Well, if we needed any more proof the Dodgers have climbed into the Rockies’ dome and taken residence, we only have to take a look at the carnage of their weekend series in Tinseltown.
Three gut-punch, walk-off losses all but eliminated the Rox from thinking they’ll be able to make a run at the Dodgers’ stranglehold atop the NL West. L.A. has won the division six straight times and it looks like they’ll cruise to a seventh title.
I thought this was the year the Rockies would stand up to the Dodgers. Going toe to toe with them last year right down to game No. 163 gave me hope they’d be able to break through this year. Instead, the Rox find themselves losers of 11 straight against L.A.
Even more galling was Bud Black effectively waiving the white flag before Sunday’s game, rolling out a lineup that would normally be found for a mid-March Cactus League showdown in Scottsdale. No Nolan Arenado, no Charlie Blackmon, no Ian Desmond. Add to the injury absence of Trevor Story and the Rox were toothless.
But why? Wouldn’t snapping the streak against the Dodgers and providing some hope of getting back into the race be more beneficial then giving some guys a day off? I get it’s a long season and guys need a blow every once in awhile, but that game? Against the team you need to prove at some point you can beat?
All Black did was send the message to the guys in that clubhouse that he doesn’t think his team could catch the Dodgers. Weak.
I spent my Sunday afternoon driving home from Omaha, Neb. My 12-year-old baseball team played in a baseball tournament during the College World Series. I picked up the Rox/Dodgers game from the beginning on Sirius Radio.
Charlie Steiner is the radio voice of the Dodgers. I’ve always liked the former ESPN “SportsCenter” host’s style. But, man, did his mockery of the Rockies come through loud and clear during the broadcast.
He referenced the Dodgers’ mastery of the Rox saying Colorado is a nice team that tries really hard, but, you know… He needled the Rox for never having figured out how to win at Coors Field. He talked about the infamous Mike Hampton signing and openly ridiculed the response Hampton gave when asked why he chose the Rockies – Hampton saying how much he and his wife liked the public schools in Denver. Steiner was incredulous. He couldn’t stop laughing at it. He wouldn’t let it go. He went on a solid six minutes about it – an eternity during a radio broadcast like that.
While all this was happening, the Rox were leading 2-0. Yet, Steiner never lost his bravado. He kept reminding his audience what had happened the last two games. He kept talking about how the Rockies had to be feeling a sense of impending doom. If a soundtrack was playing in the Rox dugout, it would be the theme from “Jaws.”
I was blown away by his arrogance. And yet, it happened. Chad Bettis comes in and on the first pitch gives up a pinch it, three run go ahead home run and Steiner, with unabashed glee, thundered, “Impending doom – boom!” I was like, “Damn, he called it.”
I can’t believe Steiner feels so cocky all on his own. Meaning, I can’t believe he walks around with such a dismissive attitude about the Rockies without feeding off what he picks up on when he’s around the Dodgers players. Let’s face it, the Dodgers from the top on down don’t respect the Rockies and certainly don’t fear them.
Look at the bright side, the Rockies are back in their comfort zone. They’re once again trying to pursue a wild card spot for the third straight year. Their attempt to win that elusive first NL West title will have to wait another year.
In the meantime, those marauding Dodgers invade Coors Field for four games this weekend. Maybe Denver Public Schools can give Charlie Steiner a tour.