Friday, September 9, 2011

CarGo and Tracy get ejected, Colorado Rockies fail to respond

If you want to see Jim Tracy get animated, you may never get a better opportunity than Friday night.

After Carlos Gonzalez was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the fifth inning, Tracy came onto the field to get his money's worth before hitting the showers himself.

Gonzalez struck out swinging, but broke the unwritten rules of showing up an umpire on the second strike when he motioned with his hand that the pitch was low. At that point, home plate umpire Mark Carlson gave Gonzalez an earful. The next pitch saw Gonzalez wave at a pitch well out of the zone, knowing that anything close was going to earn him a seat on the bench if he didn't swing.

The right fielder slowly walked back to the dugout, where he decided to let Carlson know how he felt. Carlson pointed to the Gonzalez in the dugout and gave him the first ejection of his big league career.

At that point, Tracy came storming out of the dugout and furiously got into Carlson's face. He earned an ejection of his own when he made the same hand motion that Gonzalez had made on the second strike.

Tracy is a very even-keeled person. It is hard to ruffle his feathers. However, he knows the game of baseball, and he knows very well that if your star player gets ejected in a one-run game in the fifth inning, it's time to follow suit and stick up for your guy.

Generally, a manager's tirade, especially while defending a player who was just ejected, will light a fire under a team. It will inspire them to go out and play with passion. These Rockies are different. Instead, it made their sense of urgency go away. It made them play flat, and pack it in.

The following inning saw the Rockies give up four runs, commit two errors, and completely fall apart. It was yet another embarrassment to add to the growing list of embarrassments that this franchise has suffered through in the 2011 season.

When all is said and done, many people will point to injuries as a reason the Rockies failed. Specifically Jorge De La Rosa's elbow injury in May. However, the reason why this team failed to contend has nothing to do with injury. It has everything to do with lack of heart. It has everything to do with them playing flat on a regular basis and never gelling as a group.

To light a fire under these Rockies might not be enough, their whole clubhouse might have to be on fire before they felt a sense of urgency.

1 comment:

  1. On Sunday the 4th Justin Upton hopped after a called third strike, argued a bit, and then was ejected as he was walking back to the dugout. Gibson was already on his way up but restrained Upton and was NOT himself ejected. The DBacks came back late in the game to win.
    Maybe the Rockies are a team that are only as emotionally stable as their manager? Yeah Tracy should've argued, but gotten thrown out? Over a swinging strike out? No. Tracy simply cannot motivate this team.