Little brother complex is real. Trust me, I’m a little brother.
It’s hard not to compare everything that you do to those who have come before and those who have more experience.
“Should I be doing it like they do? If they can do something, can’t I? Will I measure up?”
The Colorado Rockies are, of course, one of the little brothers of the NL West and they’ve long had a complicated relationship with their older sibling, especially the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
They are two stalwarts of MLB who have histories and rivalries dating back to their days in New York and can boast names like Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. They sit second (SF) and (LA) behind only the New York Yankees for the best overall winning percentage in the 150-year history of the game.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Rockies have the third worst record all-time, ahead of only the Marlins and the Padres.
And the 2021 season was a perfect microcosm of the kind of relationship these teams have had with each other over the years.
While the Rockies were exceptional at home and played over .500 against everyone else, they got simply trounced by their older brothers in the division, going 10-28 against them.
So far in 2022, Colorado is 2-4 against the Dodgers and Giants, taking the opening series at Coors Field against LA 2-1, then getting swept in San Francisco 0-3. Now, the stage is set for their second look at San Francisco with a lot to prove.
Sure, it’s a chance to get immediate revenge against a team that drubbed you just a week ago but more than that it is an opportunity for the Rockies to make some headway into tackling one of their biggest demons of a year ago.
Of course they’d love to return the medicine and hand them a sweep. That would also help wash out the taste of dropping a series to the Kansas City Royals that they absolutely should not have.
A series win would be just fine for the Rockies as well, putting them well on pace to best their measly 10 wins against the big dogs a last season. But they’ll need to do quite a bit better than that to turn in a surprise season.
Eking out one win would feel like a big disappointment, especially when combined with the generally uninspiring baseball the Rockies have been playing for the last couple of weeks. In the long run, though, even that single win inside the division could end up being huge if the team can keep their heads above water through the first half.
Getting swept again? Brutal.
It’s way too early in the season for a make-or-break series. A sweep in either direction isn’t likely to swing anything at all. But when it comes to the mental marathon that is the MLB season, the Rockies need to prove to themselves more than anyone else that they can at least hang with these guys.
As much as the team rightfully keeps declaring their intentions to compete right away, and as much as the nice start has got some fans dreaming on a run this year, 2022 is still most a year about redefining the team and setting off a new era on a positive step.
And one of the biggest things they can do to make themselves feel like a new team is to find a way to redefine their relationship with their big brothers.
The Rockies have been the little brother forever. And they always will be. Trust me when I say, it’s easy to let that mentality beat you. But it’s also easy to let it put a chip on your shoulder and make you extra motivated to prove yourself.
It’s time for the Rockies to prove themselves.