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Woody Paige: Colorado Rockies one of several surprise teams this season

May 21, 2017 Updated: May 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm
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photo - Colorado Rockies' Alexi Amarista (2) celebrates with Carlos Gonzalez, center, and Ian Desmond, right, after hitting a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 19, 2017, in Cincinnati. The Rockies won 12-6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Colorado Rockies' Alexi Amarista (2) celebrates with Carlos Gonzalez, center, and Ian Desmond, right, after hitting a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 19, 2017, in Cincinnati. The Rockies won 12-6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) 

Get serious - World Seriesous!

The Rockies own the best road and overall record in the National League after winning three of the first four on their longest trip of the season.

They are not The Rolling Stones, but The Rolling Rox no longer are one-hit wonders.

"Not Fade Away'' was The Stones' first record (a cover of the Buddy Holly single from 60 years ago) released in America.

"Not Fade Away'' should be the Rockies' theme song.

Unlike other Rox, Scissors, Paper teams of Denver, this one doesn't seem headed for the usual June Swoon.

Are the Rockies the Cubs of '17?

Or could the successors to the world champions be the Nationals or, ye gads, the Astros, the Twins and the Brewers.

Look now. Baseball has been turned upside down. The first-place teams past one-quarter of the season a dozen games away from one-third are the Rockies, the Brewers and the Nationals in the National League, and the Twins, the Astros and even the New York Yankees.

(Where have you gone, San Francisco Giants? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.)

Can you imagine a Brewers-Rockies NLCS? They would start the season (with the Rockies winning three of four in Milwaukee) and end the NL playoffs (with the Rockies winning four of seven).

The Brewers play in Miller Park and the Rockies at Coors Field. Strange bedfellows and beerfellows. The Golden-based company is called MillerCoors after the latest merger.

Or how about a Rockies-Twins World Series? The Rox just won two of three in Minneapolis. Rockies-Astros? They aren't playing interleague games this year.

What do the Rockies, the Brewers, the Astros and the Nationals have in common? They are four of the eight baseball franchises that do not own World Series rings. (The others are the Padres, the Mariners, the Rangers and the Rays.)

The Rockies played in the World Series 10 years ago this season.

That was a very special team with Todd Helton (first), Troy Tulowitzki (short), Matt Holliday (left), Garrett Atkins (third), Brad Hawpe (right), Willy Taveras (center), Katsuo Matsui (second) and Yorvit Torrealba (catcher) and reserves Seth Smith, Cory Sullivan, Ian Stewart, Clint Barmes, Jamey Carroll, Chris Ianneta and even Ryan Spilborghs.

This team can't match that offensive juggernaut, but they are better defensively and in pitching.

The '07 rotation featured Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Josh Fogg and a couple of youngsters in Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales, and a bullpen with closer Brian Fuentes and stalwarts LaTroy Hawkins, Manny Corpas, Jeremy Affeldt and Matt Herges. Tough to beat, although the '17 staff has been sensational (especially Kid Senzation, hometown rookie Kyle Freeland and closer Greg Holland).

How talented and deep the Rocktober Rockies were, and the masterful managerial job Clint Hurdle did, has somewhat been pushed to the corner of the minds.

If only these Rockies can duplicate that achievement. They've had to overcome the loss of two aces among the starting pitchers (but the two rookie replacements own an amazing combined record of 10-4). The bullpen has been spectacular.

The hitting is somewhat inconsistent, but the Rockies have mostly played without four position starters.

Who would believe that the Rockies in late May would be fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth in major league powerhouse rankings - and probably should be higher?

But who would believe that the Twins and the Brewers would be where they are, and that the Astros are the best team in baseball?

The Rockies were 50-1 to win the World Series before season, and the M&Ms (Minnesota and Milwaukee) were anywhere from 100-1 to 300-1.

The Rockies are off to their most splendid start in the franchise's 25 seasons, and Bud Black is the National League's No. 1 through the first turn of the race.

It is well to remember that the Rockies of '07 had an 18-26 record May 20.

The Rockies still are on pace for more than 100 victories this season.

It's early, but these Rockies aren't fearful of the road and the final three innings, and Holland should be nicknamed "Lights Out."

Rox 'N Roll.

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