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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Near end, there's no hint Rockies belong here
By JOHN ROMANO, Times Columnist
Published October 28, 2007
Rockies reliever Franklin Morales wipes his forehead during the fourth inning against the Red Sox.
Um, Matt Holliday never touched the plate.
In the aftermath of another Colorado defeat, that's looking kind of relevant again. For it was Holliday's phantom run in the 13th inning of a one-game playoff against San Diego that sent the Rockies into the postseason in the first place.
And it's looking more and more as if Colorado was not ready for this World Series.
Oh, the Rockies got their dander up for a short while in Game 3 Saturday night. They took what looked like a humiliating loss and turned it into a crushing defeat instead. Yippee!
On a 45-degree evening, the Rockies even made the Red Sox sweat when they got within one run of the lead in the seventh. But when it came time to turn this into a competitive World Series, the Rockies rolled over once again at the feet of Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Sheesh, I've seen pacifists with more fight in their souls. With a cumulative score of 25-7 through three games, this has a shot at being the most lopsided World Series in history.
And, I suppose, that's fitting. Because, unless the Rockies win the next two games, this will be the worst stretch of World Series matchups in more than 100 years of competition. We are looking at a total of 17 World Series games out of a possible 28 in the past four years, an unprecedented stretch of ho-hum and blah.
We have seen a Red Sox sweep in 2004, followed by a White Sox sweep in '05, the Cardinals winning in five in '06, and now the Red Sox pitch-slapping the Rockies in '07.
What happened to parity? What happened to baseball's renaissance? What happened to Game 6?
Maybe this is the reason Major League Baseball is trying to hide the ninth inning after midnight. Maybe the commissioner is hoping folks on the East Coast hit the pillow before realizing how dull these games have been.
Certainly, the Red Sox deserve much of the credit. Or blame. Ten days ago, these guys were at death's door. They were trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the AL Championship Series, needing three consecutive wins to stay alive.
Not only did the Red Sox win those three in a row, they are now up to six consecutive victories. And they've done it by outscoring the Indians and Rockies 55-12.
Nothing has slowed these Red Sox. Not a change in venue, a change in altitude or a change in rules. For several days we've heard people wailing and crying about Boston losing the designated hitter now that the Series was at Coors Field.
Yeah, that was a hardship. Without a DH, the Red Sox were forced to put a bat in Daisuke Matsuzaka's hands, and all he did was drive in two runs with his first major-league hit.
So much for Colorado's mojo. So much for the idea of karma. These guys had won 21 of 22 and were supposed to have fate on their side. Instead, this morning, they have tire tracks on their back.
As the story goes, the Rockies were going to be rejuvenated at home. They were going to catch a second wind in this thin mountain air. Instead, starting pitcher Josh Fogg followed the lead of staff ace Jeff Francis in Game 1 and had his pride handed to him.
Fogg was facing a Red Sox team without Kevin Youkilis. The first team in Series history to have a pair of rookies hitting 1-2 in the lineup. And, still, the Rockies starter could not make it out of the third inning.
Jacob Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, those rookies at the top, combined for five hits in their first five at-bats and, just like that, the Rockies were climbing an impossibly high mountain.
A lot of critics wondered how the Rockies made it this far. They looked at Colorado's losing record on the road and assumed this team had some glaring weaknesses. They looked at a pitching rotation of castoffs and rookies and figured there were troubled times ahead. And those critics were absolutely right.
It's true, the Rockies caught a raw break when they were forced to wait eight days for Game 1 after the end of the National League Championship Series. But, at some point, excuses run out and responsibility must be assumed.
That point was the third inning Saturday night when Colorado fell behind 6-0.
Of course, the Rockies were at their best this season when they had absolutely no margin for error. They came flying out of last place in the NL West in September and became one of baseball's most unlikely World Series entries ever.
Now that they are down to their last loss, they need to find that magic again.
Either that, or they can go down as the World Series team that didn't belong.