Sports Illustrated Kids
The Rockies trade: 5,000 ft. of elevation
The Braves trade: precious oxygen molecules
Denver teams have always had a unique home field advantage.
The thin air of the
Rocky Mountains takes some getting used to. Historically,
Colorado’s athletes are more acclimated to the lower levels of oxygen than the road team.
That upper hand should be even more extreme at Coors Field, where home runs have always flown out of the stadium—and curveballs have allegedly never broken as sharply. But a home field advantage is only as good as the roster that plays there.
The Rockies have boasted lineups that could drive the ball in the past. Recently, however, they’ve traded mashers like
Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado as part of a rebuild. Coors Field is frankly wasted on a lineup that didn’t manage a single 30-homer player last season—and had several starters in the single digits.
The Atlanta Braves, despite playing in a park with deep left field, ranked first in the National League with 243 home runs. Meanwhile, their pitchers allowed the fourthfewest home runs in MLB. Clearly, this team has the tools to make the most of the Rocky Mountains.
Instead of taking a great
team away from the fans in Atlanta, however, this trade supposes that Truist Park and Coors Field merely swap elevations. The Braves can play on a tiny mesa, high above the rest of Atlanta, like a baseball Mount Olympus. The Rockies don’t need to go all the way to Hades, though their faithful may feel they’re already there.
Both teams should benefit in the short term. Rebuilding the Rockies is tough, because young pitchers have trouble establishing confidence, and hitters get an inflated sense of their own abilities. Scouting is easier at sea level. Meanwhile, the Braves can ascend to new heights of power.