i hate to bore you all with personal information, but circumstances require it. i live in denver; have for 15 years. and with the cardinals here for four games this week, i face my annual team-in-town conundrum. on the one hand, it's a no-brainer: walk down to the stadium (which i can see from my front door); get a ticket from a scalp-- um i mean streetside broker, who will pay me a few bucks out of gratitude for taking some of his worthless inventory off his hands; sit anywhere i want in a near-empty stadium; and watch the cardinals pound a defenseless team senseless. so where's the conundrum? listen to the other hand: coors field baseball is unwatchable. a typical game lasts three (seems like four) hours; the high altitude and deep outfield fences make it impossible either to pitch or field like a normal person; and i frankly am too squeamish to sit there and watch my pitchers get clubbed into a stupor, even if they get a w out of it. the cardinals have a throw-strikes-and-put-it-in-play rotation, but any ball put in play at coors canaveral has a chance to leave the park. we may win three or four games here, but they'll be ugly wins.
i hate the place so much i even stayed away last year, when the cards rolled into town as confirmed 100-game winners and division champs and swept the series 5-4, 10-6, and 9-3 (wins #101, 102, and 103). incredibly, all three games lasted under three hours . . . but look at 2003, when stl came here in april (ie sans izzy) and yielded 28 runs in three games. (check out this box score, courtesy retrosheet, while you're at it.) or see 2002, when the cards finished off an 8-2 september road trip with three wins here. none of the three games was competitive (the cards outscored colo 31-15 in the series), and the sheer volume of runs -- 46 in three days -- numbs the mind. i can't take it.
the series that cured me of coors field forever came in 2001, the last time i set foot in the place. the cardinals opened the season here, defending their first division title in five years, and got pummeled 8-0, 13-9, and 11-2. i attended the last two games and had to be hospitalized afterward for post-traumatic shock . . . . and that was not a good rockies team, by the way; they finished 73-89. the only memorable thing about the series came on opening day, when albert played his first major-league game and got his first hit.
only one thing could drag me back to that ballpark-cum-cock-fighting-ring: my important new obligations here on the SB Nation. it's a sacrifice, yes, but i am on the front lines now and burdened with these heavy responsibilities. i can't promise i'll get down to the battlefield every night (daddy duty forbids), or for all 9 when i do go -- but i will risk my baseball sanity to lay eyes directly on the boys. and dutifully describe such carnage as unfolds.
dear universe: hey ev'ybody, rockies manager clint hurdle has a very sick two-yr-old daughter; thoughts / karma / prayers do no harm . . .