Colorado Rockies Gagging, Choking, Failing

After the absolutely astonishing twists of fate that propelled the long-suffering Colorado Rockies into the 2007 World Series, I was filled with optimism that carried over into this season. But as the losses mounted and hints of the old ineptitude kept cropping up, I found myself musing about if and when my positivity would be turned upside-down.

I don't have to muse anymore. It happened last night.

In his account of the Rockies' 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on June 24, Rocky Mountain News beat writer Tracy Ringolsby speculated that K.C. pitcher (and former Rockies member) Ramon Ramirez might have finally found a way to ignite the squad's mostly dormant emotions by blatantly throwing at catcher Yorvit Torrealba -- and maybe he's right. But I could only focus on the big picture: The Rockies had just come up short in their second consecutive game against the woeful Royals after losing two of three to the rapidly disintegrating New York Mets, with the latter embarrassment taking place at home.

Granted, déjà vu played a part in this reaction. I blew a gasket last May when the Rockies suffered a home sweep to these very same Royals -- a reaction I documented in a blog entitled "The Colorado Rockies Lead the League -- In Sucking." And even from the depths of despair, I can recognize that the Rockies aren't dead quite yet. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who once seemed as if they'd run away with the National League West, have proven to be very mortal; they're still atop the division but are barely over .500. Thanks to the Arizonans' largesse, the Rockies remain just eight games back despite having stumbed in five of their last six games. As last year demonstrated, they're certainly capable of making up that kind of deficit.

Then again, it's ridiculous to expect the Blake Streeters to go on a victory blitz that's in any way comparable to the inexplicable streak that concluded the 2007 race. My heart tells me they've still got a chance, but my brain tells me they've turned into the old Rockies again. -- 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