Here’s Why I’m Still Watching The Colorado Rockies


Jun 8, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of Colorado Rockies fans huddled up due to the rain delay in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies have been out of contention since, what, May 15? I’m still watching, though. And not just because I get paid to do this. Here’s why.

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There aren’t many reasons to watch the Colorado Rockies. Sure, I have to watch them. Because that’s my job, you know. And I get paid (in pennies!) to watch these meaningless September games, so I kid myself about their importance for 2016.

There are legitimate reasons to watch, for sure. The die-hard baseball fan definitely would want to keep watching Carlos Gonzalez (who knows how long he’ll be a Rockie!), Jon Gray (when does he get his first win?!), Nolan Arenado (is he going to win the MVP?), and Yohan Flande (I’m kidding but I do love Yohan Flande).

But I started to realize this past weekend that my favorite reason to watch the Colorado Rockies this year is because of my girlfriend. (Yep! It’s one of those posts!)

This year, I taught my girlfriend about baseball. The first baseball game she ever attended was on March 20 at Salt River Fields, when the Colorado Rockies played the Oakland Athletics and Jorge De La Rosa made his first start of Spring Training.

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Between spring and summer, I’ve watched almost 200 Rockies games, and at least 200 more other games that were on before or after the Rox.

My girlfriend, my poor, poor girlfriend, the trooper that she is, has easily watched at least 150 of those games with me. That’s roughly 148 more than she agreed to watch before I took this editor’s job in March.

To say she’s been, um, patient with baseball is an understatement. (Yeah, I owe her big this winter.)

But besides the obvious this-is-my-job responsibility, I’m still watching the Colorado Rockies because I love seeing her pick up the game. Especially considering she had no knowledge of baseball six months ago.

Every single time somebody gets on base, she’ll tell me whether or not the infield fly rule is in place. Of course, I know the infield fly rule, but she’s testing herself because I taught her about it a few months ago. She wants to see if she knows about the infield fly rule. Most of the time she’s wrong about it, but she’s been getting better lately.

This past weekend, I taught her how to read the MLB Standings page. You know, elimination numbers, games back, winning percentages, streaks, home and road splits. Knowledge that baseball fans take for granted. It took her a while, but she got that, too. She still doesn’t understand elimination numbers, but she knows all the three-letter abbreviations for baseball teams like COL and CHC and STL. That’s something!

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Her favorite player is Corey Dickerson, because he signed a baseball for her last week in Sacramento when he was rehabbing with the Albuquerque Isotopes:

Now, literally every time he’s on the screen in a big league game, she says, “babe! That’s Corey! Corey’s up!” You know, like they were friends from college or something. (She met the guy for 15 seconds and they’re on a first-name basis?! Come on!)

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It’s incredible to watch somebody learn the game of baseball. No, she’s got no clue about WAR or xFIP or OPS or WHIP. She still doesn’t understand how to determine if a starting pitcher won a game. (“Pitcher of record” is a hard concept to describe to a noob.) And she still gets Nolan Arenado confused with Troy Tulowitzki, which is just… babe, come on. We’ve gotta be better than that.

But all those shortcomings aside, it’s so much fun to watch somebody learn more about baseball every single day. She knows why Hawk Harrelson is the best kind of awful baseball broadcaster. She understands how badly Dinger sucks (marriage material here, folks). She’s learned about Rocktober.

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MVP voter listed Cardinals' Arenado 8th on ballot
MVP voter listed Cardinals' Arenado 8th on ballot /

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  • She is obsessed with sacrifice bunts, which she calls “sacrificial bunts” just to piss me off, and she thinks teams should run the suicide squeeze every time somebody gets on third base. (Literally. Every. Time.)

    She even sat down with me to watch Madison Bumgarner‘s near-perfect game on Saturday night, and she gave color commentary on every single pitch until Bumgarner gave up a hit in the eighth inning! That’s not even a Rockies game! She’s legit!

    Oh, about the Colorado Rockies. We can’t just watch any ol’ team as she learns about baseball. It has to be the Colorado Rockies. The Colorado Rockies are now her team, because they are my team, because this is how you (authentically) become a fan.

    You don’t pick the best team by chance and decide to like them. You don’t go in as a frontrunner. You pick the team your mom, or dad, or boyfriend, or grandma cheers for, you stick with them through thick and thin (mostly thin), and when they win, it feels like you win.

    She’s doing that, now, too. The next Rocktober will mean something to her — whenever that will be — because she’s watched Nolan and DJ and Corey (“Corey, babe! Corey’s batting!”) this year. And unless I break up with her because she keeps saying “sacrificial bunt,” she’ll probably watch next year, and the year after, and on, and on.

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    The point is this: baseball is a social sport. You enjoy it with people. It’s a sport to pass down, to teach people. It’s not complicated — see the ball, hit the ball, field the ball — but it is complicated. Incredibly complicated. And because it’s complicated, you have to talk about it with the people around you.

    Whatever your angle or area of expertise — sabermetrics, old-school “the will to win” analysis, drinking beer at the games without paying attention to the action, #RockiesTwitter, the Rooftop — it’s all good, man; none of that really matters. Every angle fosters its own unique community and voice, but all angles lead to the same place: baseball as a uniting force.

    Now, my girlfriend has become a part of that community in her own way, just like I did. Just like you did. Just like your spouses, partners, children, parents. I’ve passed baseball traditions on to her that she will now carry throughout her lifetime. That is what baseball is really about — whether it happens while watching a team that wins 100, or loses 100.

    So when Bob Davidson calls a ticky-tack balk on a Colorado Rockies’ pitcher next May, my girlfriend is going to see that and — just like you and I and thousands of other people simultaneously — say, “damnit, Balkin’ Bob! You are literally the worst umpire this side of Angel Hernandez! This isn’t the ump show! Nobody paid to see you umpire today, that was dog crap!”

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