As History Repeats Itself, Rockies Should Refuse To Lose

Todd HayekCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2009

DENVER - JULY 08:  Ryan Spilborghs #19 of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed back to the dugout after scoring in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals during MLB action at Coors Field on July 8, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Spilborghs had a three-RBI triple in the fifth inning off of starting pitcher Ross Detwiler of the Nationals, then scored on a double by Yorvit Torrealba.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Colorado Rockies are on the move. Again.


A 14-inning match against division rival San Francisco ended in a dramatic 6-4 Colorado win.


Monday night’s game continued until Tuesday morning as Ryan Spilborghs hit a walk-off grand slam completing an improbable come-from-behind victory against the San Francisco Giants and giving the Rockies a series win and widening their lead in the wild-card race.


Wild card? Who cares about the wild card?


The Rockies should focus on the real prize, the NL West Division Title.


Although the Rockies were 14 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 29, the gap between first and second has now shrunk to just three games and the two teams start a three-game series tonight in Denver. The division lead could be shared with a series sweep by the Rockies.


Does the number "14" seem to play some sort of significance? A 14-inning game that could be a make-or-break point in the season. Overcoming a 14-game deficit in the standings. The score at the beginning of the Rockies’ final opportunity in last night’s game: 1-4.


They say history repeats itself. Let’s take a look at what happened, say, maybe 14 years ago…


The scenario seems all too familiar. There was another team that overcame such an insurmountable lead and won their division. Oh, yes, the 1995 Seattle Mariners.


The team Seattle caught in the standings? Another Los Angeles based team, the Anaheim Angels.


The M’s were 13 games behind the division-leading Anaheim Angels in mid-August of the strike-shortened season. The Mariners made up the ground due to a colossal Angels collapse and a myriad of come-from-behind miracle wins which kept pushing Seattle to refuse to lose.


The Mariners finally overtook the Angels by sharing the regular season title and then beating them in a one-game playoff to advance to a magical series against the New York Yankees which many believed saved baseball in Seattle.


That season for the M’s was marked by the mantra carried by fans, players, coaches, and media that they would “Refuse to Lose”! It’s time the Rockies dust off the “Refuse to Lose” movement and use the magic that apparently has restored over the last 14 years.


Come on, Rockies fans. Say it with me: “Refuse to Lose!”


It’s catchy. It’s appropriate. It rhymes.


Think of how you felt last night as the Giants went ahead in the 14th inning. The Rockies’ fans could have gotten up and left the ball park, but they didn’t.


They knew something. Just like the Mariners’ fans of ’95 did.


They would refuse to let their team down. They would not lose. They somehow knew it. They would “Refuse to Lose.”


Winning is contagious; once a team and their fans know they can win, they win more often.


Comebacks are contagious; when a team and their fans believe they can come back from a deficit, they are more likely to get that clutch hit, extend the inning, and put pressure on the other team’s pitchers.


Apparently, blowing a big division lead is also contagious in Los Angeles.


Starting tonight, against the rival Dodgers, the Rockies can reincarnate “Refuse to Lose” and finish their mission to steal the division title.