A baseball season is such a roller coaster of emotions, it is hard for the fans not to get too excited one way or another as a season progresses. The Rockies are one of the best offenses in the National League—the Major Leagues, for that matter—but it doesn’t mean there won’t be slumps through the course of 162 games. Did the ballclub miss out on some winnable opportunities on this recent homestand? Without question. But look at the standings, and you can see that with the exception, perhaps, of the St. Louis Cardinals, all the other teams are experiencing, or have gone through, the same kind of stretch that currently plagues the Rockies.
The eternal mantra for any MLB team is to keep the down cycles from becoming too long, too deep. I refer back to my early days as a big league broadcaster in Cleveland where “baseball lifer”, John Goryl, gave me some sage advice. He was the Indians’ third base coach at the time, and he told me to remember 4-3. No, not a groundball out to the second baseman, but rather a formula to follow to be a successful team. John said if a team goes 4-3 every 7 games, they will be a playoff team, or at least a serious contender. That doesn’t seem like much, but when it is spread out over an entire season, a team wins 92-93 games.
As the Rockies prepare to play their 35th game tonight here in Saint Louis, their record stands at 19-15. A win tonight and they are right on track with the 4-3 formula. It will be a large challenge this weekend against the Cardinals, but my point is that, even with some recent struggles, they can be contenders if they continue to play by following the 4-3 plan.
One other bit of math for you. Treat a baseball season like a football game. The first quarter (40 games) is the feeling-out process to get some idea what kind of team they might be. By halftime (80 games), there is a better sense of what to expect and what adjustments might be necessary. Come time for the 4th quarter (120 games), the team makes its final push to get the victory, or in the case of baseball, a spot in the postseason. We’re nearing the end of the first quarter, and the Rockies are doing all right at the moment.
As for our CHECK IT OUT, how about making certain to do something for Mom on her big day this Sunday. So much of my love for baseball came from my mother, and although I will get to see her this weekend through the difficult situation of the passing of one of my brothers-in-law, it will be wonderful to tell her in person how much she has meant to me. If you are still blessed to have your mother in your life, make sure you let her know how much of a superstar she has been.