Baseball in Colorado is coming to an end. The Colorado Rockies 2013 season is facing extinction. Sure the Rockies have six weeks left in their season, and yes, there is likely going to be a Todd Helton Night to send the future Hall of Famer into retirement the right way. But let’s face it. America’s pastime recedes into the shadows of football in September. The Broncos are kicking off their season September 5th, which means the Rockies have 22 days to make an impression on their fans and give the city of Denver something to talk about when Spring Training rolls around next year.
The Rockies are in a unique position. Aside from the Denver Broncos, they have the opportunity to become the second most successful pro sports team in the city. A position that seems to vacate every five years after another franchise’s moment in the sun fades. The Colorado Avalanche, who under the dynasty of Sakic, Forsberg, and Roy had their time in the limelight in the late 90’s. On the hardwood, the Denver Nuggets continue to be a second-tier NBA team. Despite finding their way into the playoffs, they have had a hard time getting out of the first round. If you don’t understand how important that is to Denver, a recently dismissed George Karl could get you up to speed. Finally, the Rapids, Colorado’s MLS affiliate which has had a great season thus far hasn’t grabbed that second spot because Denver’s a football city and soccer, although growing in popularity, is still a few years from becoming big in America.
So there it is, the chance to be the team mentioned after the Denver Broncos. A role that doesn’t sound like much, but for all other sports teams in the Mile-High City not named the Broncos, a worthy title. Going 13-4 and fighting for the division lead into July showed promise. It looked like maybe the Rockies would put themselves into the discussion. But alas, the wheels came off, and so did the talks of playoffs. So what can the Rox do with the remaining six weeks to get some attention before the pigskin flies?
A quick survey of the schedule and two series stand out as a marquee opportunity for the Rox to make a lasting impression on their fans. One last shot for attention before all eyes move two miles west to the orange and blue. Without any playoff hopes, the Rockies must take advantage of these six games.
On Friday, the Rox will be in Baltimore to start a three game stint with the Orioles. The “Baby O’s” have garnered a lot of media attention this year thanks to the power of one Chris Davis. His towering home runs have generated so much hype that unless you follow baseball you haven’t paid much attention to the likes of Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and J.J. Hardy. The O’s are in hot pursuit of both the AL East division and one of the AL Wild Card spots. What a perfect opportunity for the Rox. Not only could they play roadblock to an extremely talented team’s playoff hopes, but they have the chance to show that they aren’t far from contending with some of the best teams in baseball.
The last chance the Rox have to catch the eyes of their fans is their series with the Dodgers right before the Broncos season kicks off. September 2-4 the LA Dodgers come into town for a three game joust. It is likely that the red hot Dodgers will be looking to clinch the division. Is there a better way for the Colorado Rockies to impress their fans then with a sweep of the eventual divisional champs at Coors Field just a day before football returns to the Mile-High City?
The Rockies are sure to fall into the back of the minds of many come September. To their defense, most of baseball becomes an afterthought once Labor Day rolls around. If you need proof of that take a look at ESPN’s programming. One finds themselves searching for baseball updates on the scroll bar as NFL Live, Fantasy Football Now, or NFL32 airs again and again and again. All that aside, the Rox have a chance to appease their fan base. Appeasements that will be remembered come spring time. It’s no simple task, but taking the series with the O’s and a sweep of the Dodgers could be enough to generate some buzz in the city. Even if that buzz only lasts until 6:50 the next evening.