Oh, No, Not the Rockies

So far in the post season the Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten very little respect from the baseball establishment. They have been cast as the underdogs and the talking heads have all fervently stated that the Diamondbacks have no right to be in the position they are in. They are too young and do not have the offense to be successful in the play-offs. The answer to these critics was a three game sweep of the Chicago Cubs and a berth in the National League Championship Series. The only question remained was who would be their next opponent. The answer to that question appeared a few short hours after the Diamondbacks had beaten the Chicago Cubs. A mile above sea level another underdog team demolished the most prolific offense in the National League to earn a spot in the NLCS. That underdog team was the Colorado Rockies who with their latest win stretched their record to 17-1 over the past 3 weeks. So in a strange twist of fate the Arizona Diamondbacks would play host to the Colorado Rockies in a seven game series to determine who will represent the National League in the World Series.

It still seems too unreal to imagine that two teams who most baseball experts had predicted would battle for the cellar in the National League Western Division would instead determine who would go to the World Series. This is like finding out you have a blind date to the prom and when your date shows up you find out it is your sister. The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks have played each other 18 times during the regular season and 4 times in Spring Training plus several other inter-squad scrimmages before Spring Training games actually began. It only seems like they have played each other a million times. The Arizona Diamondbacks opened the regular season in Denver Colorado where they beat the Rockies on Opening Day then lost the final two games. The Colorado Rockies hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks the final weekend of the season losing to the Diamondbacks on Friday before winning both Saturday and Sunday. In the regular season the Rockies have the edge with a 10-8 record. In Spring Training the Diamondbacks had an edge with a 3-1 record. In 2007 these two teams have a record of 11-11 which means they are quite evenly matched. Facing another team 22 times over the course of 7 months, there is probably not a whole lot you don’t know about them. Neither the Rockies nor the Diamondbacks were supposed to get this far. So in that case both of these teams are the underdogs. The national press continues to disbelieve in the Arizona Diamondbacks. ESPN for example asked 10 baseball experts to predict the winner of the NLCS. Nine of the experts selected the Colorado Rockies with only Jerry Crasnick selected the Diamondbacks to be victorious. This isn’t exactly a new scenario. Eight of ten ESPN experts selected the Cubs to win with most thinking the Diamondbacks would be lucky to win 1 game. So with home field advantage in the NLCS and the best record in the National League the Arizona Diamondbacks are again the underdogs. It is a role they seem to be enjoying at least up until now.

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