As the baseball season finally comes to a close, it’s become painfully obvious, even to me. I’ve been wrong all along. This entire thing about the altitude being the reason the Colorado Rockies can’t become consistent winners? It’s true.
Being at 5,280 feet has made it impossible to play a legitimate game of Major League Baseball. It’s simply not fair to the poor guys who have to pitch here. The humidor? Obviously a placebo that could only fool them for so long. Doesn’t work anymore. The ball just flies too far when they hang a slider. Curves don’t curve and the sliders don’t slide and the cutters don’t cut…at least for the home team.
Also, the wear and tear on the body of these professional athletes at this altitude? Unbearable, obviously. While it might not inhibit runners, hockey players, football players, basketball players, bikers, hikers, soccer players, lacrosse players, gymnasts, volleyball players and, well, anyone else who plays…it obviously places an unmanageable physical burden on baseball players and their ability to recover after playing all or part of nine innings. They’ve been saying it for years. It’s a shame we all didn’t listen to Brian “Mr. Universe” Bohanon when we tried to tell us this a decade ago.
Yep. It’s time to throw in the Gatorade towel. The Rockies franchise has got to be moved to a more reasonable climate where the poor pitchers have a fighting chance. We can always use Coors Field for Major League Lacrosse games or something.
I’m sorry to say I’ve been one of those resisting this argument about the altitude for a long time. Stupid me, I’ve always wanted to blame the team’s failures on what I mistakenly thought was a lack of good pitching development in the Rockies minor league system, as evidenced by all those great young and polished arms streaming up from the minors every year.
Wow, was I wrong about that.
What did I know? I only grew up here playing baseball. Pitched 100 innings in a two month season at Colorado State and somehow, someway, avoided the surgeon. Dumb luck. I pitched at Mile High for the Denver Zephyrs and somehow, some way, we actually won the Triple A World Series. Can’t remember for sure, but I’m almost positive we must have won every game 11-10.
Now that I think about it, playing four years of college and 12 years of pro ball and never having ANY surgeries doesn’t mean I had good mechanics and good work habits. It just means I was…ummm, fortunate. Yeah. That’s it. That’s the ticket.
So now that I’ve admitted that I was wrong all along, and that I know nothing about the effects of altitude on the game or baseball players, I’ll get in lock step with the others in the media who have spent the summer detailing why the altitude makes it impossible to win in Denver. I will do my best to contribute to finding a suitable new location for the Rockies franchise. Obviously, we have to look east. Downhill as it were.
We could look at someplace like Omaha, as long as we are willing to work red into the color scheme somehow. Great new ballpark there (the Rockies would have to go on a three week roadie in early June to allow for the College World Series, but that’s no biggie, right?) Then we could move the Sky Sox to someplace like North Platte. Just a four hour drive from here. Wichita? Maybe. Forget Albuquerque – same issues as here. Oklahoma City? Why not? Another place with a great ballpark and a fondness for red.
Then again, why not look west, too? Portland? A little damp in the spring and fall, but it could work. Fresno? Hot in the summer, but great wine.
Maybe I should just leave that decision up to MLB. I’ve been wrong about this altitude thing for so long, my opinion is pretty worthless anyway.