December 10, 2000
The National League Western Division has always been a fairly competitive division that has been contended by several teams. Whether it was the Dodgers, the Giants, or the Diamondbacks they were hard fought divisional matches. The one team that everyone seemed to write off was the Colorado Rockies. Sure, they were great offensively when playing at Coors Field but their pitching was always near the bottom in ERA and runs given up. All that has changed this winter as the Rockies went out and tried to buy themselves some legitimacy. First they stunned everyone in getting Denny Neagle to sign a contract to pitch in Colorado. My first thought was that he was committing some kind of career suicide. Then this weekend I’m hanging out helping Trina around the house when it was announced that Mike Hampton had been signed. I quickly turned to the television to see whether he had decided to go to Atlanta or to St. Louis. I was guessing the Braves but the announcer said Hampton signed an eight year deal worth $121 million to play for the Colorado Rockies. I could not believe my ears. It was like I had somehow stumbled upon some sort of alternative universe where pitchers actually wanted to pitch in Colorado. I quickly went to the Internet to look at the career statistics Neagle and Hampton had at Coors Field. Just as I expected, they were both around a 6.00 ERA. It is like Bizarro World for baseball fans everywhere. What will be next, Mark McGwire asking to be traded to Seattle but only if they move the fences back because he feels offense is ruining the game? I think I need to sit down, I must be delirious.