MLB Opening Day: These 2011 Colorado Rockies Will Compete

Rich KurtzmanSenior Analyst IApril 1, 2011

Troy Tulowitzki looks to be the Rockies MVP this season.
Troy Tulowitzki looks to be the Rockies MVP this season.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ah, opening day.

For years and years (nearly their first decade and a half), opening day was the most hopeful time for Colorado Rockies fans.

Of course, with the start of the 2011 season today at 2 p.m. MDT, the optimism for the Rockies is still a mile high in Denver, but these Rox require less blind faith from fans.

These Rockies are prime to compete for their first NL West division crown, set to situate themselves into the postseason for the third time in five years.

These Rockies are led by their beloved manager Jim Tracy, a class act that truly cares about his players' well being first and winning second.

Tracy is a rare breed of coach who can look past all the massive contracts and see into the souls of these millionaires. He knows how to motivate and connect with them.

These Rockies are fortunate to have Troy Tulowitzki and Carlo Gonzalez suiting up in their purple pinstripes to shore up the left side of the field.

Tulo and CarGo both competed for MVP last season, and either one could steal the trophy and the show in 2011.

And with both signed up to play on the Rockies through 2017, there's little doubt that one of the stars will bring home Colorado's first MVP since Larry Walker in 1997.

These Rockies are filled to the top with young talent, but their two grizzly, old veterans will keep the team in line.

Todd Helton, "Mr. Rockie", is back and says he's in the best shape in years, while Jason Giambi hopes to be helpful once again in his fill-in and pinch-hitting roles.

These Rockies are fast—from CarGo to Dexter Fowler, Eric Young J.R. and Jonathan Herrerra—and Colorado will be more aggressive on the base paths.

These Rockies have pitching, starting and in the bullpen.

Ubaldo Jimenez hopes to top 20 wins this season after crumbling post-All Star break in 2010. Other starters, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Hammel and Jhoulys Chacin, all bring their own specialties, from fireballing to throwing plain nasty stuff.

And in the bull pen, Matt Belisle, Raphael Betancourt and Matt Reynolds should be strong, while Huston Street looks to bounce back to his 2009 form after an injury-riddled 2010.

These Rockies are going to be good—they may even be great—and they will make the playoffs once again this October.

The potential is there for Colorado to win the division, even if it means getting through the World Series Champion Giants and their profound pitching—it's all up to the Rockies how far they actually go.

The Monforts opened up their wallets and spent buku bucks for the first time in forever, the pieces are in place, there are no more excuses.

So Rox, let's see what you got.

Play ball!

Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets and NBA Featured Columnist for, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for, a weekly contributor to and a contributor to writing on the Denver Broncos.

Rich also heads up PR for K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.

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