Welcome to (R)Oc(k)tober!

I know, it’s cliche, it’s as old as baseball itself, and everyone who’s ever watched even one postseason game says it: October is the best time of year.  I’m not just saying it because my birthday’s in October or because my team made it to the postseason this year.  Last year, with a more than dismal season under our belts and the high possibility of trading our star player hanging over our heads, I still watched.  I still rooted.  And I still felt a bit of the rush. 

What is it about October baseball that’s so captivating?  Why do we stick around through six months and 162 games just for one month of play between only 8 of the 30 teams we begin the season with?  I think I have the answer.  Because in October, anything’s possible.

We see it every year.  Looking back on 2007, who would have ever thought that one spectacular run and what many still call the most controversial safe call ever, that the Rockies would have made it all the way to the World Series.  I’m not sure anyone thought it was possible.  And, as disappointing as that World Series was for any and all Rockies fans, we still look on that 2 months of baseball with pride and joy.  Some of us even continue to relive the memories in any number of ways.  I still have newspaper clippings, photos, and programs from the games I was at.  And, even if there is little to no love lost between many of us and Mr. Holliday, we still smile like we have the secret to life when asked about that fateful night and whether or not he touched the plate. 

Last year, watching the Rays make their run to the Series was amazing.  And, while I was rooting for the Phillies just because AL baseball isn’t real baseball, I enjoyed every minute of that young team’s success.

Last night, watching the Tigers/Twins game was possibly the greatest rush I’ve had since the ’07 play-in game.  While I don’t necessarily have any emotional investment in either team, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the spirit of the game, the spirit of the Metrodome, and cheer like crazy when Carlos Gomez crossed the plate in what will be a much talked about (though not debated) winning run.

So, in this year, when, for the first time ever, the postseason will run to November, we’ll still be calling it October baseball.  We’ll still be bundling up for games in Colorado, Missouri, Philadelphia, New York, and Minnesota, and we’ll root for the team of our own fancy.  And for those whose teams didn’t make it?  Don’t lie, you’ll watch, too, because the spirit of that cool wind that runs through every baseball fan’s veins will catch you, too.  It’s what dreams are made of, and the stories we’ll tell our kids and grandkids, the same as our elders told us.  These are the days we’ll remember for all time.

Because I’m a spoiled little baseball fan…

Next Saturday, July 25, I am heading to Denver.  I’m only there for 24 hours before we head for Yellowstone, but, my good fortune has landed me in town while my boys are playing the Giants at Coors.  That said, I wasn’t planning on actually asking my Dad if we could go to the game.  I was merely hoping that he’d know me well enough to get tickets.  And then things changed…

While watching the game on Friday evening, the FSNRM broadcasters (as if on cue), told me that Saturday, the 25th is Photo Day!  Now, it is important to remember that I have been a Rockies fan for over 3/4 of my life, and have never, ever, met any of the star players.  The guys I did meet were generally relief pitchers past their prime or young utility infielders who didn’t last.  To have a chance to actually meet and take photos with any of the guys on our current roster would be a dream come true.  So, being the resourceful, excitable girl I am, I immediately whipped out my BlackBerry to call Dad. 

It didn’t take much.  He was already at the computer, so all he had to do was head to the Rockies’ website.  AND NOW I’M GOING TO PHOTO DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I honestly could not be more excited.  We’re sitting above right field, just down the first baseline (where we’ve sat on several occasions) and I’m just glad that I’m actually getting to Coors this year.

I promise there will be plenty of updating – probably with photos – once I return from Yellowstone.

So my blood actually came out red this time…but it mixed with purple!

So, the mention of my beloved wrist tattoo has sparked some questions.  It’s the kind of thing that gets me a lot of funny looks, tons of questions, and even more chuckles.  First, let me start you off with a photo.

It all started on a seemingly innocent evening in the spring of 2008.  I was chatting with a friend (also a Rockies/Tulo fan) and we were discussing getting new tattoos.  I’d already gotten one when I was in college, and her cousin had recently done her first, so it was kind of a time appropriate topic.  Somehow, the conversation came to getting a tattoo that showed our love for our boy and our team.  Originally, both of us were talking about getting a simple number 2 somewhere on our respective bodies – I’d already chosen my wrist because I’d wanted a tat there for a long time – and then turned to how we would make each of our tattoos original and not matchy-matchy.

Next thing I know, I’m talking pinstripes and jerseys and downloading photos of the back of Troy’s jersey that I think might look right and be the right size. 

Soon after this late night conversation, I had e-mailed my friend the design for this and another tattoo (that has nothing to do with my team) and then found myself driving to her house, where her cousin awaited me with the tattoo gun.

Yes, I had two tattoos done not in a shop, but in my friend’s dining room, with three other people and a baby present, and the Mets playing the Diamondbacks on ESPN.  Unfortunately, I was more interested in getting my tattoos than actually preparing for what care would be needed when they were finished.  I got a few interesting looks when I was standing in line at Wal-Mart with a box of gauze in my hand and blood oozing from my wrist. 

I get questions about it all the time, and more than a few people tell me I’m downright crazy.  But, I love my tattoo.  I love all three of my tattoos, but this one has a special place in my heart.  Was it painful?  Yes.  Will I probably think I was a little nuts in the future?  Probably.  But what it represents is so much more than that. 

The photo above was taken the day after I’d had the tattoo done, so it doesn’t look quite like that anymore.  It’s a little faded, a little worn, but I like it that way.  It looks like a worn-in jersey! 

And I know for a fact that I’m not the only dedicated fan with a baseball tattoo 🙂

The Midsummer Whatnow?!

I thought the halfway point in the season might be as good a time as any to begin this.  I suppose those who read my other blog(s) might get kind of tired of hearing about what I love and hate about this great game of ours.  That said, I have more dislikes (I don’t necessarily hate it) for this “Midsummer Classic” they speak of.

I understand the point of the All-Star Game.  I get that it’s for the fans, and I can even justify the Home Run Derby – I mean, come on, who doesn’t like to see a few long balls every now and then?  However, this campaign to “make it count”?  Let’s be honest, it’s kind of ridiculous.  You want me to actually care about the outcome – I do, but that’s a pride thing, and a whole other story – and root for “my team”?  Then stop treating it like a t-ball game.  Someone’s pitching well?  Leave ’em in!  Somebody’s gone 2-3 with a homer?  Let him play!  I can’t understand what would possess anyone to really care when all we’re doing is saying, “Hey, you got in?  You’re going to play, even if you’re replacing someone who could win it for us.”  I wouldn’t have a problem with this if it was only an exhibition game.  That’s cool and completely agrees with the fan vote – which we all realize is a big popularity contest and not always about who’s actually having a better season.

As far as the Home Run Derby goes…please, someone, anyone, either make it more interesting, or at least shorter?!  It is downright unbelievable that Cruz and Fielder, who hit nearly twice as many as the other six combined in the first round took less time to do it than the rest.  I don’t particularly have any groundbreaking ideas on how to remedy this, but…that’s not my job, so I won’t feel sorry…