It is approaching the middle of September, the baseball season is 140 games into a 162 game schedule, and football is back on TV. The reasons to still tune in to ROOT sports on a near nightly basis or head down to 20th and Blake are becoming harder and harder to find. Hang on, here are 5 solid reasons to watch the Colorado Rockies to the end.
5) Colorado Rockies/Blue Moon 20th Anniversary Ale. The Blue Moon brewery back in the right field corner of beautiful Coors Field pushed out a pretty spectacular brew to celebrate 20 years of Rockies baseball. Brewed in the same anthem as that old familiar Belgium White, the 20th Anni is just a tad darker than the usual Blue Moon, maybe a little hoppier, but damn if it isn’t smooth and tasty. But be warned: you can only get it at the park, and only from a couple of vendors (one being the brewery itself). It has been a great tribute to the relationship Blue Moon and the Rockies have had for years and years and I personally hope that they brew it again for regular distribution.
4) Nolan Arenado. It is probably impossible to over-emphasize the greatness that Arenado has played with on the hot corner this year, though we definitely have tried. And yet even with a ton of hype he has settled in quite nicely as the everyday third baseman for the Rockies. Even better than that? He has continued to adjust to major league pitching and his .269 batting average is on the rise. Now here’s the icing on the cake: Nolan Arenado is in line to win a Gold Glove. Of all NL third baseman, Arenado is far and away the best with the glove. For starters, his 31 defensive runs saved this year are 23 more runs than any other NL 3B has saved! He pairs that together with a respectable .974 fielding average, only 10 errors, and a NL leading 22 double plays turned (25 started). He also trails only Pedro Alvarez in assists with 283. The kid can play third base much better than anyone imagined and he is good for at least one jaw-dropping play every single night.
3) Jenny Cavnar. There isn’t a lot that needs to be said here. She’s a cutie and knows her baseball to boot. Cavnar came back to her home state by way of San Diego and has done quite well filling the large shoes that MLB Network’s Alanna Rizzo left. She even has stepped into the void created when Joel Klatt left for the brand new Fox Sports 1 network and has taken over pre-game/post-game mediator duties. In fact, and I kid you not, she has made the old Cowboy Tracy Ringolsby crack a smile on more than one occasion. That is pretty darn difficult to do. Nice work Jenny! Plus she’s a cutie. Did I already say that? I refuse to apologize.
2) September Callups. Every September brings the close of the AAA baseball season, and with it the allowance of the major league club to expand their active rosters. The MLB rule allows teams to suit up to 40 players for these games, but the Rockies have settled on a roster of 34 bringing up a few fresh arms along with versatile infielder Ryan Wheeler. Pitchers Manny Corpas, Mitchell Boggs, and Collin McHugh also join the club after their seasons in Colorado Springs. While a lot of people have issues with the fall call ups (not every team is forced to have the same roster size anymore), this is the best time to see some of the up-and-coming talent in the system. Outfielders Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon — who have seen more innings due to injuries of Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez — will stay with the team and continue to showcase their talent. Also on the radar is bullpen specialist Mitchell Boggs who will get another chance with the club after only seeing two chances in his first call-up back in July and has had ample time to work out some kinks down at AAA. For the 2013 Rockies, these call ups will take some of the pressure off of the stressed bullpen without wasting player options and allows manager Walt Weiss to try new things i.e. Adam Ottavino as a 7th inning setup man.
1) Michael Cuddyer chases a batting title. Not a lot of people would have expected this, but right fielder Michael Cuddyer is in the heat of the NL Batting Title race. His.328 batting average is second in the league behind Atlanta’s Chris Johnson (.332) and is ahead of St Louis backstop Yadier Molina (.323) and Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen (.322). With ~20 games left in the season this is anyone’s race, especially with McCutchen hitting at a blistering .400 pace since August 1st. Even if he misses on being the NL Batting Champion, Cuddyer is in a prime position to add a Silver Slugger award to his mantle which would be a cherry on top of a memorable season for the 34-yr old veteran.
So even though the Rockies are, for all intents and purposes, out of the playoff picture (they haven’t been mathematically eliminated…yet) there are still many reasons to show your support as they finish out their 20th season of major league baseball. Go Rox!