Since I'm in the midst of packing up my stuff in preparation for my move from Dallas to Denver on Monday, I won't have much time to post this weekend. So in the meantime, enjoy this "Festa's Greatest Hits" post from my old blog, Rocky Mountain Mets (later known as Mets Fan in Texas). It's my report from a September, 2006 Mets/Rockies series I attended at Coors Field when I lived in Denver the first time around. For me, it's interesting to see my take on the team and certain players at the time.
The Mets were in Denver this week to play the Rockies at Coors Field, one of the nicest ballparks in the Majors. It is perhaps second only to Whatever the Name of the Telephone Company is Now Park in San Francisco. Though if you were sitting in the stands, you would have thought someone did a quick remodeling of Shea Stadium.There were either more Mets fans than Rockies fans at the ballpark on Wednesday and Thursday, or they were just louder. There was even a paper-mache-headed Mr. Met
entertaining fans on Wednesday.While the Mets took batting practice
, the lower section was awash with blue and orange. Some were autograph seekers, others just glad to get a glimpse of some of their favorite players.
Those seeking autographs were accommodated by the likes of Chris Woodward, Endy Chavez, and Pedro Feliciano. Carlos Delgado and Julio Franco reluctantly signed for the grown-ups, but were more than happy to sign for the kids.Then there were the games.WednesdayYou know you are in for a long season when your team’s intro song is "Best of You" by the Foo Fighters. When Dave Grohl asks the musical question, "Is someone getting the best of you," the answer for the Rockies has been a resounding "yes."After contending for the first few months in the hapless NL West, the Rockies have come back down to Earth, though they are a mile high. (Did you see what I did just then? I contrasted the fact that they are down with the location of their ballpark, which is high. Ain’t I clever?). Their defense is poor, they can’t buy a hit with runners in scoring position, and their pitching, which had been a strength, has let them down.Coors Field does not produce the kind of ballgames that make you think of aluminum bats and softballs anymore. The Rockies seem to have remedied that problem by putting their balls in a humidor (Haven’t we all been there?).But the Mets brought back the old days to Denver. After a 10-5 rout of Colorado on Tuesday, they hit four home runs en route to an 11-3 drubbing on Wednesday. David Wright busted out of his slump (Yes, there is such a thing as a slump) with a grand slam and 5 RBI. Jose Valentin hit three consecutive fly balls to the exact same part of right-center field. Two got out, the other was caught at the wall. And Carlos Delgado took one deep the other way, just for fun.Speaking of Delgado, the Rockies defended him the opposite of the rest of the league. Rather than employing the extreme right field shift, their outfield was swung way around to left field, as they pitched him away. No wonder they are in last place.Dave Williams pitched another strong game. The Mets have used 13 pitchers in their starting rotation this year. Maybe that’s the key to the Mets’ success. When you face the Mets, you’re facing their entire organization.ThursdayThere must have been even more Mets fans at this one. Among them were fans on vacation from the New York area, transplants from places like Elizabeth, NJ, and even a family from Queens, now living in New Mexico, that made the long drive up to Denver to watch the game.Chants of "MVP"
and "Let’s Go Mets" were heard frequently throughout the game, especially when the team was attempting a rally in the ninth. One or two Rockies fans tried to counter by stirring up a "Let’s Go Rockies" chant, but they were quickly drowned out. And deservedly so for a group of people who are really just biding their time until the Broncos’ season opener.Which reminds me – there was an article in the Denver Post that day that used the old "New York has a bigger salary, so the poor little Colorado team never had a chance" excuse. Here it comes folks. Expect a wave of this kind of sourness for the rest of the season.When the Mets were losing, the sports media were quick to point out how bad they were DESPITE their salary. Now, it seems the only reason they are winning is BECAUSE of their salary.We Mets fans know from experience, it takes more than money to win in the big leagues.The Rockies (despite their small team salary) salvaged the third game of this series, and avoided a season sweep by the Mets. No matter. The only important thing about this night was that the Mets catch their plane to Houston.Starter Oliver Perez got one last, long look from Willie Randolph, staying in the game far longer than he would have if it mattered. The verdict? Guilty of being a AAA pitcher. He has good stuff, but needs to learn how to pitch at the big league level.Despite another homer from Wright, the Mets dropped this one, 8-4. However, Mets fans exited the stadium unfazed. Happy to see their team in action, and maybe just a little excited about the next month or two.