clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The Colorado River As It Faces Long Term Drought Conditions

Filed under:

Know Your Enemy: The Colorado Rockies

If you can work up hatred for them, you might have some issues

These mountains are basically brand new, give me older mountains!

It’s time. I know that, no matter how poorly our Sox are doing this year, there is something we always look forward to, with hyena anticipation, with mongoose fury. If you’re like me, if you’re a true Sox fan, you’ve had this circled on your calendar all year. You might have even made a circle on your laptop where you had the schedule pulled up, and it’s just been there, a strange hovering permanent-marker circle, on your screen all year. Because you know what it means: it’s time to play the fucking Rockies!

All week Sox fans have been like, “I don’t care about beating the Cubs as long as we beat the hated Rockies.” I know I feel that way. I know you do too. Just think back to all the times we’ve played those classic games we all remember so well that there is NO NEED for me to recount them or anything. All that matters is now. This is it. This is the series. It’s Sox-Rox. Need I say more?

The Sox are 10-9 all-time against Colorado, so, you know: intense!


So How Are They Doing, Anyway?

For years, the Rockies have been in tank-but-don’t-rebuild mode, trading away good players while never having a great farm system and signing vets that don’t add much. They won 91 games in 2018, then said “eh,” and 74 has been their high-water mark since then. They won’t reach it this year. They’re dead last in the NL and only better than the Royals and the A’s.

They can’t really hit or pitch, and their players are hurt a lot. They are not remarkable in any way, shape or form. And they don’t legitimately seem to have a plan for the future. Wait. Am I actually a Rockies fan? They sound like the kind of team I root for!


Are The Hitters Fearsome? Need I Worry About Dingers?

What if I told you that the White Sox, per FanGraphs, have the second-lowest batting WAR in baseball? And what if I told you it was 5.0, a hideous and disgusting number? And then what if I told you that the Rockies were the lowest, at -1.5?

NEGATIVE ONE POINT FIVE. WAR. IN DENVER.

I don’t know how that’s possible, man. I don’t know how they’re bottom 10 in runs scored. Bottom 10 in homers. Dead last, by a good margin, in wRC+. They’ve got a few guys you’ve heard of, like Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Jones. But they can’t do anything.

So no. The hitters are not fearsome.


And The Pitching Matchups? What Of Them?

The Rockies do have a 5.1 pitching WAR, above the Mets and A’s, so this is a relative strength.

Friday 8/18

Sox: Michael Kopech (5-10, 4.58) has a lower ERA the second time through the order than the first. Lower walk rate, better K rate. He should never pitch the first inning.

Rockies: Peter Lambert (2-4, 5.46) is the brother of Jimmy Lambert. Brother vs. brother! That’s as relevant as any scouting, to be honest. How much are you really going to be talking to your friends about Peter Lambert’s pitch selection? Be honest.

Saturday 8/19

Sox: Jesse Scholtens (1-5, 3.20) is being appreciated by fans as a good pitcher. If you want to know more about it, read Salina’s piece. It’s really terrific!

Rockies: Kyle Freeland (4-13, 4.94) gave Colorado an awesome win against the Cubs in the 2018 playoffs and has been cursed ever since to play for the Rockies. Seems like a raw deal!

Sunday 8/20

Sox: Dylan Cease (5-6. 4.32) has remarkably similar stats in Home/Away splits. This makes sense, as he’s just been largely fine all year.

Rockies: Chris Flexen (1-5, 7.74) has seen a pretty remarkable reduction in his spin rates, and look, I’ve never heard of this guy either; I won’t lie to you.


Why Do We Hate The Rockies?

Hey, remember Kris Bryant? College Player of the Year, Minor League Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, MVP? World Series hero? Those dreamy eyes, that unbelievable talent? That guy? Remember him signing a big contract with the Rockies just over a year ago, before the 2022 season? And then absolutely disappearing?

He made the right choice from that perspective. It was as if he said, “I am ready to vanish as a known baseball player,” and so went to Colorado. This is probably the most anonymous franchise possible. You can think of a handful of good players, some great, like Todd Helton. There are guys like Andrés Galarraga. What’s his face, Larry Walker? He was cool. They had that good run in 2007.

But really, Blake Street is where baseball goes to die and be forgotten. If you asked 100 baseball fans to name every team, the Rockies would be the most-missed (source: shut up about sources). That they are now run by a comically-inept front office that overvalues washed-up talent and lets actual good players get away seems fitting. They are in the background of baseball, spinning plates and feverishly trying to plan something and no one notices.

And look, this is barely a critique. With our record, the Sox would be just as anonymous were we not in a big city. But we are. We’re in Chicago, so people know us. I can’t say the same about Denver.

Do they have a rival? Arizona, maybe? What are their fans like? I like the Nuggets and am annoyed by the Broncos, so maybe the fans are middling? Are there bad fans? Good fans? Do people wear shirts that say, like “I Ride With The Rockies” or “To Hel(ton) And Back”? Do they have announcers? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows.

Kris Bryant? Used to be a hell of a player. We’ll probably never hear his name again. Lost forever in the mountains.


Let’s Hear It From White Sox Fans!

SUBOPTIMAL OPERATIONS!

DENVER DUMB!

URIBE APPROPRIATION

WHO???


White Sox Gamethreads

Gamethread: Diamondbacks at White Sox

Meet the Players

Meet the Players: International Women’s Day Edition with Melissa Sage-Bollenbach

Today in White Sox History

Today in White Sox History: March 4