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Original Issue

Coors Is Back

Remember the 1990s? The Rockies do. Their success at home is a callback to the old days of inflated scoring in Denver.

THE ROCKIES have become contenders again, thanks to their success at mile-high Coors Field. Through Sunday they were 16--7 at home compared with 11--16 on the road. In addition to allowing just 4.54 runs per game at home, which would be the lowest in franchise history, they're lighting up scoreboards at levels unseen in more than a decade.

The team's 6.75 runs per game at home is its highest rate since 2001 and the fifth highest in franchise history. (Colorado's highest ever, 8.12 runs per game in 1996, is tied for the post-1900 major league record.) The Rockies' .952 home OPS, on a .344/.391/.560 slash line, would be the second highest in team history for a full season. All other seasons from the franchise's top 10 in both OPS and scoring hail from 1995 to 2003, Coors' first nine (mostly pre-humidor) seasons—a bygone era of inflated scoring around the majors, and a simpler time when pitchers with intact and seemingly invulnerable ulnar collateral ligaments struggled in vain to keep overmuscled sluggers in the park.

Put in the context of contemporary offensive levels by means of adjusted OPS (OPS+), which is park- and league-adjusted to express the combination of OBP and SLG such that 100 is the league average, the 2014 Rockies' early-season performance towers like Pikes Peak (elevation 14,115 feet) over the rest of the majors, while also edging out previous editions of the Blake Street Bombers.