So Eric Byrnes, outfielder for the now done-for-the-year Arizona Diamondbacks, says that his team is just getting unlucky and he will teach by example for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. Um, Eric, is leading by example going 0 for 4 and grounding out to end the game?
Byrnes is known in the baseball world as a guy who always hustles, gets dirty every game, is friendly with his teammates, and dives for any and every ball hit his way. Now he is also known as a guy that can't handle himself too well in the pressure situations.
Did anyone really think Byrnes would cool down the ultra-hot Colorado Rockies team and help the Diamondbacks reach the World Series, or at least win one game in the NLCS?
The Rockies weren't going to lose at home in the playoffs to a team that got outscored for the entire season and somehow finished with the best record in the National League. The Rockies showed who the real treat of the NL West is, and now have over a week to prepare for the AL Champs, whoever that may be (Go Red Sox!).
Some people say that the Rockies play in the JV league (NL) and have too much time off before Game 1 of the World Series. Those people would be wrong.
Last time I checked, the 2006 Champs came from the JV league. Anything can happen in October, and in this year's case, possibly November. The Rockies haven't won 21 of 22 on pure luck. They know how to play the game. Quality veteran hitters, up and comers producing in the clutch, and a splendid group of youngsters in the bullpen throwing lights out have all made the Rockies the best baseball story of 2007.
When asked about all the time off last night, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle didn't seem concerned in the least. He took Ernie Johnson's question, with gum a chewin', and said his team is the most composed squad he's ever seen. They're very loose, and are ready to play the games when the time comes.
By his presence, I believed every word he said.
He honestly looked like a proud father watching his first child walk and talk for the first time. He knows his team is good, and he will have them prepared for the Indians or Red Sox.
Even though the AL is a better league statistically, the Rockies have a chance here. There is no way they will be swept. Hell, they could even win the whole thing.
I predict the Rockies gracefully winning a couple games, eventually losing to the Tribe or Sox in 6 or 7.
I'm just glad the Rockies made it all the way in the NL. Watching their games over the past month have been a pleasure, especially their remarkable run in the playoffs.
Luck, Mr. Byrnes? I don't think so. The Rockies are just plain GOOD.
Byrnes can keep diving head first into first base and watching his dog jump into McCovey Cove during All-Star Games.
I'll keep watching fun playoff baseball games involving the Colorado Rockies.