Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and Hope

Hope.

It is something that comes and goes for baseball teams and their fans. Sometimes the teams we cheer for give us reasons for hope that can last months or even years. Other times that hope will disappear at a moment’s notice, with our team serving a cold reminder of the breathtaking impermanence of things (to channel Michael Chabon for a moment).

Theoretically, Colorado Rockies’ fans should have more reasons for hope than the Chicago Cubs. One glance at a roster that includes Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado, and Michael Cuddyer generates the belief that this Rockies team should at least be competitive this season. By way of contrast, no Cubs fan could have reasonably expected this year’s team to be relevant.

The Rockies even maintained that hope into the second month of the season. At that point it would have been inconceivable to think how much things would change in the time leading up to Chicago’s 6-5 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday night.

Hope. The Cubs have got it. The Rockies don’t.

Buoyed by the promise of a loaded farm system with now-famous phenoms, the Cubs seem to be an energized franchise. There truly could have been no better illustration of that fact than the winning home run that Javier Baez delivered in the 12th inning off of Boone Logan.

Baez is joined by Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and others as players who are poised to lead the Cubs out of the basement in the coming seasons. Theo Epstein and his front office will have money to spend this off-season and players on whom to spend it.

Nothing is guaranteed. Even the most hopeful person understands that rationally, and the common Cubs fan understands the need for caution better than most. But the future is legitimately bright in Chicago. That hope is there.

For the Rockies it just isn’t. The owner is a buffoon, the front office is incompetent, and the injuries are breathtaking. Whether the injuries are a legit excuse or not (a hot talking point among Rockies’ writers these days) is really beside the point.

This might be the worst team in baseball. At some point you cause irreversible damage to the state of the franchise as such, no matter how legit the ‘injuries excuse’ is or how good this team could have been.

At this point I would also emphasize this pitching staff would have been one of the most in baseball even with relatively good health. The Rockies are as far away from figuring out their pitching woes as they have ever been, even with glimmers of hope in the starting rotation.

If you’re asking me to hope once again next year for good health from Tulo, CarGo, Brett Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Michael Cuddyer, and Justin Morneau, I say that is a fool’s exercise indeed. And if that’s the front office’s plan, which it appears to be, then there is truly no reason to hope for next season or any of the seasons beyond.

Baseball is a humbling game for fans, players, coaches, and executives alike. When Javier Baez blasted that winning home run for the Cubs, with all that it represented, it reminded us just how humbling this season has been for the Rockies.

Tags: Colorado Rockies

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