The Colorado Rockies ended their 2009 season with a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Philidelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series. Both their losses on Monday & Tuesday (yes, I know it was Sunday & Monday but I'm watching the games in China) were nail biting heartstoppers that came down to the last batter of the 9th inning both times. In the end however it was the Phillies who prevailed.
But when you think where the Rockies were in May of this year, then the fact that they were in the playoffs and had the highest seasonal wins in franchise history(92)
becomes all the more extraordinary.
On May 29th the Colorado Rockies were fighting for last place with a 19-28 record and a frightful 15 games out of first place. Its about that time when the fans gave up any hope on the current season and begin making loud voices about what needs to be done to be contenders in 2010.
The Rockies ownership did something more drastic. They fired their Colorado loved manager Clint Hurdle who had led the team to a dramatic World Series appeareance in 2007 and replaced him with Bench Coach Jim Tracy. I had read a book on leadership by Richard Nixon years ago and one of the points he made in the book went along the lines of , "Never underestimate the value of a stratigic firing."
Well, it worked. Inbelieveably so. In the month of June the team posted their franchise best wins in a month by winning 21 out of 28 games. The rest is history now as the Rockies made an incredible run climbing out of the division basement.
I followed all the action from China thanks to MLB.com and a high speed internet connection. In fact Tammy said at a Rockies game we attended before we moved that a move to China was now OK as long as we could still watch the games.
You know when you can get a wife to say that, you have found "the One!"
Anyhow, my dilemma for the last couple days have been that the games were on during school class time here on the other side of the world. No problem! I set up my netbook in the office, give the kids book work to do in class, and let a few select baseball fans among the students join me in my office to watch the game...keeping an eye out for the principal of course :)
Anyhow, great year Rockies! Good luck in 2010...Oh Lord, how I love this game!