You will have to excuse me, but I have reached a breaking point in regards to the “outside of Denver” perspective on Coors Field. Even with the humidor, it is a reality that the home of the Rockies is a hitter-friendly ballpark. Nevertheless, there are a number of other offensive-oriented stadiums around the Major Leagues, like in Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, and others. Somehow, those places don’t carry the same stigma. When a team plays its home games in a pitcher’s park, the home club still seems to enjoy better offensive numbers than they do on the road. The players are in familiar surroundings, staying at home, etc., and it usually produces better results. The San Francisco Giants are the biggest exception to that rule.
The irritation comes from the less-educated—or should I say less industrious—members of the media around the country that dismiss the accomplishments of Rockies hitters simply because Coors Field is a large ballpark at the highest altitude in the Major Leagues. Ask opposing managers and coaches if they think Troy Tulowitzki would be productive in their lineups. You already know the answer. We will all be frustrated when Todd Helton comes up for Hall of Fame consideration in five years, and some voter that more than likely rarely, if ever, saw him play will question his qualifications because “he played half his games at Coors Field.” Give me a break.
What really draws out my ire is that Coors Field is the only place that gets punished for what it is. If we follow this logic, shouldn’t we think less of the pitching performances by members of the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres pitching staffs because of the places where they play? Never happens. I guess it is the penalty the Rockies pay because they play in the time zone that the media ignores. But take this a step further. If hitters’ success is discounted at Coors Field, shouldn’t pitching numbers have even more value? Going into Tuesday night’s game with the Texas Rangers, the trio of Jordan Lyles, Juan Nicasio, and Jorge De La Rosa are a combined 7-0 with a 2.80 ERA in 10 starts that cover 61 innings at Coors Field. Lyles is 3-0 1.25 in his 3 starts. That should make him the Cy Young front-runner based on where he pitches. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen, and that’s why my hackles are raised. Oh well, let’s just watch the Rockies do their thing and not worry about whether the rest of baseball thinks it’s legitimate or not.
TIP OF THE WEEK: I make this tip with some hesitation since I haven’t seen the first episode yet, but I am excited about the return of “24”... even on a limited basis. I was a fan of Kiefer Sutherland’s long-running series, and I hope the return will provide more enjoyment. We’ll see...