News

Colorado Rockies Apologia Smacks of the Bad Old Days

How did KOA Morning News host Steffan Tubbs attempt to rationalize the latest ignominious loss by the Colorado Rockies -- the lowly San Diego Padres beat them 15-8 thanks to a seven-run outburst in the ninth -- shortly after 5 a.m. on July 1? By spinning a golden oldie. The good news, he said, was that 43,000 people showed up at Coors Field to watch it happen.

Man, does that have a familiar ring to it. Not so long ago, when the Rockies' suckage was seen as a fact of life instead of an anomaly, apologists boasted about fan support as a way of taking the focus off what was actually happening on the field. And the team itself played along. Its promotional efforts basically boiled down to hyping the ambiance and the opposition: "Come to one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world to watch your Colorado Rockies get their asses kicked by the finest ballers the Major Leagues have to offer!"

Granted, even KOA, the Rockies' official broadcaster, occasionally acknowledges the grim tidings these days. Shortly after noting the attendance at the June 30 game, Tubbs drew listeners' attention to a poll asking whether management should start selling off parts of the squad. Of course, he argued against this notion even as he announced it, declaring that Matt Holliday, the outfit's most saleable commodity, needed to remain in the fold. Yet the mention itself indicates how far the Rockies have fallen since their astonishing run to the National League pennant last year.

Eight straight defeats. On the losing end in the past nine out of ten. Nineteen games under .500 -- the latest season low in a string of them. Tubbs can rationalize these circumstances by talking about the throng that showed up at Coors Field on the 30th, but if the situation doesn't improve in another month or two, that argument will be as dead as the Rockies' playoff chances. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts