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2011 MLB Playoffs: The Colorado Connections

The 2011 MLB Playoffs are here and these are the players you should be rooting for. They all have connections to the Rockies or the state of Colorado.

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Glum that the Colorado Rockies' season went south months ago, preventing Rocktober III? Don't really care which team wins the World Series (though, how can one not want the Tampa Bay Rays or even the Milwaukee Brewers to win it all)? Then let's root for those players with a connection to the Rockies or the state of Colorado.

First, we have Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Rockies fans are familiar with him from his 2006-2009 days behind the batter. Torrealba was never more than a sub-par hitter (.258/.316/.394 in four seasons), but he always managed to steal playing time from Chris Iannetta.

The Philadelphia Phillies sports a duo of players with connections to Colorado. The most obscure player is Ross Gload. Rockies fans need to think back to 2002 when Gload picked up eight hits in 31 at-bats. The Rockies traded Gload to the White Sox before the start of the 2003 season for Wade Parrish. Gload has a hip injury that will likely prevent him from playing much, if at all.

The other player is, of course, Roy Halladay. Halladay, as we recall, is from Arvada, CO. Still one of the game's best at 34, Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and eight complete games during the regular season. He struck out 220 batters in 220-2/3 innings. He will start Game 1 on Saturday.

The St. Louis Cardinals also have two players with Colorado ties. The deepest belong to Matt Holliday. We all know that story: outfielder rises through the minors, dominates the big leagues and then gets out of Colorado one season after he tastes the postseason. His right middle finger will keep him out of Game 1 on Saturday and may for the entire series.

The other player is pitcher Octavio Dotel, who pitched all of eight games for the Rockies in 2010. He departed in the offseason under a gentleman's agreement with the Rockies about an arbitration offer. The Rockies offered and Dotel agreed to decline so the team could receive draft compensation. He made his way to St. Louis as part of the trade that sent Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays.

Here is the schedule for the first two nights of play:

30-Sep
TEAMS TIME (MT) TV PITCHERS
Tampa Bay at Texas 3:07 PM TBS Moore vs Wilson
Detroit at NY Yankees 6:37 PM TBS Verlander vs Sabathia
1-Oct
TEAMS TIME (ET) TV PITCHERS
Arizona at Milwaukee 12:07 PM TBS Kennedy vs Gallardo
St. Louis at Philadelphia 3:07 PM TBS Lohse vs Halladay
Tampa Bay at Texas 5:07 PM TNT Shields vs Holland
Detroit at NY Yankees 6:37 PM TBS Fister vs Nova