The Rockies, the playoffs, the NFL Draft and goats
April 19, 2017
Welcome to one of the greatest times of the sports year.
Baseball is back. The NBA and NHL are playing off. We recently had the Masters and the NFL Draft is the horizon.
Rockies hot start
This is our annual reminder that it is very early in the baseball season. Once in a while — say the 1984 Tigers, who started 35-5 — a team can run away and hide, but April is more confined to a team not playing themselves out of a playoff spot.
The Rockies are looking good 15 games into the season. As we all know, the Rockies generally start well. Whether the pitching can hold up during six-month season is the big question.
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Colorado's got to keep getting good starts from its rotation to keep its revamped bullpen from getting run into the ground. Pitching wins more than 162 games and during the postseason.
That said, if the Rockies can contend, then Nolan Arenado has got to be an MVP candidate. (It was quite refreshing to see him homer twice against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. It's reassuring that Giants aren't the only team he kills.) The thing about Arenado is that he can beat you with his glove as well.
The NL West has a the potential to be the deepest division in baseball with Rockies and Diamondbacks playing well, along with the traditional favorites returning to form, the Dodgers and, yes, the Giants.
Both the NHL and NBA are guilty of playing an excessively long regular season to eliminate less than half of the field, followed by two months of playoffs. But, at least with hockey, the first round of the playoffs are exciting.
I don't know if that's good or bad.
Three of the top teams in the league, the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, are in serious trouble, exciting if your team is the underdog in those match-ups. But part of me still wonders, why did we have an 82-game regular season?
The Caps are notorious for their April fold, but do we really want to see the best teams in the league out in the first round?
The one thing the NHL has on the NBA is that teams play every other night. Let's move this along, people.
The top-seeded Warriors finished the regular season eight days ago and will have played a whopping two games against Portland in Round 1 in eight days.
This glacial pace, due to television, wrecks any sense of rhythm in series, which could build drama.
That and the fact that this is probably going to end up being Warriors and Cavs come June makes this painful.
There are far too many mock drafts this time of year. ESPN's Mel Kuiper Jr. desperately needs a life.
However, let's take a look at a few.
• The Denver Post has the Broncos taking Utah tackle Garrett Bolles.
• Kuiper has Denver targeting Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk, also a tackle.
• Fox Sports tabs Forrest Lamp, of Western Kentucky, a guard.
We see the theme. General manager John Elway has already signed two offensive linemen, Ron Leary of the Cowboys and Menelik Watson of the Raiders. We'll see the draft day machinations, but the Broncos are heading in the right direction.
And in nothing to do with sports …
The Apple app store has a goat simulator. I've never had the desire to be a goat, but it's good that technology has made such advances.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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