Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rockies' Run About To Face Biggest Challenge Yet

The Colorado Rockies are in the World Series. Fancy that. Good for them. They have been virtually indestructible, winning 21 of their last 22 games -- including a three-run rally in extra innings to even qualify for the playoffs to begin with. They are, right now, a buzz saw that is slicing through everything in their wake.

But now they face the biggest challenge of them all: the wait between the NLCS and the World Series.

The last thing the Rockies want to do, I would think, is sit around and wait, and wait, and wait ... while the ALCS plays out. They have something special going on, and it's all been predicated on playing games in relatively rapid succession.

Look no further than our own Detroit Tigers of 2006 to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Magglio Ordonez slugged his ALCS-winning home run on Saturday, October 14, giving the Tigers a sweep over Oakland. But then, due to the NLCS going seven games, the Tigers had to wait a whole week before starting the World Series. Their bats and pitchers were out of sorts, and thanks to some crooked pitchers' throws to various bases, the Tigers fell meekly to the Cardinals.

Some blamed the week-long wait on the Tigers' poor performance. And those folks would not be far off the mark.

Baseball is a game of rhythm and routine. One-hundred-and-sixty-two games played out, almost every day, for months. It's not a game built for several days off between matches. Pitchers and hitters alike bask in the consistency of the sport.

So it's no wonder that the Tigers had rust to shake off in the World Series, and it was a task that they never really completed.

The Rockies have gone through these playoffs with lightning speed. They are dispensing of teams as if they're on a time clock, which they kind of are -- midnight is looming for this year's Cinderella.

The ALCS looks to be a six or seven game affair, which means the Rockies will have a similar wait as the '06 Tigers did. They'd play tomorrow if they could, being on the roll that they are on currently. But instead, they'll try to bottle whatever it is they're taking and save it for the World Series. Only, it usually doesn't work out that way.

AL Champ in six.


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