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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Rockies prove to be better than just solid

By Chris Kamrani

For the first time in a long while, the fans of the Colorado Rockies are glad to see something that isn’t their beloved Coors Light flowing.

That sturdy flow is flat-out domination of about five or six teams, which has resulted in 21 wins in 22 games and a big goose egg in the playoffs so far. The Rockies are the first Wild Card team that has gone unbeaten in its first seven postseason games.

In one of the most unbelievable postseason runs in the history of sports, the Rockies are winning, and they’re doing it their way. After rattling off win after win, the team that many simply wanted to see make the playoffs has made its presence loud and oh so clear. Hell, the Rockies have played three playoff series already. Triumphant against the Padres in a one-game playoff, then governing the Phils, and now sweeping the D-Backs (which was the Cinderella ESPN pick as the best young team), the Rocky Mountains are rumblin’.

Most will ask how the Rockies even made it above 0.500 this season. The team was picked to turn some heads, but no one could ever have imagined a turnout of these epic proportions. The heroes? The leaders? There has been some Todd Helton, but try some of these guys on for size. Troy Tulowitzki, Manny Corpas, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins and Jeff Francis. All are homegrown prospects. And last but not least is the (shoo-in) NL MVP Matt Holliday who, in just his fourth major league season, is boasting astronomical numbers (0.340, 36 jacks and 137 RBI) and has grown to adore the “Mile High” of Coors Field. The list can go on with Yorvit Torrealba, Kaz Matsui, Josh Fogg also fueling the Coors Light Silver Bullet onward.

No one is happier than GM Dan O’Dowd, who finally laid his numerous critics to rest. O’Dowd has seen his fair share of downs while with the Rockies. Most of the criticism stems from the winter of 2000 — when O’Dowd shelled out $171 million to two pitchers. Anyone remember these guys? Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle — who combined to go 40-51 during their stints with the Rockies. The whole notion of “winning quick” lambasted O’Dowd and his staff after the boatloads spent proved to go toward bust after bust. Since 2001, the Rockies have not lost a draft choice to free agency. He also brought in dubbed “busts” such as Kaz Matsui and “no-namers” such as Torrealba and Fogg.

Matsui, who had been playing at Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier this season, has been sitting comfortably in the lead-off or second spot. Keep in mind this is the same guy that had every team salivating over him less than four years ago.

Torrealba was the guy who couldn’t buy his way into the starting lineup with the San Francisco Giants. If it weren’t for the ageless wonder Benito Santiago, or A.J. Pierzynski, or Mike Matheny, Yorvit was for naught. When he was with the Mariners, they brought in Kenji Johjima, and Yorvit got the ol’ boot. Torrealba always found himself second string. That is until he eventually made his way to Denver where he took the starting job from Chris Ianetta and did the typical Rockies thing. Produced, produced and produced. Not too shabby. After a three-run homer capped off a sweep of the Rockies’ division rival in the NLCS, I think it’s safe to say he has found his niche.

Although this team isn’t supposed to be here — according to team salary, market, etc. — there is a distinct possibility that they could sweep the National League’s awards department as well. Holliday should be the NL MVP. Tulowitzki could be Rookie of the year. Manager of the Year might as well be Hurdle, Executive of the Year needs to be O’Dowd, and only the Cy Young should be awarded to someone not donning purple and black. That’s a whole lot coming from a group of “nobodies” who are now four wins away from becoming one of the paramount stories in baseball history.

These Rockies make victory look good and are vastly vanquishing thoughts of the previous playoff experience when the four-headed monster of Andres Galarraga, Dante Bichette, Larry Walker and Vinny Castilla lost to the Braves three games to one in the 1995 NLDS.

To those who are tempted to bet against the Rockies in the World Series: Beware. Holliday, Tulowitzki & Co. has an increasingly large contingency singing their own personalized version of “Rocky Mountain High.”

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