The letter-writing campaigns still haven’t worked. Amnesty International still refuses to help. The courts are useless. The Giants still have to play baseball in Coors Field. .
I did a podcast with two of the guys from Purple Row, and they were a little stunned by my aversion to the Giants playing in Colorado. I mentioned that I expect every game to be a Spilborghs game, and I meant it. Every game the Giants play in Coors is a game that expect to go 12 innings with 42 lead changes, and that ends with a bunch of purple-bedecked donkeys hopping around home plate with mirth and glee.
Like, remember this game? It was awful. The Giants needed to win to keep pace with the Padres, and Matt Cain pitched eight scoreless innings, only to lose the game when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, which should have been illegal now that I think about it. The Giants dropped a game in the standings, and they would never recover.
Wait, that’s not what happened.
Cain finished the game, and the Giants won 16 out of their next 22 games after that. Some of those games were big deals, too, what with fighter jets zooming over and Steve Perry getting on the scoreboard a couple of times. There were bottles of sparkling wine involved. It was magic inside, outside, and in those nooks and crevices that are oh-so-hard to reach, and it all started at Coors Field if you want to be selective with your endpoints.
Just one game before that Cain masterpiece, you’ll find the archetype of a Giants/Rockies game at Coors. The Giants had a lead, the Rockies came back, the Giants were able to stretch into extra innings just to mess with us, and a bunch of purple-bedecked donkeys hopped around home plate with mirth and glee.
What happened between that Saturday night game and the Sunday day game that followed? Did the Giants throw out a glowing amulet that they found in the shower? Did they look in a clubhouse mirror and say Dante Bichette’s name three times? Did they sacrifice a widowed orphan's virgin widow's orphan?
We’ll never know.
But for me, one of the reasons that Coors Field trips were so impossible to enjoy was that I had resigned myself to an ugly, cynical reality: the Giants would never win the World Series, and it would all be because of the Rockies. 1993? Nope, the Rockies couldn’t beat the Braves one lousy time. 1998? Nope, the Giants would miss the playoffs because of a Neifi Perez homer. 2004? Nah, that’s when the Astros swept the Rockies in the final series of the season, bouncing the Giants from the wild-card race. NL West gadfly Shawn Estes pitched a game for Colorado in that series. Of course he did.
On it went. The Spilborghs game was just another entry in the first chapter of a 900-page book that hadn’t been finished yet. And then: poof. Cain pitched a great game, the Giants took a crucial series in Colorado when they needed to, and everything that wasn’t possible before suddenly happened. And how.
So, here we go. Coors Field. I still hate watching Giants games there, but maybe it will feel a little different this time. Maybe that fatalistic nonsense that was rattling around in my brain has been exorcised. The Rockies have started the season on fire, but maybe this is just going to be a good match-up between two good teams.
Or maybe the over/under on me banging my head on my desk until it bleeds is the fourth inning of tonight’s game. Yeah. That’s probably about right.
Hitter to watch:
Wait, you watch the bottom-halves of the innings played in Colorado? What are you, a masochistic freak? Hope you remember your safe word.
Pitcher to watch
Of course Ubaldo Jimenez is coming back against the Giants. Of course his blistery, velocity-sapping pus-callous was against another team. While I’m glad that Jimenez didn’t have a serious injury -- I just want him to suck, not get hurt -- I’m wishing it could have been something that made him hurt for about two more days.
Someone will hit a looping liner into the vast acreage of the Coors Field outfield, and it will fall for a hit. You read it here first.