Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

David Ramsey: Triple-A version of Sky Sox begins its bittersweet farewell to Colorado Springs

April 10, 2018 Updated: April 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm
0
photo - Sky Sox pitcher Freddy Peralta delivers a pitch against a New Orleans batter during the first inning of the Sky Sox home opener against New Orleans Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Sky Sox pitcher Freddy Peralta delivers a pitch against a New Orleans batter during the first inning of the Sky Sox home opener against New Orleans Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

A bittersweet night at Security Service Field, with an emphasis on bitter.

This was the beginning of the ending. This was the opening night of the farewell season of the Triple-A version of the Sky Sox, who romped to a convincing, entertaining 8-1 victory Tuesday over the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

Next summer, some of us will watch rookie league baseball, a genuinely minor version of minor league baseball. This summer, we’ll watch a highly promising Triple-A team that will spend next summer in San Antonio.

Yes, the Sky Sox still will live a year from now, but there’s no doubt we’re facing a big drop in quality. It will be a vastly diminished version of baseball.

The final summer of Triple-A baseball should be full of thrills and victories.

Why am I confident?

That’s easy.

Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet.

The first time I met Sweet, these were the first words he spoke:

“Winning is important,” he said, using language every minor-league manager should copy.

"If all you do is development, it's a cop-out. I think you develop winners. If the game wasn't important we wouldn't keep score, we wouldn't keep stats and we wouldn't keep all the crap we keep."

He paused to take a gulp of water.

“Winning is important.”

Yes, it is, Rick.

And so is talent. Fortunately for Sweet, and for baseball fans in the Springs, the Sky Sox are loaded. Mauricio Dubon, Tyrone Taylor, Freddy Peralta, among others, rank among the more promising players in the minors. Sweet should direct the Sky Sox to near the top of the Pacific Coast League. The summer should be filled with winning.

Turns out, the Milwaukee Brewers are much better baseball parents than the Colorado Rockies. From 1993 to 2014, the Rockies oversaw the Sky Sox, and we can all agree the baseball brainiacs with offices in downtown Denver were lacking in their oversight. They were disinterested parents with a bunch of kids, the kind of family we all fear meeting at restaurants.

The Sky Sox stumbled to eight losing records in their final 10 seasons under the Rockies' (mis)direction. The worst was saved for last, a hideous 53-91 finale in 2014.

Triple-A baseball is mostly about development. I get that. But the Brewers understand that winning, or at least making an honest effort to win, is a vital part of development. The Rockies forgot this truth. It was fun to watch future Rockies develop in Colorado Springs. It was no fun to watch those prospects lose game after game.

Now, Triple-A winning has finally arrived, and Triple-A is skipping town.

For decades, spring and summer nights in the Springs often meant Triple-A baseball was being played under the lights just off Powers Boulevard.

Did we take this blessing for granted?

Yes, at least a little bit. Not enough Springs residents took the trip to an unambitious, cozy ballpark on the east side of the city. Small crowds, combined with an altitude hostile to pitchers and their development, helped chase Triple-A baseball to San Antonio.

It’s bittersweet, for sure. A promising team will be playing on the east side on the warm nights ahead this summer.

But Tuesday night was the beginning of the end.

 

           

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.