Kiszla: With Coors Field awash in Dodger Blue, we’re reminded why Our Scrappy Lil Rox will never be perennial contenders – The Denver Post
It took four agonizing hours and one painful minute on a September afternoon in Coors Field to remind us why they’re the Dodgers and the Rockies never will be, so long as franchise owner Dick Monfort makes a major-league mockery of baseball in Colorado.
After Our Scrappy Lil Rox blew a late lead Thursday and lost 7-5 in 10 innings, the ballpark was awash in Dodger Blue, transplants from the West Coast partying in LoDo like they owned the joint. If championship contention can be bought with a $261 million payroll, maybe if Dodgers offered to a $20 tip to Monfort, he’d also agree to play “I love L.A.” by Randy Newman so they could properly celebrate a victory in Denver.
“Their team travels well, wherever they go. Dodger fans are everywhere. Something you’ve got to deal with. But at the same time, it makes it that much more sweet when you take them down,” said Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland. He’s a Colorado native who grew up watching fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and the Evil Blue Empire stage unfriendly takeovers of Coors Field in a great sports town that deserves winning baseball.
The Rox rocked high-priced Dodgers ace Max Scherzer, who had allowed only five earned runs in 58 innings since being hoarded by L.A. in trade, for five runs before he could record his 13th out Thursday.
Freeland, who called home-plate umpire Ed Hickox names that no mother would approve, battled for six solid innings despite being squeezed with a strike zone smaller than the Grinch’s heart.
And Raimel Tapia hit his first home run since before Memorial Day to put Colorado ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning.
It all made the audience of Big Blue transplants, who accounted for at least 50% of the 22,356 tickets sold, as miserable as if they were stuck in traffic on the 405 freeway back in LaLa Land. It was a beautiful thing.
“We enjoying creating that pressure and watching a little bit of panic on the other side of the field,” Freeland said.
Maybe playing spoiler in September is as good as Our Scrappy Lil Rox can do.
“This isn’t the situation we want to be in,” Freeland said. “We want to be one of the teams that is going for a playoff spot.”
Isn’t that why Nolan Arenado wanted out of this dusty old cow town? Isn’t the lack of ownership commitment to fielding a competitive team in Colorado the reason shortstop Trevor Story will soon pack up his glove and bat and seek happiness elsewhere?
Even when the Dodgers were down to their last strike, reliever Carlos Estevez was unable to hold a one-run lead in the ninth inning. A two-run homer by Max Muncey in the 10th turned LoDo into the farthest eastern suburb of Los Angeles.
As die-hard Rockies fans in attendance filed out in the street, I felt like the Red Hot Chili Peppers should’ve been playing on the loudspeakers. Some song about California and the sad pursuit of hollow happiness. Sing along, if you know the lyrics: “Tidal waves couldn’t save the world from …”
The Rockies will not lose 100 games this season, as knuckleheads like me had feared back in spring. Their 71-81 record is proof manager Bud Black brings the magic of David Copperfield and the relentless optimism of Norman Vincent Peale to the Colorado dugout day after day.
But if you believe Our Scrappy Lil Rox are going to be serious playoff contenders in 2022 (or 2025 for that matter), kindly take no offense as Monfort laughs all the way to the bank.
“This loss, it (stinks). We had ’em,” Freeland said.
As the Dodgers rallied for a home victory at Coors Field, we were reminded how Monfort has callously sold the soul of our sweet ballpark in LoDo.
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