The Paw Print
Classes are screeching toward semester’s end, things around campus are starting to grow, and, for the most part, I can walk to class in the morning without seeing my breath. Yes, spring is certainly in the air, and with it comes my favorite time of year: baseball season.
Year after year, I begin each season with a renewed hope that my team, the Rockies, can pull out a great season. In recent seasons, I’ve been sadly disappointed. It will be hard to forget the Rockies’ pitiful excuse for a season last year, as they posted a 64-98 record. That record put them just above the worst teams in baseball and was a far cry from the NL West and MLB champion, the San Francisco Giants.
But who’s to say this year won’t be different? So far this season, the Rockies are 5-4, with their losses coming on Opening Day and in their recent series with the reigning champion Giants. This puts them at third place in the NL West, behind the Diamondbacks and the Giants.
One thing that looks to have a drastic effect on the organization’s season is the team’s managerial change. The change came after manager Jim Tracy walked away from the team at the end of last season. The Rockies then hired Walt Weiss. Weiss played fourteen years as a major league shortstop for the Athletics, the Marlins, the Rockies, and the Braves. Before getting the job, he was the head coach for the baseball team at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.
Another big game-changer for the Rockies this season will be their pitching. As a Rockies fan, I’ve watched too many games slip away due to poor performances from the bull pen. Opening Day is a perfect example where the team gave up their 3-1 lead only to fall 5-4 in the tenth. The Rockies’ bullpen will have to hold onto these leads and successfully get the team out of these games.
The team also needs good hits to stay in the game. Already this season, the Rockies have belted 15 homeruns, with four of those coming from centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Those four homeruns put Fowler tied for second place in NL division standings. The series with the Giants proves just how critical hits can be in order to secure a win. On Tuesday, the team only put up four hits in their 9-6 loss.
The Rockies have potential to be a competitive team, and they’ve shown that thus far this season. The team has scored at least five runs in six of the nine games played this season. The starting pitchers have also had good showings. Jhoulys Chacín has a 1.35 ERA through his two starts. As a fan, it’s hard not to be positive coming into the fresh start of a new season. With guys like Fowler, Troy Tulowitzki, and Carlos Gonzales healthy and playing well, and a competitive pitching staff, I’m looking for a strong season from my favorite baseball team.