Rox primed to prove ’07 was no fluke |

Rox primed to prove ’07 was no fluke

Bringing It Home
Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It’s been 154 days since it ended.

A long time to wait since the Colorado Rockies made their miracle run through the end of the regular season and the National League playoffs to the World Series.

It’s been 22 weeks since the purple and black wave consumed us all for one of the most exciting sports happenings this state ” and even this country ” has ever seen.

Now the wait is over as today is the much-celebrated Opening Day of the 2008 season.

This is one of the best days off the year as baseball returns to fill stadiums around the country. It is the true mark of the coming of spring, of a new beginning and of the time of year when hope is at its highest.

Anything is possible on Opening Day and, with the 2008 Rockies, the possibilities have a good shot at being probabilities.

It’s a very important season for the Rockies, who will be coming off their best season in franchise history. They have to prove last season wasn’t a fluke, and it won’t be easy.

First, there is the tough competition in the National League West. The Dodgers are now led by Joe Torre and will be dangerous with their skilled pitching staff. The Diamondbacks and Padres’ rosters are full of talent, and both are now rivals with Colorado after the Rockies eliminated the Padres to get to the playoffs and then when the Rockies knocked out the D-Backs in the NLCS.

The Giants, who are thankfully beginning the post-Barry era, are building and are the only team not in the race for a division title.

Then there is the lack-of-surprise factor. Teams know about the Rockies and won’t take them lightly any more.

They know Jeff Francis is dominant. They know Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe, guys who were previously off the radar and now I proudly have on my fantasy baseball team, can hit the ball. They know what Colorado is capable of.

Still, I think the Rockies can do it. Matt Holliday will be the best player in the National League, and the Colorado administration did a great job of getting most of the guys from last year back.

I’ll miss Kaz Matsui and Josh Fogg, but it’s pretty exciting with almost everyone else back.

I’m looking forward to watching Troy Tulowitzki turn into the best shortstop in the NL and seeing Jason Hirsh and Ubaldo Jimenez further develop into major threats on the hill as they get more and more experience.

So now the Rockies begin their 2008 campaign to defend their NL title.

After 154 days, it’s time to play ball and watch the Rockies pick up right where they left off.

Contact Joelle Milholm: 384-9123

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