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Rockies The Salvation For Denver Sports Junkies

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Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed home by Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies after he scored on Tulowitzki's three run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on April 18, 2014. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed home by Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies after he scored on Tulowitzki’s three run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on April 18, 2014. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Brett Heinzerling By Brett Heinzerling
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The NHL playoffs have ended, at least as far as Colorado is concerned.

The NFL Draft is over and all we have to look forward to until preseason games start in early August is an endless stream of glorified walk-throughs known as OTAs.

The NBA Combine is coming up, but who even knew there was an NBA Combine?

And college football is still months away from making college football fans in Colorado wish there was better college football in our great state.

What is a sports junkie to watch now?

In recent years, the answer was most certainly not the Rockies. But that was then.

This year (as of this writing) they are very much worth watching.

A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-2 during the home opener at Coors Field on April 4, 2014.  (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-2 during the home opener at Coors Field on April 4, 2014. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Colorado … yes, our beloved Rockies, sit in second in the NL West just four games behind the Giants.

Better yet, they are a game better than Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers, the team with the highest payroll in baseball. The Rockies, by contrast, have a payroll roughly 2.5 times lower than Magic Johnson’s boys in blue.

The best part (for those of us longing for the days of the Blake Street Bombers) is that they’re doing it with offense. They have scored 233 runs. The second highest total in all of baseball is a paltry 214 runs. The Yankees have scored 46 fewer runs than Colorado!

You would assume that this offensive output means that the Rockies stars are crushing the baseball all over the place. And you would be right, in one case. Troy Tulowitzki is unquestionably the best player in all of baseball through a month and a half of the season.

RELATED: Troy Tulowitzki Named NL Player Of The Month

He’s leading (BA, .391) or tied for the lead (HR, 11) in two of the three triple-crown categories, and he’s in second in the other (RBI, 33). His WAR (wins above replacement), which has become the most telling stat in baseball is 4.1. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, you aren’t alone — but for some context: second place in that category sits at 3.0, and third is 2.9. Tulo is running away with the category.

The real surprise is the newly-bearded Charlie Blackmon. Dude grew a Grizzly Adams beard in the offseason, and he’s transformed into one of the game’s breakout stars.

Charlie Blackmon

Rightfielder Charlie Blackmon at Coors Field on May 6, 2014. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

He’s in the Top 5 in batting average (.333) and runs batted in (29), and, like Tulo, he has a monster WAR number (2.5).

All this from a guy who played in just 82 games a season ago and drove in just 22 runs (yes, seven fewer than he already has this year).

So what will I be watching while waiting for the pre-season Super Bowl rematch(ish) against the Seahawks? I’ll be watching the Rockies play competitive baseball. I’ll be watching Tulo play the way everyone hoped he would. I’ll be watching Charlie Blackmon shock the baseball world. I’ll be watching Nolan Arenado do his best Brooks Robinson impression (look it up, and mark my words, Arenado will go down as the best defensive third basemen of his generation, if not ever).

RELATED: Weiss Tells Jim Rome Arenado Could Win Multiple Gold Gloves

The Rockies are fun again, and you better believe I’ll be watching.

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