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Opening Day: When all things are possible

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By Greg Romberg

Opening Day, 2012!
Friday marks the 20th opening day for our Colorado Rockies. As has been the case every year since 1993, we start the season tied for first place and as close to a world championship as every other team in the major leagues.
Modern-day philosophers say baseball is a metaphor for life. Each season lets us start anew. And every year is a long haul. Baseball’s 162-game season dwarfs the number of games in any other sport, and the result is that over the long haul, neither players nor fans can let the highs be too high or the lows be too low. For me, having the companionship of the Rockies on the radio for most of six months when I’m out at night  is a comfort that I miss terribly when the season ends each October.
While our nearly 20 years of history cannot burden us with the heartbreak suffered by Cub fans, who’ve now gone 103 years without winning the World Series, our successes have been few and far between. The Rockies have never won their division. They’ve made the playoffs three times as a wild card, losing in the first round in 1995 and 2009, along with the magical ride in 2007 when we won 13 of the last 14 games to tie for the wild card, beat the Padres to get to the playoffs, and swept the Phillies and Diamondbacks to win the National League pennant. Then it all abruptly ended when the Red Sox beat us four straight times to win the World Series.
The Rockies disappointed us in 2008. Despite predictions of greatness, they finished 74-88 and 10 games out of first place. That disappointing year changed how I look at each new Rockies season. I now figure that if I don’t expect too much, I can’t be too disappointed.
You could say that I have a Minnie Pearl approach to Rockies baseball. “I’m just so proud to be here.” In addition to my aforementioned six months of radio security blanket, we make it to 10 to 15 games every year. We’re part of a group that bought season tickets the last two years of the minor-league Denver Zephers to secure a low season-ticket priority number that puts us close to the action and ensures that the ushers who’ve been in our section for years bring a familiarity that makes every game feel like a homecoming. Some of the best times we had as a family while our girls were growing up were at Rockies games.
I’m skeptical about the upcoming season. It doesn’t look to me like we’ve got the starting pitching we need to compete with the Giants or Diamondbacks. But some new, older players are supposed to create more stability and maturity and give us a chance to win.
But today, two days before opening day, we’re tied for first place. We’re starting fresh, and we know that for the next six months we’ll have the day-to-day ups and downs of the 20th year of Major League Baseball in Colorado.
Go Rockies!

Greg Romberg is president of Romberg and Associates, a government relations and public affairs firm. He lives in Evergreen with his wife, Laurie, and three daughters.