Thrown Into the Fire: Rockies set to face buzzsaw in opening series of season

Sep 5, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) sprints to third base on a first inning fielders choice play as Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) runs top cover the base at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies will probably be on the wrong side of the national television broadcast when they face off with the Los Angeles Dodgers to open the 2021 season at Coors Field on April 1.

The Rockies’ home opener for the 2019 season had a similar tone, with the Dodgers coming to town along with the national ESPN broadcast. Colorado was embarrassed in all three games. The only difference between that series and the upcoming 2021 version is there was actually hope for the Rockies franchise two years ago.

With Nolan Arenado now in St. Louis, and a roster that has not changed much from the one that disappointed in the 60-game 2020 season, Colorado is heading towards some dark days this summer.

The present-day club could very well lose 100 games this season, and many analysts, both locally and nationally, consider the Rockies to be one of the weakest clubs in the sport.

The powers that be have done the Rockies no favors by aligning them with Dodgers out of the gate in 2021. Fresh off a World Series victory, the Dodgers are the premier team in the National League and they will inflict their will on the measly Rockies come early April.

The Dodgers will come out firing with a likely starting pitching combination of Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and David Price, a daunting task for a now subpar Rockies’ lineups.

It will be hard for fans of the Rockies to get up this season, knowing their franchise just traded away their best player of all time for pennies on the dollar, and have done nothing to replace him in free agency or through trades. Their first opponent of the season represents the gold standard of the league whereas the Rockies find themselves in the cellar once again.

As national MLB reporter Marc Carig pointed out last month, the Rockies’ history of shortcomings paired with ownership’s failure to institute proper and successful change is a dire sign of complete organizational failure. It’s the sad but true reality of the situation with the local club, and the first series of the season will serve as a harsh reminder of just how far off the Rockies truly are to competing for a division title let alone a championship.

The sad part is, it’s not like the Rockies are lacking talent across the board. Look at other struggling clubs like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers. Casual fans might be hard-pressed to name a player or two on each club, whereas the Rockies have a few household names that are regarded as solid players in the league today.

Trevor Story was recently named the best shortstop in baseball and Charlie Blackmon is still considered a top-100 player in the game. Yet the Rockies will still probably wind up at the bottom of the National League standings due to an inability to establish talent across the board.

Spring Training starts in about a week, and while it will be undoubtedly nice to have the crack of the bat and smack of the leather back around, it’s unfortunate knowing the local team lacks sincere direction entering the campaign.

For the fans, enjoy what little optimism you can take from Spring Training and the freshness of a new baseball season, because come April 1, reality will set in when the Dodgers come to town.

First pitch for the Rockies’ Opening Day game is set for 2:10 p.m. MST and will broadcast on ESPN for all the world to see. Hopefully, Dick Monfort will be propped up behind the Rockies’ dugout and Jeff Bridich hiding in the confines of the executive area so the brain trust can get a clear look at while a real ballclub looks like.