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The Colorado Rockies have gone from being the laughing stock of the National League to a contender.
It took several years to build a farm system that was capable of competing against the big spenders from bigger cities, but the Rockies finally arrived, proving themselves with playoff appearances in two of the past four seasons.
Long gone are the days when the club was an afterthought in the baseball world. No longer are the Rockies the doormat of the division.
However, as the club has risen to dominance, one thing hasn't seemed to change. The Los Angeles Dodgers, regardless of how good they have been, continue to be a thorn in the Rockies side.
In September of 2010, with the Dodgers looking forward to an offseason, and the Rockies trying to springboard into the playoffs, Colorado needed one win to really propel their playoff hopes forward. With a five-run lead in the fifth inning, the game looked like it was in control for the Rockies.
Instead, the hapless Dodgers battled back and ended up defeating the Rockies in extra innings. That day was the beginning of the end for the Rockies in 2010.
In the Rockies' 18 seasons of existence, the club has only had a better record than the Dodgers twice.
With the Dodgers in disarray, due in large part to an ownership divorce that is tying up financial resources, the Rockies have an opportunity to turn the tables on a club that has dominated them since their inception.
The Rockies, owners of exactly zero National League West division crowns, have the talent to win the division in 2011. They have depth at nearly every position. They have a chance to win every single game they play in.
However, if they want to be the best team in the NL West, they must find a way to dominate the teams in the division. That would include finding a way to defeat the Dodgers.
The Rockies get that opportunity starting on Tuesday at Coors Field. However, it will be no easy task as the Dodgers send their dominant lefty ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to take on the Rockies Jhoulys Chacin.
It may be a tough task to defeat Kershaw, but if the Rockies want to win the West, they are going to have to find a way to be competitive against the team they have struggled against their entire existence. If they are able to knock Kershaw around, they may give themselves the confidence to beat Los Angeles all year long.