Those were the excuses that continuously came out of the Rockies clubhouse as they relaxed their way into an 8-20 May. They insisted that with the talent on the club, that eventually they would come around and find ways to win baseball games.
That talk sounded great. It was comforting. It made it feel like the Rockies were going to hit their stride and cruise into the playoffs. After all, they are the best team in the National League West, on paper.
Well, the first half has turned into the second half, and the Rockies are yet to go on their run that they promised. In fact, they can't get on a roll to save their lives.
The problem with the first half excuses are that they assumed that nothing would go wrong. It assumes that Carlos Gonzalez isn't going to run into any walls, and that Troy Tulowitzki isn't going to hurt his leg going 120 percent on every single play. It assumes that everything is going to go perfectly.
First half excuses sound good, but they don't leave any room for error. They don't leave any room for injuries that inevitably are going to happen in a 162 game season.
Sure, at some point, Cargo and Tulo were going to hit. There was no doubt about that. At some point, Ubaldo Jimenez was going to start looking similar to the pitcher who won 19 games a year ago. However, at some point, those players are also going to get bumps and bruises and need time off.
The fact is, in baseball it is just too tough to cram six months of baseball into three or four months. The Rockies have been fortunate enough to overcome huge deficits in a short amount of time in both 2007 and 2009, but the reality is, those runs were historic because they simply don't happen every year, every other year, or every decade for that matter. The Rockies cannot bank on having a good couple of months and simply landing on their feet back into contention.
The other part that is wrong with May excuses is that it convinces a team that they don't really need to get a sense of urgency. It says that eventually they are going to figure it out, so when they face tough pitchers like Derek Lowe or Tommy Hansen, they can just shut it down and hope for better the next day.
The lackadaisical approach is tiresome. The same approach at the plate from each player gets old. It is nearly laughable to watch the way the Rockies can't score a leadoff double. Moving runners over with sacrifice flies, ground balls to the right side, or bunts are not a part of the Rockies game. Their approach is more along the lines of "close your eyes and swing as hard as you can." Either that, or keep the bat on your shoulder and hope for a walk.
The fact is, this Rockies team is looking less like the team that is going to make a run at a championship and more like a team that is on it's way to being the most disappointing team in the history of the franchise.