CC Sabathia Puts the Rockies Back in the Headlines -- By Beating Them
It's been months since the Colorado Rockies appeared near the top of sports sections anywhere other than in Denver -- and oftentimes not here, either, given the team's season-long woes. That changed on July 9, but not because of anything the Rockies did -- other than losing 7-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on the night when former Cleveland Indians hurler CC Sabathia, the biggest name on the market during the first half of the season, made his Brew crew debut. Otherwise, the Rockies would have gone unnoticed again, appropriately enough.
The Rocks had their chances, climbing to within one run after spotting Sabathia (who doesn't really need the help) a 4-1 lead before letting the game slip from their grasp. But even if they'd managed to come back, they're probably not going anywhere in the overall scheme of things -- which is why they were never mentioned in reports about the Sabathia sweepstakes. Only teams with a reasonable chance at a playoff spot spend the bucks to rent a pricey player like Sabathia, and while the Brewers are currently in third place in the National League Central, they're just one game back of the St. Louis Cardinals, who most baseball experts expect to fade as the season grinds on, and four games behind the Chicago Cubs, who were panicked enough by the Sabathia acquisition to open their wallets for Rich Harden, a well-regarded (if oft-injured) pitcher the Oakland A's were more than willing to unload.
As for the Rockies, they're not interested in a shopping spree. They'll either turn things around on the strength of their current lineup (and given how awful the National League West is this year, it's still possible) or they'll fall to the back of the nation's sports sections again. -- Michael Roberts