Apr 052004
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

Think about it.

Last night we saw the culmination of a good college basketball

season, great NCAA tournament and an amazing Final Four.

Today, baseball returns to Colorado with the Opening Day game

between the Rockies and Diamondbacks at 4:05 p.m. Mountain Time in

Phoenix.

Wednesday night at 8 p.m., the Colorado Avalanche began its

quest for a Stanley Cup, or at least a first-round win, against the

Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center.

Last but hopefully not least, over the next week, the Denver

Nuggets will battle it out with the Utah Jazz and Portland

Trailblazers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA’s

Western Conference.

Oh, and we’ve also got The Masters, Freddy Adu fever in the

soccer world and spring football practice on campus.

Great, all this really bodes well for me with five weeks to go

at CSU and senioritis growing by the day. Hopefully the weather

will stay cool or I may be done for.

Sports in America may get better ratings in the fall than in the

spring, but there is no doubt in my mind that spring the best

sports season of the year.

Hockey took another big hit, literally, with the Todd Bertuzzi’s

assault on the Avs’ Steve Moore. But I dare anyone to watch the NHL

playoffs and tell me it is not the most exciting and intense two

months of action in all of sports. Hopefully, for the Avs’ sake,

Paul Kariya’s ankle injury is not serious and Alex Tanguay comes

back with a vengeance against the Stars.

Hockey may have the best playoffs of any professional sport, but

baseball has the best opening act. Despite the many attempts by the

Major League Baseball to trash the sport, the steroids scandal

being the latest, there still is not much better than watching an

afternoon game on Opening Day.

The Rockies sit in about the same position they have been for

the past eight seasons, just above mediocre.

General manager Dan O’Dowd has officially gone full circle in

his philosophy of a winning team. Dealin’ Dan changed the Blake

Street Bombers into the run-and-gun Rocks with big-name arms. Well,

that didn’t work, and the Bombers return with a young starting

pitching staff, except, of course, for Cubs castaway Shawn Estes.

Who would’ve thought there would be a day where we were taking the

Cubbies leftovers?

Only problem with O’Dowd’s new philosophy is that the Bombers

are losing their fuel. Larry Walker will start the season on the

disabled list, big surprise. It would have been nice if we never

got rid of Vinny Castilla, but hey, at least we got him at the end

of his career.

I do think, however, the Rocks will be bashing this year. Watch

our for Jeromy Burnitz to hit a lot of long balls, Todd Helton has

beefed up and Preston Wilson seems primed for another good

year.

Once again, however, it will come down to pitching. I’m not

quite sure the logic behind moving Sean Chacon, the best pitcher

last year, from a starter to a closer. If it works out, however,

O’Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle will look like geniuses. The

Rockies don’t have any big names in their starting rotation, but

they didn’t have any in 1995 when the won the Wild Card either.

The advantage for the Rocks is that nobody in the National

League West looks like a title contender. If they can avoid their

usual late summer swoon, the may actually be a in a pennant

race.

I’ll be watching.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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