Thursday, September 07, 2006

5 Questions With the Rockies

The Nats returned to their winning ways yesterday! Jose Vidro went from goat to hero with his walk-off two run single in the bottom of the 9th. Nats win, 7-6.

What's troubling is that Chad Cordero blew his fourth save in 28 chances by giving up an upper deck homer to former National Preston Wilson. Does anyone else here hold his/her breath when Cordero comes in? The guy has a tendency to blow saves in a big way both last year and this year. Who could forget the Khalil Greene grand slam incident of last summer that ended The Impossible Dream? In fact, Cordero's save conversion stats mask the high number of narrow escapes that he creates for himself by putting runners in scoring position late in the game. I like Cordero, but he's far from the "automatic" closer that he will hopefully become in a few years.

Enough of all this Cardinals stuff! The Nats are headed to Denver to square off with the Rockies. It's time for another exciting edition of 5 Questions! This time I exchanged pleasantries with Rox Girl of Purple Row. You can read my answers to her questions about the Nats at this link.

Curly W: The Nationals, to me, seem similar to the original Rockies expansion team in that they were a new team in a die-hard football town. Were you in Colorado when the Rockies came to town? How long did it take for the Denver area to fully embrace the team?

Rox Girl: It depends on what you mean by fully embrace. Colorado sports fans were eager and waiting a long time for major league baseball, and the franchise broke many attendance records in its first years despite only making one playoff appearance. The Denver market is discrimintating in its sporting taste, however, and when the Rockies failed to continue to build on that initial success, the base drifted and attendance at the games steadily eroded until this season. The Broncos remain popular because they are regularly in the playoffs, regularly competing for a Super Bowl, and sometimes winning it all. The Avalanche have tasted similar success and regularly sell out their games and the Nuggets seem to be turning around
their fortunes as well. In that sense, I really don't think the market has fully embraced the Rockies, they typically get second sport status in the newspapers, even during the summer months when the Broncos are only in training camp.

Curly W: In your opinion, is the altitude at Coors Field really as much of an issue as the media makes it out to be? It seems like there were inflated scores and ERAs for the first few years but everyone in the league seems to have adjusted.

Rox Girl: Yes, the altitude is and always will be an issue. The fabled humidor
seems to have countered the effects for the most part, but if you look at
scores from Colorado Springs (our AAA club) you can see what would happen if
we reverted to Coors Dry.

Curly W: Many of us Nats fans are still bitter that Jim Bowden let Jamey Carroll leave for Denver. How do you feel about Jamey Carroll? Is he likely to be back with the Rockies next year?

Rox Girl: I'd be bitter too, Jamey's a player. Really, why would anybody want to get rid of him? I mean, you've seen how hard he goes. Every play it's amazing. Really. I would be listening to Carpenters albums everyday for like six months if my GM had discarded him. So callously, too, as if Jamey was just some other scrub player. I mean, if Dan O' Dowd did something like that, I would question my existence, maybe read Camus or something and join a nunnery.

As for the second part of your question, believe it or not, Carroll's primary competition for 2007 appears to be Kaz Matsui. Yes, that Kaz Matsui. Only maybe not, because this Kaz Matsui is hitting like .400 for us.

Curly W: We're looking forward to our new stadium in DC in 2008. What's your favorite thing about Coors Field? Least favorite?

Rox Girl: My favorite thing about Coors Field... well, besides watching the Rockies win, which is the obvious answer, I love the lifestyle. What? Yeah, going to Coors has to be a whole evening. You've got to go to the game and then you get to party afterwards in LoDo around the brickyard. The stadium seems to fit right in with the very happening nightlife down there. It's really quite marvellously designed, the seats flow seamlessly into the concourses which flow seamlessly into the exterior and the surrounding neighborhood.

My least favorite thing is that because Denver went so long with a baseball team of its own, several other prominent teams have very large fanbases that come in and make the place look like Busch or Wrigley West. Long lines for the bathrooms are also a drawback, but I heard boys have it easier and the lines aren't nearly as bad as they are in Invesco.

Curly W: Are Rocky Mountain Oysters on the menu at Coors Field? If not, do you wish they were?

Rox Girl: I grew up in the Northwest part of the state and there were a lot of sheep ranchers that were friends of mine, yet despite all of that, I only knew one person who actually ate that particular part. Or parts, however you like to think of uhm.. them. Anyway, turns out he was a nationally ranked cowboy on my high school rodeo team. Yes. You heard that part right, too.
Rox Girl is such a hayseed. Anyway, as far as Coors Field and that particular delicacy, I thought I heard once that you could, but I don't know for sure if that's true. I have gotten a good review of the version served by local Denver restaurant, The Fort, for any of you thinking of making avisit.