Colorado Rockies: Which Team is Their Biggest Rival?
It’s an interesting question with a lot of possibilities. It seems simple when asked, yet complex when answered. Which team represents the biggest rivalry for the Colorado Rockies?
Since joining the National League West in 1993, the Rockies have not exactly dominated any team in the division. Colorado only holds a winning percentage against the San Diego Padres in division play. Take a look at some of the records and numbers below.
Arizona Diamondbacks – 335 games (144-191, .430)
Los Angeles Dodgers – 397 games (168-229, .423)
San Diego Padres – 397 games (205-192, .516)
San Francisco Giants – 395 games (175-220, .443)
So which of those teams would be considered the biggest rival for the Rockies? We asked some fans that we knew as well as used a very scientific method of looking back at a myriad of tweets from all of our friends on Rockies Twitter. We mixed that in with some past history and some things we’ve witnessed when visiting teams come to Coors Field and we’ve narrowed it down to three main choices.
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Last season, SportsOnEarth.com tried to pick Colorado’s three biggest rivals. Apparently, it was harder than it looks. However, we’ve seen a few things and picked up on a few trends (and insults here and there) that made our top three pretty easy to pick out.
Let’s dive in and see which teams make the rivalry list. Two may not surprise you but we think one will. We’ll explain each pick and why they are, as my old football coach used to say, “the people who say bad things about your mama.”
Rival #1: The San Francisco Giants
Oh where to begin with this rivalry? Is it all of the fun that Rockies Twitter seems to have at the expense of Hunter Pence? Is it the Giants broadcaster who accused Colorado of cheating? Is it that sea of orange that floods 20th and Blake every time San Francisco comes to town?
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There’s no question that the Giants have become Colorado’s top rival for a number of reasons. Of course, let’s throw in the success that San Francisco has had in even-numbered years and there’s certainly a bit of jealousy in there as well.
Orange and purple don’t mix … and they certainly clash when it comes to these two teams.
Want to read exactly how some Colorado fans feel about San Francisco? Check out this article on Purple Row. It makes me laugh every time I read it for two reasons. First, Connor is simply funny with his writing. Second, it’s really how many Rockies fans feel. Don’t believe us? Just mention Buster Posey to one of your fellow Colorado fans and watch the reaction unfold.
San Francisco is a perennial contender for the division and they have deep pockets (as evidenced by the recent Mark Melancon signing … hey, weren’t the Rockies hoping to land him?). Is there a little bit of jealousy there from the Colorado side? Sure, which makes every home run Nolan Arenado hits against them just that much sweeter in the eyes of so many Rockies fans.
The Rockies play San Francisco in seven of their first 19 games this season. It will be an early test for a team trying to prove they can contend for the division. It will also be the renewal of what we believe to be is Colorado’s biggest rivalry.
Rival #2: The Los Angeles Dodgers
Last season, we teamed up with our counterparts at DodgersWay.com to write an article on each site on why Trevor Story or Corey Seager was better than the other one. I took Story’s side on their site and they wrote about Seager on Rox Pile. Of course, we know what happened after the story appeared with Story’s injury and Seager’s kudos.
It was funny to hear the response from both Dodgers and Rockies fans to the article. Both sides couldn’t believe we were talking about “that other team” on our sites.
It’s a rivalry at shortstop that will last for some time it seems. It’s also indicative of the rivalry between the two teams that has been there for some time. After all, the Rockies and Dodgers have two of the biggest brawls that have happened in Colorado history. Hey, even the Rockies Twitter account had some fun at LA’s expense recently.
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Chavez Ravine versus Coors Field. The beaches versus the mountains. Vin Scully versus … OK, we’ll give LA that one.
When LA comes to town, Dodger fans flood Coors Field and make it seem like Dodger Stadium East. I once overheard one Rockies fan say, “I can’t stand that shade of blue.” For a lot of Colorado fans, that sums it up right there. Those feelings could get even more heated this season if the Rockies contend for the division and a playoff spot.
Rival #3: The Chicago Cubs
Placing them on this list has nothing to do with Chicago finally breaking its tag of “lovable losers” last season by winning the World Series. It has everything to do with history and another great rivalry building between young stars.
WGN can be credited for creating many Cubs fans just about the time that Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe and Lee Smith were returning Chicago back to the playoffs in 1984. Without a team in Denver at that time, many locals chose to cheer for the Cubs … and still do.
Chicago was also a place where many current residents of Denver came from. Like the folks from southern and northern California who relocated to the Rocky Mountain region, they brought their baseball fandom with them.
OK, so that was then, but this is now. One of the internal rivalries between the two teams is between their third basemen. Much like Story and Seager, it appears Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant are going to be competing for All-Star Game nods and MVP awards for years to come. It’s going to make the games between the two teams have a little more emphasis.
And let’s not forget that the Rockies took four of six games last season from the World Champs, including a walkoff home win that had all of the emotion (on Colorado’s side, at least) of a playoff game. And let’s not forget that Coors Field becomes a sea of Cubbie blue (which is different from Dodger blue) any time the visitors from the Windy City pay a visit. During that extra-inning game, it was interesting to see the two fan bases go back and forth as the game’s intensity built.
While it may be hard to have a rivalry with a team from another division, there’s plenty of give and take between the two teams over the years. In 185 games, the Cubs hold a 95-90 advantage.