Today a bird pooped on me. I wish I was kidding. Apparently the Italians believe this occurrence is good luck. I happen to believe that catching the sewage from a flying creature around one’s face, is terribly UNlucky. And frankly, it stinks.
Oddly enough, this is the second time in my life that I have had the pleasure of acting as a porcelain throne for our feathered friends. The last time this happened, I was a junior in high school in the spring of 2007. It stunk then, too.
Who cares, right? But what if those darned Italians are on to something? What if it’s a sign?
If your father is anything like mine, he talks of the glory days of "fill-in-the-blank-team-he-watched-growing-up." For my dad, it was the “We are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates of the late 1960s and into the 1970s. It was Three Rivers Stadium and Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente, who could “throw out a base-runner, and the ball would never get more than six feet off the ground.”
The Colorado Rockies simply don’t have those stories. No rings, no division titles, no all-time greats. Legendary players include the Blake Street Bombers, Larry Walker, and the Toddfather; most of which probably won’t sniff the hall of fame. Up until 2007, the most wins in a season was 83. And the forecast for the upcoming season was bleak.
Nine ESPN “experts” out of ten chose the Rockies to finish with less than 80 wins, with seven of them predicting a last place finish, with only Peter Gammons predicting an above-.500 season. That season's edition of the MLB preview talked of Todd Helton trade rumors (who would have been traded to the Red Sox, if not for Boston’s hesitancy to part ways with “young gun” Manny Delcarmen. Ha, hindsight can be fun.), expectations for another big year for Garret Atkins, and different scenarios to fit up-and-comer Ian Stewart into the fold. We had a superstar in Matt Holiday, and some young stud shortstop who was supposed to be a decent addition. The pitching could improve, but our lineup would be "stacked" with the power of Atkins, Helton, Holliday, Hawpe, and Ianetta.
Hmmm…A stud left fielder who seemed like he would be in a Rockies uniform forever... A third base prospect who just needed to find a way to break through to the big leagues… A starting rotation anchored around a couple of regulars with some promise, and some old-timers looking for redemption…A power hitting catcher waiting to take advantage of Coors… A fed-up fan base waiting for the Monforts and O’Dowd to prove themselves…”What to do with Todd Helton?”…Zero expectations...
Who knows how good the 2013 Rockies are/will be; They have looked great against the worst teams in baseball, and brutal against our San Francisco nemesis. They may not be contenders, but they sure are better than that Triple-A team who inhabited 20th and Blake in 2012. In a week we could be talking about the countdown until Broncos season once again, making a big deal about OTAs and 7-on-7’s, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
Am I expecting the Rockies to repeat the magical run that captured this town and infuriated television executives at Fox? No. Am I expecting to have tickets to Game 5 only to have my heart broken as the Rockies get manhandled in four? Please God, No. Am I still wishing/waiting/hoping for Rocktober to electrify this city again? More than anything in the world.
Let’s call a spade a spade; the 2007 Rockies were a bigger fluke than Moby Dick’s tail. It’s not everyday that a team catches fire en route to a pennant. Then again, it’s not everyday that a bird takes a dump on your head.