Sports picksOctober 24, 2007

The Rockies World Series tickets fiasco – a sign of things to come?

The Colorado Rockies capped an amazing run to the World Series by winning 21 of their last 22 games including sweeps through the play-in game, the NLDS and a four-game sweep of Arizona to land in the club’s first World Series appearance.

The lowly Rox are no longer the annoying little brother of the National League. They are now a bona fide powerhouse.

After capturing the NL Pennant, the Rockies were faced with the longest layoff in MLB history at eight days. They took care of their business on the field by practicing hard (even in the snow!) and playing simulated games to keep their skills sharp for the daunting task of beating one of the most storied franchises in all of sports – the Boston Red Sox.

But it was the way the Rockies handled the sale of its World Series tickets that has me wondering if the Rox have no chance over the Sox.

In all of the club’s enthusiasm, they overlooked the technical logistics of selling World Series tickets. It is true that within 90 minutes of tickets going on sale the site was flooded with 8.5 million hits! The system couldn’t handle the load and the Rockies brass mumbled something about a deliberate attack on the site to deny service.

Huh?

So a room of Red Sox fans or disgruntled Diamondbacks honks hacked the system flooding it with bogus requests for tickets that caused the system to shut down? Yeah, OK guys I believe that. Why not just admit that the online system for selling tickets couldn’t hack it and ate itself? The Rockies knew their fans would be insatiable when it comes to purchasing tickets and the “online only” policy left many local fans shut out.

Herein lies the problem. If the Rox were not able to meet the demand of simply selling some game tickets, what chance do they have at actually winning this thing? Their ticket plan failed, so what to make of their game plan now that the Rox are dealing with rust, layoffs and World Series pressure?

The Rockies are the new kids on the block in this season’s Fall Classic. The Red Sox have triumphed over baseball adversity, so they know how to win. The Rockies have no history this late in the season and although they survived some tense moments just to get here they have no experience handling the pressure on the biggest stage.

While the mood in Boston is one of calm arrogance, the mood in Denver is quite different. Local fans are mad that they were denied “fair” access to tickets and are holding the Rockies organization accountable. How is this going to help their chances? It is a distraction that could leak over and onto the diamond.

Fans are excited but we don’t know how to play in this situation and this ticket crash of ’07 is a perfect example.

The Red Sox are sitting back, having a good chuckle at the hicks from out West that can’t even get their tickets into the hands of their fans. So for all of the excitement that ROCKtober has brought to Denver, that could soon turn into NO-vember as in NO tickets, NO World Series title and NO more love for the underdog Rox. Or, as they have been doing, the Rockies could continue to defy the odds, win 25 out of 29 (or better), and take the Series. We’ll soon know.