.
  48. Nobody will understand what the hell happened to Rex Brothers.
  49. Adam Ottavino’s slider will be the most fun thing to watch involving a Rockies pitcher.
  50. The oldest player in baseball, LaTroy Hawkins, will somehow be a pretty good closer again at the age of 42.
  51. When the Rockies are floundering in irrelevance in the late-summer, watching that infield play defense will be reason enough to tune in and watch a ball game.
  52. Walt Weiss’ new commitment to defensive shifts will be a long overdue innovation and make the Rox’ infield defense even better.
  53. Whenever Rafael Ynoa does ANYTHING I will loudly proclaim, “Ynoa it!”
  54. When Justin Morneau scoops a low throw, one of the Root broadcasters will compare him to Todd Helton.
  55. Ryan Spilborghs will turn out to be the most enjoyable color commentator on Root Sports.
  56. Root Sports will continue to scroll “Toyota Talk” at the bottom of the screen during games.
  57. The person in charge of this decision will not be fired, as he should be.
  58. George Frazier will talk about Oklahoma during a broadcast.
  59. Jenny Cavnar will continue her excellent work in the studio and at Coors.
  60. People on Twitter will complain about Drew Goodman’s play by play even though he’s pretty damn good.
  61. When the Rockies have early success or win a few games or series in a row, about half of the Denver media will prove they have no idea what is going on with the Rockies when they are forced to focus on the local nine for a few days.
  62. The Denver media will be stoked when July rolls around because they can focus on the Broncos’ stretching and jogging around in shorts for a few weeks before playing pretend games for a month.
  63. An employee of the San Francisco Giants will say something stupid about the Rockies.
  64. Dick Monfort will say something stupid about the Rockies.
  65. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Troy Tulowitzki, but the young pitching staff and position playing prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich the team can contend in 2016 with its current core.
  66. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Carlos Gonzalez, but the young pitching staff and position player prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich that the team can contend in 2016 with its current core.
  67. After the year, we still won’t be positive that Jeff Bridich knows what he’s doing, but we’ll all be a little more confident in the guy.
  68. With Bill Geivett gone, we will begin to see Walt Weiss’ true colors as a manager, though I’m not sure what those are yet.
  69. The $2 bag of peanuts I have been buying from the same guy outside of the home plate entrance for just about 20 years will somehow be slightly smaller than last year.
  70. The new metal detectors will make getting in to any remotely popular game any time near the scheduled first pitch an absolute disaster. (Especially on Friday. That’s gunna take hours.)
  71. Some half-drunk 22-year-old will stand in my section at a game and emplore the masses to start The Wave.
  72. I will politely request that this person put a stop to his actions.
  73. The Tooth Trot will still be a thing.
  74. Dinger will jump around behind home plate during the 9th inning.
  75. Dinger will continue to be an embarrassment.
  76. Dinger will conintue to be the worst mascot in sports.
  77. The Party Deck will be packed on a nightly basis with people who literally could not tell you what team the Rockies are playing.
  78. Coors Field will continue to be the most beautiful ball park in the country.
  79. I will go to Coors Field on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon or an impossibly pleasant Friday night and I’ll sneak into great seats and I’ll sip beer and I’ll crush peanut shells with my sandals and I’ll yell things that confuse children and I’ll get looks from people for clapping loudly and I’ll truly appreciate the most beautiful game on earth and I’ll be completely content with everything in my life, if only for a few hours.

No weekly departments this week but a whole bunch of fun stuff worth your time:

We’ll start with a couple videos from MLB to help get you pumped for the new season. First THIS:

And this next one is right up my alley. Player’s acting out Terrance Mann’s famous “People Will Come” speech?! Pretty cool

Everyone’s impression of James Earl Jones sucks.

The MLB Vine of the year might have come out of Washington yesterday:

College basketball happened this week, too!

Here’s the play of the game from the game of the year, when Wisconsin took down Kentucky.

The fun didn’t carry over for Wisconsin through last night’s championship game, though. I present, “Sad Teletubby”:

These do not look like human hands. Jahill Okafor palming a basketball.

Just stop it, Steph Curry. I’m kiddin’ he should definitely keep doing awesome stuff like this. (The behind-the-basket view is the best.)

Here’s the Vine:

This new Nike Golf commercial featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy is pretty damn awesome:

This week’s Sports Illustrated has a nice feature on Garrett Grayson. The story isn’t online yet, but here’s how it looked in the magazine. (Magazines are things made out of paper that people used to subscribe to and purchase at stores. You can read them without any electronics.)

While we’re on the topic of CSU football, here’s the latest “The Grind”. These are still awesome. It’s pretty cool to get an early glimpse into Bobo’s coaching style.

And finally, this video means it is officially, officially, officially baseball season. Pretty strong version this year featuring Ron Hunter falling off his stool and crying piccolo girl.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. If you’re heading out to The Keg on Friday, I hope you have a blast. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should kno

2014 Year In Review, Part Two

Welcome to– and another Happy New Year from– the 91st edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m blogging for the first time in 2015. Let’s get into it…

It’s 2015 now, but I’m not ready to look ahead at the coming year or look back on the five days that have already passed. 2014 has come and gone and in doing so provided 52 weeks– and 52 posts– of sports and pop culture content. It’s time to reminisce on all that we took in last year so I went back and reviewed each of the last 52 posts and pulled out all of my favorite things.

So let’s look back at the year that was. Sports highlights, sports lowlights, news bloopers, funny videos, moving pictures… Here are some of my favorites. The best, the worst, the most memorable. We’re talking Vines, GIFs, videos, posts, pictures, tweets, moments and other stuff from 2014. (This post got so big, I split it up into two sections. Part One was posted last week.)

I present: Your Tuesdays With Mitch 2014 Year in Review (Part Two):

We pick this thing up in…

JULY:

The dog days of summer produced a lot of baseball and soccer talk across the country. And the early part of the month produced another all-time great Vine.

This one became so popular so fast, lots of people thought it was fake, causing the MLB to step in and confirm its validity. It was quite the controversy.

The World Cup finally came to end in mid-July when some country beat some other country. I couldn’t take it anymore and had to provide my thoughts on soccer, which evidently pissed some people off.

On an international scale, we suck at soccer. We always have and we always will. We suck because we don’t really give a damn. We never have and we never will.

People were excited about the World Cup not because they have a newfound love for soccer, but because of national pride (I am an advocate of U-S-A chants, after all), an excuse to weekday day drink, and the biggest factor, social media group think.

Social media was flooded with athletes and celebrities voicing their support on the job done by the #USMNT. For what? The team’s 1-2-1 performance? Or was it to help build their own brand, get a few ReTweets and Facebook likes and show that they’re in touch with pop culture and supportive of whatever you support?

This obviously goes far beyond famous athletes and other celebs. It became “the thing to do” for everybody. Countless Americans didn’t want to feel left out, so they posted a bunch of tweets, statuses, pictures and stupid memes about the #USMNT even though they literally couldn’t name one player on any team the day before the World Cup started.

Is soccer on the rise in the United States? I guess. Maybe. But if it is, it’s increasing from a tiny minority to a small minority. So congrats on that, soccer.

I regret nothing.

But hey, this Vine of goalie or keeper or whatever Tim Howard not giving out hugs is still stellar.

Even though the Rockies were really bad, watching their infield turn double plays was a treat all year. This was probably the best one, which I referred to at the time as “majestic artistry.”

By mid-July the wheels were completely falling off for the Rockies and owner Dick Monfort wasn’t handling things well. This led to what was probably the funniest thing I wrote all year, “In Defense of Dick Monfort.” That post received quite a bit of positive feedback, so thanks. Go read it again, you lazy bum.

The ESPY’S came and went at the end of the month. Stuart Scott’s speech was just the best.

(Note: I had most of this post completed prior to Scott’s passing on Sunday, so this video was already embedded. This speech is certainly more difficult to watch today than it was just a few days ago. But it’s also more moving and important to watch. He nailed it, man. I also encourage you to watch ESPN’s beautiful tribute and Rich Eisen’s perfect, live remembrance from Sunday.)

AUGUST:

Sad news came in the beginning of August when Pat Bowlen stepped down as owner of the Broncos to focus on his battle against Alzheimer’s. So, so damn sad.

I don’t read much Woody Paige anymore, but his column on Bowlen was a must-read.

August brought us the first sniffs of the college football season, starting most importantly, with THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS. I enjoyed breaking down the Alabama hillbillies racing to worship Nick Saban. (Seriously I just cracked up over looking at the pictures/captions of those freaks one more time.)

And a trio of amazing news stories all came out around the same time, starting with my favorite news blooper of the year.

Followed by the best overall news story of the year, without a doubt.

Although this dude was not to be outdone.

The firing of Jack Graham came in early August and began a CSU-intensive few months for this blog. I kind of still can’t believe it happened. At the time, it seemed like this meant the on-campus stadium project had officially fallen through.

August 17th brought Todd Helton’s number retirement ceremony. It was perfect.

(Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post)

The Little League World Series came along and was as entertaining as always. We can’t forget this great speech from a coach who managed to keep everything in perspective.

A lot of you enjoyed my “Colorado State Football and Rocky Mountain Showdown Preview“. I spend a good amount of time just trash-talking CU, including discussing these numbers, which have only gotten dramatically worse after CU went winless in the Pac-12 in 2014.

Obviously, part of the reason for Colorado’s awful records and innumerable blowout losses is because they usually play a really tough schedule. This is all funny to me because one of the bragging points among Colorado fans is their conference. They’re in the Pac-12! That’s one of the best conferences in the nation! It’s prestigious! They play really good teams like Stanford and USC and Oregon! Good for them!

One interesting sidenote many CU fans seem to forget: Colorado is 4-23 against the Pac-12 in their three years in the conference. Wait guys, 4-23? That’s really bad. That’s a .148 winning percentage. But hey it’s a really prestigious conference! Who cares if they get blown out and embarrassed by all the good teams every week?

The pre-showdown CU hate is one of my favorite traditions every year!

SEPTEMBER:

September began with a recap of CSU’s fun victory over CU. The CSU student section was named Stud of the Week for their remarkable performance.

@NolanLees

Naturally, as the season wore on and CU was revealed to be a really bad team again, the win looked less and less important to Rams fans. Still fun though.

The first true “football weekend” started with a bang as the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! got underway. The Broncos beat the Colts in the first of many victories that would leave large portions of the fan base disappointed because it wasn’t dominant enough. The weekend also included what I still consider to be the greatest play in the history of the game:

Deadspin

This same week saw CSU lose to Boise State in a game that would greatly affect the remainder of their season regarding aspirations for a conference championship and a “New Year’s Bowl.”

The following week produced another Broncos’s win and, from the college world, this Vine, which has 23 million loops:

I love the pass defense here.

And this guy provided the best selfie-video of the year, from an LSU tailgate.

The Broncos lost to the Seahawks in their third week, which I said was “cool with me.” More importantly, that week provided us with a mascot wildcat intently listening to a postgame locker room speech. The speech is cool, but that mascot, on one knee, nodding in agreement is one of the funniest damn things from the entire year.

Colorado State Beats Boston College For A Huge, Wild Win” was one of the more fun write-ups I did this year. Here’s the lede:

Colorado State had no business beating Boston College as our Saturday mornings transitioned into Saturday afternoons. Not after CSU traveled farther east than the program had since 1959. Not after kicking off at 10:30 a.m. local time (an underrated factor in this game). Not after their senior quarterback threw two first-quarter interceptions. Not after falling behind 14-0 late in the second quarter. Not against an ACC team that beat the #9 team in the country on this field two weeks ago. Not with CSU’s senior quarterback beat up and grabbing his shoulder in pain after just about every play. Not when they were down three points facing a fourth-and-eleven with 1:05 left.

It also produced one of the better pictures of 2014.

Grayson to Lovett for the biggest play of Colorado State’s young season and a huge, dramatic win. (Stephan Savoia/AP

Indeed, the win over Boston College set the tone and made a statement in what would turn out to be a very special year for Colorado State.

On the last day of the MLB regular season, Jordan Zimmerman threw a no-hitter. Here’s the last play of the game from a unique vantage point.

OCTOBER:

October is always one of the best times of the year for sports. That was certainly the case this year with a great MLB Postseason, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!, college football, the NHL and the NBA all in full swing (eventually).

The first week saw the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics in an incredible one-game playoff. They won it on this 12th-inning hit from Salvador Perez. This was probably the best game of 2014 in any sport.

The first Saturday in October saw four MLB postseason games and 11 of the top 19 college football teams lose. This might have been the best sports day of 2014.

Katy Perry was on ESPN College Gameday that morning, and after Ole Miss upset Alabama, she was out on the town celebrating:

One of those postseason games went 18 innings. It ended, at last, when Brandon Belt did this. (Notice the bat drop swag.)

By mid-October, the CSU Rams and the Denver Broncos were both rollin’. It seemed easy. Too f**kin’ easy. IT’S SO EASY! At least that’s what Julius Thomas thought.

And around this time, some huge news came off of a football field, when it was announced that Rockies co-GMs (or whatever they were) Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett both resigned. Jeff Bridich took over the role. My quick thoughts on the situation:

The Rockies organization is a mess. Change is good. At this point any front office change has to be considered a good thing. That said, the real problem is the guy who owns the team and he isn’t going anywhere. And because of Monfort’s stubborn loyalty towards O’Dowd, resigning is the only way O’Dowd was ever going to leave.

Naturally, Monfort immediately filled the position with an internal candidate. Very, very “Rockies” of him. Jeff Bridich seems like a bright young executive and for all we know, he could be the perfect replacement. But it would have been nice for Monfort to at least poke around the baseball world outside of his own organization.

So I think Rockies fans should proceed with some cautious optimism. I can’t get overly excited, but this is progress. And progress is good.

If you’ve been keeping up with these posts, you know how I feel about this truly amazing Vine.

Still laughing at that thing.

Not to be outdone, Lou Holtz had this to say in another Top-5 Vine.

After those nutty couple of weeks, we turned to watch CSU beat Utah State on homecoming weekend in front of their first sellout crowd in over a decade. The Rams were rollin’ at 6-1 and the games were a blast.

That same weekend Peyton Manning broke the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! record for career passing touchdowns. (Man, there was a lot going on.) Of course Peyton and friends had to have some kind of silly (stupid) scripted celebration queued up.

@_MarcusD_

And the MLB Postseason marched on, too, with amazing game after amazing game. The Giants and Royals secured spots in the World Series. Here’s Joe Buck with my favorite play call of the year.

WE’RE STILL IN OCTOBER HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! The Broncos moved to 6-1 with a convincing win over the Chargers. CSU moved to 7-1 with a dominating win over Wyoming to keep The Boot. And the Madison Bumgarner train charged into the World Series without slowing down. By the time he was done, he had put together one of the all-time great Postseason performances in MLB history and perhaps the best individual performance by any athlete in my lifetime.

The other great individual performance from the World Series came from CHEVY GUY, who became an instant sensation after producing all-time high levels of discomfort for everyone watching. “You know, technology and stuff.” (Also keep your eye on Bud Selig at the 33 second mark.)

The Nuggets and Avs also started their seasons in October. Those have both been, umm… disappointing. And boring. And uneventful.

NOVEMBER:

The first weekend of November saw the Broncos go into New England and get their asses kicked by the Patriots. This GIF is a pretty fitting description of how the day’s events went.

@cjzero

The loss to the Patriots forced the Broncos to reevaluate lots of things as their season moved along.

A week later a boring game against the Raiders produced yet another Top-5 Vine.

This guy was an easy selection for Douche of the Week:

So was this bird and the people delighted at his horrifying antics:

Mid-November is when the University of Florida fired their head coach, prompting some national speculation about who might replace Will Muschamp. Jim McElwain’s name was mentioned often. I wrote:

There are always a lot of moving parts in these situations and much of my outlook is based on speculation, but as of right now, there are plenty of reasons to be confident McElwain will be back with Colorado State next year.

Hmmm…

Odell Beckhamn Jr. made the best catch any of us have ever seen.

Deadspin

In the month’s final week, Colorado State went to Air Force for both teams’ final regular season game. The Rams were looking to finish an 11-1 season and still had hope for a Fiesta Bowl apearance. The Falcons capped off their own great regular season (9-3) when they beat the Rams with a field goal on the game’s last play. At the time, it was a devastating loss for Rams fans.

(Andy Cross, Denver Post)

The Broncos beat the Chiefs the next night and Travis Kelce did this.

And Tom Brady was taken for a walk by his handler:

CJ Zero/ Cauldren

DECEMBER:

The beginning of the year’s final month started with some big news when Jim McElwain did, indeed, accept the Florida head coaching position and leave the Rams behind. This was another of my better (and most read) posts of the year.

Those three strange days are over now, having put an odd stamp on the end of the Jim McElwain era at Colorado State. It was a short era that should be remembered fondly. It should be remembered as the three years that brought Colorado State out the dredges of 3-9 seasons and into respectability.

The Rams are no longer an embarrassment. The Rams are a force in the Mountain West. The Rams are back on the college football map.

Jim McElwain put them there.

The McElwain news was quickly followed by bigger, more important news when the CSU Board of Governors approved the much talked about new, on-campus stadium. Somebody, somewhere thinks it will look like this, sooooo… that’s pretty sweet.

It’s slated to open for the 2017 season if all goes well.

The end of the year wasn’t that long ago so you should really remember this stuff.

Colorado State played in the Las Vegas Bowl without a head coach and was blown out 45-10 by a good Utah team. Shortly thereafter, CSU announced the hiring of Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo, which appears– albeit before a single game– to be a very solid hire.

I thnk that’ll do it, folks. 2014 was a fun one around these parts. I really do appreciate the hundreds of thousands of devoted readers who check in here each week. Here’s to a successful 2015 with more of the same fun posts on Tuesday afternoons.

And again, if you missed it, here’s Part One from last week.

And finally, here’s the funniest year-end video I’ve seen to date. You should recognize some of these clips, as I’ve happily touched on a bunch of the stuff in here over the past 12 months (and in the past two posts. Careful, you might hear some bad words.

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.

2014 Year In Review, Part One

Welcome to– and a Happy New Year from– the 90th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m blogging for the last time in 2014. Let’s get into it… .

Tomorrow is the last day of the year. 2014 has come and gone and in doing so provided 52 weeks– and 52 posts– of sports and pop culture content. It’s time to reminisce on all that we’ve taken in this year so I went back and reviewed each of the last 51 posts and pulled out all of my favorite things.

Let’s look back at the year that was. Sports highlights, sports lowlights, news bloopers, funny videos, moving pictures… Here are some of my favorites. The best, the worst, the most memorable. Vines, GIFs, videos, posts, pictures, tweets, moments and other stuff from 2014. (This post got so big, I split it up into two sections. Part Two will be out next week.)

I present:  Your Tuesdays With Mitch 2014 Year in Review (Part One):

 JANUARY:

The close of college football season is always an important staple of the year’s first month. The Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Oklahoma gave us one of the best videos of the year right off the bat.

Yeah… that’s gotta be the video of the year.

And the BCS National Championship wasn’t bad either.

The biggest thing from January ’round these parts was the AFC Championship game that saw the Broncos pound the Patriots.

Leading up to the game, I wrote this “Why We Should All Hate the Patriots” post that lots of you enjoyed. This could come in useful again in a couple weeks (although apparently some of the GIFs and pictures are no longer “active”).

The AFC Championship is when we learned that pretend horses ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DRUM!

SB Nation

This still cracks me up.

The Broncos won 26-16, but the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. It was 23-3 with under ten minutes left in the fourth quarter.

@corkgaines

The Broncos were heading to the Super Bowl. They were favored. Optimism was high. Things were good.

FEBRUARY:

And then…

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

…The Super Bowl happened. 43-8. The Broncos were completely overmatched in every aspect of the game against an impressive Seahawks team. Has to be considered one of the worst days in Colorado sports history. Probably the worst sports day for anyone in or around my generation.

What a nightmare. I did, however write this post that lots of you enjoyed on “The Annoying People At Your Football Party.”

Next we have the I-kind-of-like-the-Broncos-but-really-I-just-want-to-get-wasted guy. “Dude, we gotta do shots for every Broncos’ touchdown!” on Sunday quickly faded into “Alright dude, we gotta do shots every time the Seahawks score or the Broncos turn it over or they show Richard Sherman on the sidelines or a Bronco gets tackled or they go to commercial!” Again, these guys are pretty standard for most sporting events. Comes with the territory. No big deal.

After the Super Bowl came the Olympics, but before that, let’s check in on Jacoby Jones attending a Pelicans game. This might be the best interview of the year.

Okay, back to the Olympics. The biggest early story was obviously Bob Costas’ freaking eyes, which both looked like they might fall out of his head at any moment.

via @sbnationgif

Ashley Wagner’s reaction to a judges’ scoring was all the rage for about 24 hours:

via Deadspin

After the Olympics, one of my favorite pictures of the year made its rounds. The first 2014 Heisman candidate:

This fairly mysterious picture popped up on Reddit in Late February.

MARCH:

In March we transitioned to basketball and hockey. I wondered if the Nuggets would be better off tanking their season away and laughed at Jan Vesley jab-stepping even though nobody was covering him.

Via The Big Lead

Spring training also started up, which provided this awesome picture from an Indians’ exhibition game.

Via @mlb

In mid-March, the Broncos released Champ Bailey, which just depressed the hell out of me. I wrote about that situation here. Even though some of the outlooks have become outdated after nine months, it’s probably one of the better pieces of writing I produced this year.

…(W)hen I look back at Champ’s days as a Bronco, I think I’ll remember the week-in, week-out excellence more than anything. Without hyperbole, I can say that for several years, Champ was, hands-down, the best football player on the field every single week.

I’ve never seen a cornerback that defended the run like Champ. He was the best cover corner in the game, but he was also the best tackler on the Broncos.

I remember Champ used to track the number of balls his receivers caught on him for a whole season. After an All-Pro year, Champ would lament that that number wasn’t zero. That’s a serious indication of greatness.

So here’s to Champ Bailey, who was just a pleasure to watch and root for over the course of ten seasons in Denver.

For my generation of Broncos fans, there will never be another Champ Bailey.

In the college basketball world, the Buffs were trying to win just enough games to get off the bubble and secure an NCAA tournament bid, while the Rams, Falcons and Cowboys floundered. Even though the Border War didn’t mean much, this dunk from Josh Adams was sick.

March also saw the One-Year anniversary of this blog, which I celebrated by half-assing a post because I was down and out with strep throat.

But the basketball season rolled on, leading to this really insightful tweet from the always insightful Magic Johnson:

Then came March Madness, which produced possibly the best sports weekend of the year (and one of my better posts). The antics of March Madness will never get old.

(via Deadspin)

via @sbnationgif

CU did, indeed build up a good enough resume to hear their name called on selection Sunday. They received an 8-seed and played against Pittsburgh. Things went poorly.

I felt the need to clarify that last tweet.

“In the game referenced in that last tweet, Michigan won by 30 and was the 8-seed. This means Colorado just had the WORST PERFORMANCE EVER from an 8-seed. Historically awfu! They had a good year, but damn, it did not end well.”

APRIL:

April meant baseball, which meant a long winter officially coming to an end. It was time to make ill-fated Rockies predictions and head out to the ball yard. I predicted the Rockies would go 85-77. Optimism was high. I was wrong.

Opening Day also provided perhaps my favorite sports media piece all year (definitely my favorite from the local media). Benjamin Hochman’s colorful account of the Opening Day festivities at Coors Field.

Early April also brought us the national championship that saw Connecticut beat Kentucky. Kentucky lost, but I love this picture of James Young’s amazing dunk.

Getty Images

The national championship also meant the close of the college basketball season, which of course meant “One Shining Moment” was coming to give you goosebumps.

The best early-season baseball GIF still makes me laugh, eight months later.

via Deadspin

Bubba Watson won the masters. His kid was not impressed.

The Big Lead

The Avalanche completed an incredible regular season turnaround and strutted into the playoffs with swagger and confidence. Here was my “recap” of Game One:

“You know what happened. Roy pulls the goalie with three minutes to go (!). Erik Johnson saves an empty net goal by doing this (!) with less than two minutes left.

HockeyGrrls

Then Stastny scores with 13 seconds (!) left. Then he scores again in overtime (!). It was awesome.

 

You also have to listen to Marc Moser’s homer radio call of the two Stastny goals. They’re epic.

Regardless of what happens in the rest of this season and series, Game One will be one of the best sports moments of the year in Colorado. To welcome playoff hockey back to Denver in that manner was truly unbelievable.”

Indeed it was.

This time of year also introduced us to Bartolo Colon batting, which became a favorite around these parts.

Adam Hunger, USA Today Sports.

I could still watch that Vine all day.

As April rolled on, the Avs series went seven games and produced the quote of the year from Patrick Roy when he said “”Now it’s our turn to — sorry for the words — put our balls on the table.”

The series was unbeliveably dramatic and entertaining. Here is the Game Five overtime winner from Nathan McKinnon.

Of course, the Avs lost Game Seven in overtime. It happened on a Tuesday night, so I apparently chose not to cover it seven days after the fact.

MAY:

As we said goodbye to the Avalanche, April flowed into May and the Rockies were playing really good baseball. Troy Tulowitzki had one of the best months any of us had ever seen. He was the best player in the game.

The NBA Playoffs produced one of the great Vines of all-time, when Damian Lillard hit a walk-off three-pointer.

And I wrote one of my most-viewed and best-received post of the year: “How to Sneak In To Better Seats At Coors Field“.

  1. Don’t be too afraid to get caught and have a back up plan. If I get asked for a ticket when trying to enter a section, I generally say something along the lines of Oh yeah my buddy/mom/dad/whoever has mine they should be coming over soon. Then I stand there with a quizical look on my face scanning the fans for my pretend companion before slowly drifting back into the concourse crowd like Shoeless Joe in a cornfield. The usher leaves the park that night gazing at the moon and wondering if I even existed at all. Now, if I’m already seated and an usher comes to give me the boot I usuallly hand him or her my $4 Rockpile ticket with confidence and annoyance as if to say Yeah old man, I know what I’m doing. Here’s my ticket. I usually get quite a kick out of the usher shaking his head, turning and pointing across the stadium at the Rockpile. What? You mean this four dollar ticket doesn’t grant me access to this 2nd row aisle seat? Oh. I’m sorry. Honest mistake.

This real-life version of Andy from “Parks and Recreation” made an appearance.

Wes Welker passed out 100 dollar bills at the Kentucky Derby.

For The Win

With the benefit of hindsight, we are left to wonder if Wes had consumed anything that might have made handing out money a little more fun that it should be.

The progression of baseball season provided us with a new Bad British Commentary video, which was welcome news.

This kid was one of our Studs of the Week:

So was HERO CAT! REMEMBER HERO CAT?!

And I really enjoyed watching an old fat dude smell his armpit and share it with his companion.

JUNE:

By June, the Rockies were falling apart after a 2-7 East Coast road trip. I was still a little bit optimistic at the beginning of June, because I’m an idiot.

The NBA Playoffs were slowly creeping along, and Lance Stephenson provided us with their most memorable moment when he blew in LeBron’s ear.

via @cjzero

Mid-June also means the Spelling Bee freakshows come out to ESPN, which always makes me long for the days when I had summer vacations with nothing to do but laugh at home-schooled weirdos.

As June moved forward, I came to the sad realization that the Rockies, indeed, sucked. This quote from my June 10th post explains the state of affairs at the time…

At some point the injuries became too much to handle, specifically when Nolan Arenado went down. That dramatically changed the entire makeup of the Rockies, both offensively and defensively. And the horrible news just keeps coming. Yesterday three more injury related headlines were announced. Eddie Butler would hit the DL after just one start. Michael Cuddyer would hit the DL (again) and it sounds like he’ll be out for a long while. And Carlos Gonzalez would need surgery on that damn finger. So let’s take a look at the status of eight very important Rockies:

  • Tyler Chatwood 60-Day DL
  • Brett Anderson 60-Day DL
  • Jordan Lyles 15-Day DL
  • Eddie Butler 15-Day DL
  • Boone Logan15-Day DL
  • Nolan Arenado 15-Day DL
  • Michael Cuddyer 15-Day DL
  • Carlos Gonzalez 15-Day DL

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s hard to win without any players.

That pretty much summed it up for the Rox. By mid-June, half of their team was on the DL and their season was over.

The Spurs and Heat played in the NBA Finals. LeBron James set the internet ablaze with irrationality and hot takes when he was carried off the floor because of leg cramps.

@cjzero

Of course, the Spurs would go on to win the series in a relatively easy five games.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Yoenis Cespedes made the throw of the year.

The L.A. Kings won the Stanley Cup. Naturally, the most important part of the series for me was a lady falling on her face behind a news broadcast.

Deadspin

By late June, the Rockies awfulness reached a remarkable crescendo with this amazing play:

The World Cup came and that was big news for a lot of people. It included a cannibal guy!

That wraps up June, which wraps up the first half of 2014.

Keep an eye out next week for Part Two.

HAPPY NEW YEAR. And happy Tuesday.  Again, thanks for reading these each week. Here’s to a successful 2015 with more of the same fun posts. See ya next week.

***

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Your Weekly Roundup From The Sports World And Internet

Welcome to the 64th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’ve just been moved to the 15-day DL; no longer day-to-day. Lots of good stuff out there this week. Let’s get into it…

Eddie Butler’s Major League debut wasn’t very cool. Then he got hurt, because all Rockies are supposed to get hurt. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Well the Rockies suck again.

So that sucks.

Last week I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Rockies as they embarked upon an all-important 10-game homestand. I could see 9-1, I said. I could also see 3-7 as some kind of worst case scenario, I said. One week later, it looks like my worst case scenario was too generous. They’re currently 1-6 on the stand and have lost 10 of their last 11 games and 14 of 17 overall. They have fallen 5 games under .500 and are 12.5 games out of first place. Seriously! I didn’t make any of those numbers up!

Outside of the health and continued stellar play from Troy Tulowitzki, pretty much everything has gone wrong for the Colorado Rockies. It has been dreadful to watch.

The decline to irrelevance was shocking for a number of reasons. Most notably, to me at least, was the immediacy of the nosedive. Literally two and a half weeks ago, on May 22nd, fans and analysts alike were considering this team a legitimate National League West contender. Two and a half weeks is a blink of an eye over the course of a six-month MLB season. How quickly and emphatically the season ended is just difficult for me to even comprehend.

The entirety of the collapse was also unbelievable. The starting pitching collapsed. (The good pitchers were bad, the bad pitchers were bad, the new pitchers were bad.) The bullpen collapsed. (Literally everyone was bad.) The starting lineup collapsed. (Except that shortstop guy.)

The past couple seasons have come with hot starts that had a bit of a flukey aura to them. For whatever reason, I thought the 2014 team had a different feel. They had a different makeup. They seemed to have a different mindset. They were talented. They were surviving a bunch of unfortunate injuries.

At some point the injuries became too much to handle, specifically when Nolan Arenado went down. That dramatically changed the entire makeup of the Rockies, both offensively and defensively. And the horrible news just keeps coming. Yesterday three more injury related headlines were announced. Eddie Butler would hit the DL after just one start. Michael Cuddyer would hit the DL (again) and it sounds like he’ll be out for a long while. And Carlos Gonzalez would need surgery on that damn finger. So let’s take a look at the status of eight very important Rockies:

  • Tyler Chatwood 60-Day DL
  • Brett Anderson 60-Day DL
  • Jordan Lyles 15-Day DL
  • Eddie Butler 15-Day DL
  • Boone Logan15-Day DL
  • Nolan Arenado 15-Day DL
  • Michael Cuddyer 15-Day DL
  • Carlos Gonzalez 15-Day DL

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s hard to win without any players.

It may sound incredibly lame and homer-ish but I don’t care, the Rockies have been incredibly unlucky this year. This entire season has been dripping with bad luck since Spring Training. Baseball is the best, but it sure can be a bitch sometimes.

The Rockies have now entered the territory where fat pitchers who can’t hit, like Hyun Jin Ryu, are unleashing Puig-like bat flips. This GIF is a nice summary of the current state of the Rockies.

It’s going to be a long summer.

On a non-depressing Rockies note, check out the heartwarming reaction of Rockies’ draft pick Kyle Freeland upon hearing he was selected 8th overall by his hometown team.

Off to the weekly departments…

Stud of the week:

WEEEEEEEE!!

Lebron James cramp

via @cjzero

LeBron James gets it this week for two reasons. Game One, when he got a cramp and set the internet ablaze with hilarious irrationality. Game Two, when everyone was like Damn. This guy is really good at playing basketball. Right now, we’re watching one of the best players ever playing at his highest level in the Finals against a really good team. I’m no LeBron honk, but as sports fans we’re all obligated to appreciate that.

Douche of the week:

Manny Machado is a heck of a baseball player. Unfortunately he also appears to be a douche. After a kerfuffle about being tagged out (huh?) on Friday, Oakland threw inside (intentionally) to Machado on Sunday. On the next pitch, Machado responded by pretending to swing while throwing his bat at the pitcher and missing horribly. I have definitely never seen that one. Props for creativity I guess, but the execution left a lot to be desired. He claimed the bat slipped out of his hands on a normal swing. How dumb does he think we are?

Either way, you can’t go around throwing baseball bats at people, dude. He was suspended five games this afternoon for his douchey actions.

Tweet of the week:

Somebody found the quintessential this-is-why-you-don’t-read-comments comment. This tweet made the rounds pretty quickly.

Don’t read the comments, folks. Just don’t read the comments. Except that sometimes you find an entertaining gem like this one, in which case it’s all worth it.

Vine(s) of the week:

The Chris-Bosh-looks/acts-like-a-dinosaur jokes will never get old.

 

Neither will laughing at Bartolo Colon’s swing, this time combined with 50 Cent’s famous first pitch.

 

Picture(s) of the Week

I really like this shot of Danny Green after one of his big threes in Game One of the Finals.

The Rockies might suck, but this is still a great picture of a jacked-up Tulo:

John Lebya, Denver Post

A couple links worth sharing

I didn’t share any links last week so this first one is actually more than a week old. But this feature on the freakishly nerdy Canadian hillbilly that blackmailed celebrities online and led to the wrongful Internet Crimes Against Children case against Chris “Birdman” Andersen is mind blowing. The way it has appeared to change Andersen is a very saddening undertone to the whole thing. So, yeah. Read this.

Baseball legend Don Zimmer died Wednesday night. As always, the New York Times obituary is a must read.

I also enjoyed this piece on Zimmer from Tom Verducci. Check out this paragraph!

Zimmer met Babe Ruth (in 1947), was a teammate of Jackie Robinson (1954-56) and played for Casey Stengel (1962). He was in uniform for some of the most iconic teams in history: the team that lost the most games (’62 Mets) and the team, including postseason play, that won the most games (’98 Yankees). He was in uniform for the only World Series championship for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1955), one of the most famous World Series home runs (Carlton Fisk‘s shot in 1975), one of the most famous regular season home runs (Bucky Dent in 1978), the Pine Tar Game (1983), the first night game at Wrigley Field (1988), the first game in Rockies history (1993), and all three perfect games thrown at Yankee Stadium (Don LarsenDavid Wells and David Cone).

While we’re on the topic, here’s Vin Scully chiming in on Zim in his patented charming, wonderful Vin Scully way.

 

This E:60 report from Jeremy Schaap on Dominic Moore is powerful and worth your time.

And Rick Reilly published his last column at ESPN this afternoon. Reilly is an all-timer who happened to be turning in garbage recently, but he sticks the landing on this one.

And some other stuff…

You should all know how I feel about the “Bad British Commentary” series. They posted a new one for us! Yay!

Here’s Novak Djokovic vomiting in slow motion. You’re welcome.

 

And finally, are you guys all pumped for the World Cup?! …Because I don’t care about it at all. That said, check out John Oliver’s must-watch, incredibly well-done take down of FIFA from his new HBO show. 13 minutes well spent.

(I linked to that E:60 report on Qatar a couple weeks ago; it’s right here if you missed it.)

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Go buy your dad a tie. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

What’s Going On With The Rockies?

Welcome to the 63rd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’re talking some Rockies in a pretty big post. Let’s get into it…

Adam Ottavino, the Rockies’ best reliever, gave up a walk-off homer to a dude that doesn’t hit homers Sunday. It was a fittingly nonsensical and brutal end to an absolutely horrendous road trip. (Tony Dejak/AP)

A while back I mentioned how tough the month of May would be for the Rockies, highlighted by a perilous nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Sure enough, things went quite poorly. How ’bout a quick recap?

It was a bad trip before it even started.

The Thursday before the Rockies headed east, they hosted the rival Giants for a crucial rubber match day game. The game was suspended in the sixth inning after heavy rain, lightning, thunder, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wild fires, El Ninos, cyclones and nor’easters moved into the Denver area. The stormy skies would prove ominous.

Suspending that game meant wasting a start from Jorge De La Rosa, arguably the National League’s best pitcher in the month of May and taking away a very winnable game and series against the Giants. It also took four and a half hours to wrap things up on a getaway day before traveling to the East Coast which, of course, cost the Rockies two more hours.

So yeah, it was literally a crappy road trip before it even started.

Then in the second inning of the first game– THE SECOND INNING OF THE FIRST GAME!– Nolan Arenado, a would-be all-star and one of the most important players on the roster, broke his finger diving into second base. It seemed like a huge loss at the time. It would seem larger and larger after each of the next eight games.

The Rockies would win one of three against the Bravos. Honestly, not all that bad considering the Rockies are 3-88 in Atlanta the past ten seasons.

The Philadelphia series sucked. Started with a blowout loss. Then a fairly comfortable win (in which the Phils’ Ben Revere hit his first Major League home run in his 1,566th plate appearance. I’m tellin’ ya, this road trip was weird.). Then the third game was a gruesome kick to the nuts. And shins. And face.

The Rockies played like crap but got a miraculous go-ahead, eighth-inning homer from DJ Lemahieu– his first of the year (weird!). With a one-run lead, the Rockies committed two egregious errors in the ninth inning (weird!). Closer LaTroy Hawkins was removed with two outs in favor of Boone Logan for the lefty-on-lefty matchup vs. Chase Utley (pretty weird). Game tying single. Walk-off three run homer.

Games like that are difficult to come back from. The Rockies didn’t.

They went into Cleveland and got swept, utilizing two more dramatic kicks to the nuts on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, Adam Ottavino served up a walk-off to Michael Bourn. Adam Ottavino has been the Rockies best reliever all year. Michael Bourn had hit one home run prior to that one. That was, like, the last thing I expected while watching that at bat. Anyway, it was a fitting end to the road trip because it made no sense and was just brutal for the Rockies and their fans.

Just about the only thing going well for the Rockies is the pitching of De La Rosa. The other four starters were pretty much awful for the entire trip. So were Cargo and Tulo and the rest of the lineup. (They went an astonishing 7-62 with runners in scoring position in the nine games. SEVEN FOR SIXTY-TWO!) The bullpen was also bad.

So now the Rockies come back home for ten games at The Keg and I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this homestand. I could easily see the Rockies going 9-1 and making everything feel swell again. Or I could see them going 3-7, calling it a year, proving the naysayers correct and allowing the Denver media to do what they love to do and focus on the Broncos’ OTAs all summer. Make no mistake, the next ten ballgames will go a long way in determining whether the Rockies hang around this season.

Eddie Butler struck out 25 batters in 27 2/3 Double-A innings.

The time to see Eddie Butler in a Rockies uniform is approaching quickly. (Rich Crimi/Tulsa Drillers)

The hottest topic surrounding the Rockies is what to do with the rotation. One way or another, Franklin Morales absolutely can not be allowed to make another start. Juan Nicasio is a very shaky fourth starter. Jhoulys Chacin, the Rockies best starter last year, looks like a shell of himself. There is help waiting in the minors, but whether or not the young guns are ready remains a foggy picture.

Jon Gray is the Rockies’ most prized prospect. It sounds like they’re not ready to call him up, which isn’t all that surprising. People seem to forget that a year ago he was pitching in the College World Series. That’s a long way from Coors Field.

Eddie Butler is the other young hype machine in Tulsa, but he’s had a bumpy road of late and it’s clear the Rox want to exercise caution in how they handle his ascent to The Bigs.

Tyler Matzek was making a push as the most likely call-up from Colorado Springs, but he threw a wrench in that plan by getting lit up Sunday.

Here’s what I’d like to see:  Immediately move Morales to a long-inning relief role and call up Matzek to take his place in the rotation. Matzek doesn’t have quite the potential of Butler and Gray so there is less long-term risk if he flames out. His last AAA outing was rough, but who cares? Let’s see if the guy can make a positive impact.

If the homestand starts out shaky and the third and fourth wheels look like they’re about to fall off (the first two are long gone) call up Butler and move Nicasio to the ‘pen in place of Morales or Nick Masset. At that point the season would be teetering towards irrelevance. At some point you have to say Screw It and throw your cards on the table. Butler could be your ace in the hole. You have to play that card while you’re still sitting at the table. Butler (and maybe also Gray in a couple months) could have the impact that Gerrit Cole had in leading Pittsburgh to the playoffs after he was called up in early June last year.

If Morales makes another start, you’re insulting every player on the team and sending a horrible message to your fans. So call up Matzek right away and be very, very ready to pull the trigger on Butler.

But the biggest problem the Rockies have might not have much to do with the Rockies. The Giants never lose. They just win… like, every game. They have baseball’s best record and are 17 games over .500. Their hot streak coupled with a Rockies’ 2-7 road trip means the Rockies are very suddenly 8 1/2 games out of first place. If that getaway day game doesn’t get suspended and the Rockies win, Colorado would have been two games back. That’s a very dramatic turn in less than two weeks.

Being 8 1/2 back on June 3rd is not a desirable position, but it’s not a death sentence either. I remain convinced the Giants will come crashing back to earth in a big way. (Statistically, they are incredibly lucky.) So all things considered I’m not ready to quit on this club. June is the time to make a move, with 16 of the next 27 games at home. Even after that stretch, the Rox will still have played 5 more road games than home games.

So the schedule has been pretty rough but if the Rox are as talented as I’m inclined to believe, things should improve now. Pretty much every team in baseball will go through a rough stretch involving a tough road trip. The response to that stretch is what’s important. The Rockies need to respond right now.

But really, let’s just be glad that damn road trip is over.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche of the week:

Lance Stephenson tried really hard to get inside LeBron’s head in the Eastern Conference Finals. He made it into LeBron’s ear, but that’s about it.

via @cjzero

I’m not exactly a LeBron fan, but his reaction here is just perfect. Kills me every time.

And don’t worry! The ear-blowing was the most famous incident, but Game 6 provided us with two more great Stephenson GIFs.

Just slapping people in the face…

@_MarcusD_

Udonis Haslem wasn’t entertained and notified Stephenson, saying, “I’m going f*** you up. That’s Real.” (Sorry for the coarse language inside that tweet, I can’t change those letters to asterisks.)

Thanks for douchin’ it up, Lance.

Speaking of the NBA, a couple weeks ago I predicted the Spurs would beat the Heat for the title. I’ll stick with that. It’s hard to root for either team, but it should be an awfully entertaining series. The Spurs are a truly unbelievable organization. I have no idea how they keep doing this every year, and neither do you.

Stud of the week:

I don’t care what anybody says, that kid is a stud. He’s also now a rap star with his own version of the latest really popular and annoying song. I can’t decide if this video is horrible or awesome:

I guess I’ll go with awesome.

Which reminds me… I used to love the Spelling Bee. It generally came on unannounced sometime during my first week out of school, meaning daytime television was not yet depressing. Sleep in until about 10… Watch The Price Is Right… Flip to ESPN… Ohh look it’s that magical day when weird nerds take over the sports channel! I would sit on the couch on a beautiful summer day and watch those twitchy little homeschooled freaks for hours in awe of this certain population of the world I did not know existed. (Remember this seductress?) I still kind of don’t believe those kids are real people.

This was also pretty funny.

Tweet of the week:

Just in case you haven’t vomited yet today.

 

Vine(s) of the week:

This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

And here’s the fellas over at Purple Row using a Vine I made of a displeased Michael Cuddyer:

Apparently reading athletes’ lips as they cuss is an important theme this week.

And finally, I think somebody got into Daddy’s special water bottle.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

How To Sneak In To Better Seats At Coors Field

Welcome to the 59th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the NFL Draft is approaching quickly, which means people will finally stop talking about the freaking NFL Draft. I hope. I honestly think people analyze the Draft more than Super Bowl. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Anyway, I’m in baseball mode these days and I’m here to impart some wisdom. Let’s get into it…

Coors Field is awesome. But don’t sit in the third level like a loser. (Getty Images)

If you sit in the third level at Coors Field, you’re doing it wrong and you’re a chump. Similarly, if you’re paying face value for tickets in the first level, you’re doing it wrong and you’re a chump.

Sneaking into good seats at Coors Field has been a Colorado summer tradition since 1995. My personal battle with the mostly-elderly, purple-clad ushers has been well-documented among my fellow attendees and generated plenty of useful experience.

Illegitimately sitting in the first level used to be quite a bit easier than it is today. Something changed in the mentality of the ushers around 2007. For some reason attendence went up around that time and the higher-ups at Coors decided you should have to pay good money to sit in good seats. I disagree with that philosophy. Lucky for you, the most experienced of sneakers-down (I’m going to use that term a lot) is opening up and sharing his complex secrets with the rest of the world.

So buy some cheap tickets and follow this guide on how to watch some Major League Baseball from legit seats in the nation’s most beautiful stadium.

Before diving into specific strategies, let’s discuss some general rules of thumb. These are important.

  1. Only attempt to sneak down if you are with a small group. I’d say the maximum number of sneakers-down is three, maybe four if you’re all experienced. (Even then, I’d go one or two at a time). If you’re celebrating some drunk girl’s birthday with nine other people, you’re probably out of luck. Head up to the Party Deck or Rockpile. It’s not like those drunk girls care about the game anyway; it’s your fault for attending with them.
  2. Be realistic. Only expert level sneakers-down should even attempt to sit in the sections behind home plate or the dugouts. The ushers posted up at these sections take their jobs way, way too seriously. I’ve seen old ladies grab dudes by the back of their shirt. These seats are occuppied by season-ticket holders that give the ushers hugs and show them pictures of their grandkids. It’s a whole different world back here. Similarly, you shouldn’t really try to sneak down at certain games. Don’t bother for any of the 2014 playoff games or other sellouts. Too crowded. You can pull it off with big crowds, but attempting during an actual sellout is a little too ambitious.
  3. Be aggressive and put the pressure on the usher. Like rounding third with two outs, sometimes you need to force the defense to make a play. Never make eye contact. Keep  your head down. Move quickly. It’s also a good strategy to have your hands full so retreiving your ticket out of your pocket seems like an unnecessary hassle for everyone involved. You want to see my ticket? Okay, but I’ll have to hang up on this person I’m pretending to talk to and hold my beer in my mouth and you have to take my other beer and this hot dog.
  4. Don’t be too afraid to get caught and have a back up plan. If I get asked for a ticket when trying to enter a section, I generally say something along the lines of Oh yeah my buddy/mom/dad/whoever has mine they should be coming over soon. Then I stand there with a quizical look on my face scanning the fans for my pretend companion before slowly drifting back into the concourse crowd like Shoeless Joe in a cornfield. The usher leaves the park that night gazing at the moon and wondering if I even existed at all. Now, if I’m already seated and an usher comes to give me the boot I usuallly hand him or her my $4 Rockpile ticket with confidence and annoyance as if to say Yeah old man, I know what I’m doing. Here’s my ticket. I usually get quite a kick out of the usher shaking his head, turning and pointing across the stadium at the Rockpile. What? You mean this four dollar ticket doesn’t grant me access to this 2nd row aisle seat? Oh. I’m sorry. Honest mistake.
  5. Be prepared to be stuck at your seats. If you’re content with your seats and don’t feel like bouncing around different sections, you’re not going to want to go to the bathroom every couple innings unless you’re confident in your re-entry abilities.

Okay, now you’ve got a feel for the methodology of the situation. Let’s talk about a few of my favorite specific strategies.

IMG_2892.JPG

Don’t be fooled. This is the face of the enemy. (Found that very random picture here.)

  1. “The Piggyback.”  This is probably the most effective method I have for you. At the end of every half inning as the crowd files in, there will be a pile-up of people waiting at the top of each section while the usher waits for an at-bat to end. This is a dream come true for sneakers-down like you and me. It’s pretty simple:  Smush yourself into the crowd away from the usher and merge down unnoticed as he or she checks the others’ tickets. In the right situation, it’s nearly impossible for an usher to actually check the legitimacy of each person’s ticket. Again, it helps to keep your hands full. And keep your head down without eye contact. Sometimes I flash the back of my ticket at the usher, but that’s mostly for my own entertainment.
  2. “The Bolt.”  This is the ballsiest (cool word!) of all my methods. Attentively wander the concourse near the ushers’ posts. Keep an eye on each point of entry and be ready to make a dash at a moment’s notice. If an usher engages a fan in a friendly conversation or is grabbing a less fortunate sneaker-down or is getting really into the Tooth Trot or is just like eighty years old and out of it… BOOM, down you go. You have to be quick and fairly nimble to pull this one off, especially if you’re holding two full beers. And you have to keep moving. Linger around a single usher for more than an at-bat and you’re on their radar for the rest of the night.  This strategy is tough for more than one or two people to execute, but a few highly-experienced sneakers-down can get it done.
  3. “The Friendly Usher.” A few years ago this dude out on the pavalion would wander his aisle spraying fans with water from a squirt bottle every half inning on warm days and nights. He was the best. I must have sat in his section 10 times that summer. I’ve also heard rumors of people simply asking the usher very nicely if they could sit in their section (what a concept!) but I cannot verify the legitimacy of these rumors. These kind of things seem to be increasingly rare, but if you can find a lucky spot or get to know the tendencies of a particular usher, you might as well take advantage.
  4. “The Shift.” This method is used for improving your seats once you’ve already snuck down. It’s also fairly simple, but can really improve your vantage point. After each half-inning (or pitching change) get up and move down a few rows and over a section or two. Some of the more self-important ushers will be keeping an eye on this from their post atop the stairs, so you’ll want to blend in with the crowd. Again, this won’t work for highly-attended games and sometimes you might have to jump up or down a row of seats to avoid annoying the entire first level, but when executed correctly can move you from the foul pole to behind the dugout. Seriously.

So baseball fans, I hope you’re able to use such important advice in the near future. Never let the ushers win. If you know of any other strategies I’m neglecting, hit up the comment section.

On to the weekly departments…

Tweets of the week: (Hopefully you have noticed what Troy Tulowitzki is up to.)

(Those numbers went up after last night’s performance.)

(The mathematical impossibility of the last one means he’s joking.)

For me, the bottom line with all of this is as follows:  If Tulo stays healthy, the Rockies have a shot to make the playoffs.

Stud of the week:

We’ll go with Damian Lillard because of this moment. A walk-off SERIES WINNER! (And perhpas the best Vine ever.)

 

Wes Welker handing out hundred dollar bills from a giant stack of cash at the Kentucky Derby is also studly, mostly because of this picture, in which he is dressed like a munchkin:

For The Win

Douche of the week:

A new (very) douchey picture of Tom Brady surfaced this week, so that’s exciting!

Picture of the week:

This dude picking up hats on the ice is enjoying some of the perks of his fun job.

Getty Images, The Big Lead

And some other stuff, starting with this poor guy:

If I had any of my embarrassing moments with the ladies immortalized in GIF form, I would never surface again, Bartman-style.

This made me laugh.

Here’s a video of a dog. You people really like dogs.

And finally, she probably said yes once the segment ended.

That guy is a real-life version of Andy from Parks and Recreation. And he’s awesome.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Somebody tell me when the four Colorado State players get drafted, because I will be watching something else, like actual sports probably. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.