Buzz the tower: “THIS GAME” can be a Rockies game

Nolan Arenado
Sep 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Buzz the Tower: A baseball term for sending a message to the batter with a fastball up and in. In our terms, it’s a similar message to the front office.

On Monday night, as the Green Bay Packers were well into their win over Kansas City on Monday Night Football, I found myself disengaged.

Maybe it was that Green Bay was cruising, up 24 points at the time, so I was secretly disappointed that the Packers were showing the Broncos and the rest of the football world how you’re supposed to beat the Chiefs.

Maybe it was Tirico and Gruden, and I was sad their repartee continually fails to match that of Nantz and Simms, Buck and Aikman or Michaels and Collinsworth.

Or maybe it was yet another in the the seemingly endless parade of Fan Duel (or was it Draft Kings?) commercials that was playing, but I needed something more to sate my sports analysis palate.

And so I did what anyone in 2015 would do: I went to Twitter. Perhaps there some armchair quarterback would have a deeper analysis of what was unfolding on the partly thawed permafrost of Lambeau Field.

When I arrived, I saw this…

Benjamin Hochman, a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispacth, recently departed from The Denver Post, most assuredly was not talking about Monday Night Football.

As most of Hochman’s old market was likely watching their division rival being picked apart (as opposed to shocked) in a primetime football game, folks 850 miles east on I-70 were locked in to their Cardinals, who were locked into a battle with the Pirates, in Pittsburgh.

The Redbirds and Bucs (that’s baseball parlance for Cardinals and Pirates), had been knotted at zero in the ninth inning – that’s important because the two teams are battling not only for the NL Central, but for the mantle of “Best Team in Baseball” – and Jon Jay had just knocked in the go-ahead run off a fielding error by Gregory Polanco.

So when St. Louis put up two more runs in their next at-bat thanks to a Mark Reynolds home run off Pirates closer Mark Melancon (he of Golden (Colo.) High School and an NL-leading 51 saves), it was understandable that Hochman followed that first tweet with this one…

You see, in cities like Pittsburgh and (especially) St. Louis, September can be about baseball. Here in Denver we’ve had tastes of it. In 1995, 2007 and ’09. Why, even this past week the Pirates showed us what September baseball can look like. And over the weekend the Rockies proved that they can factor into things once the season turns to fall.

Baseball players may be referred to as “the boys of summer,” but men are made in September and October. What makes the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry so great? It’s not a mid-week series in June. What has cemented St. Louis as arguably the greatest franchise in the National League? It’s not sending five players to the All-Star Game, as they did this past July.

Baseball is about what you do in September and beyond.

It’s not about having the NL Player of the Month for July. It’s not about a third consecutive Gold Glove. It’s not about winning the RBI crown or a possible home run title. It’s not about an outfield party deck,  Fudd hat giveaway or Star Wars day.

It’s about exhilarating moments like these:

And sometimes frightening moments like these:

And record-setting, dramatic moments like these:

Because unlike football, games like “THIS GAME” unfold almost nightly as September comes to a close and gives birth to October and playoff baseball. That’s the beauty of “THIS GAME.” There’s no waiting for next week. Every night can provide “THIS GAME,” the game that gets fans off their seat and screaming.

As Hochman tweeted earlier in the game, “At a restaurant in STL… when Heyward just through [sic] the guy out at home, the place erupted.”

Colorado proved in ’07 that they’ll back a winner in September.

Coors Field shook when Todd Helton homered off Takashi Saito. Sports bars rattled when Jeff Francis out-dueled Greg Maddux en route to a sweep. And the whole town erupted when Matt Holliday may or may not have touched home plate.

This may be a football town at its very core, but that doesn’t mean the Rockies have to cede September (or even October) to John Elway and Roger Goodell.

“THIS GAME” can be a Rockies game. We’ve seen it happen. And it’s much a better way to spend a Monday night in September or October than watching a Packers quarterback make you feel bad about your own quarterback. Or do I need to post the video of what Brett Farve did on a Monday night in 2007?

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