Sunday, September 18, 2011

Does anyone care anymore? Colorado Rockies lose again

The Colorado Rockies completed their four game sweep of the San Francisco Giants. And of course, by that I mean that they completed getting swept by the Giants.

Yes, the Rockies were swept by the Giants in four games, but it may have been the Tulsa Drillers being swept. Hector Gomez made his Major League debut, Wilin Rosario started three games, Thomas Field got three starts. Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton all stayed on the bench, recovering from their respective injuries.

With the Rockies long out of the hunt, with clearly zero interest in playing the role of spoiler, does it matter anymore? Does anyone care? Do the players just want the season to be over so that they can go home and spend time with their families?

The fact is, this team has looked like they just wanted to go home for the last five months. Their lackluster play continues to frustrate the everyday fan.

The Rockies, mainly Jim Tracy, continue to insist that this team was plagued by injury issues all season long. That is a correct statement. The Rockies have indeed by plagued by injury. However, if Tracy thinks that is the reason why this team has under performed, he has missed the point.

This team didn't fail because of injuries. They failed because they are soft. When things go bad, they don't battle back to make them go better. They accept that things are bad and seem to pout. They have no fight in them. How many times has this team been down by several runs and actually made an effort to get back into the game? How many times have they had two outs and instead of doing what they can do to string a couple of hits together, they simply fold?

The problem for the Rockies goes far beyond the point of injuries. The problem with the Rockies is that they don't play the game the right way. Name a batter who fouls off pitches with two strikes besides Todd Helton. Helton is the only regular player who takes good at bats on a consistent basis.

As good of a season as Troy Tulowitzki's numbers suggest that he is having, he still takes horrible at bats. He still waves at sliders out of the zone, and he rarely puts the pressure on the pitcher to throw good pitches. Beyond that, his leadership in the clubhouse seems to be more of a strain on his teammates than a calming.

After Ubaldo Jimenez was traded, Tulowitzki's postgame comments were nothing short of rude. Not once did he talk about missing a great player and a great friend. His comments, in fact, were demeaning of Jimenez and made it seem like he was thrilled to see him leave. We aren't talking about a Manny Ramirez type of guy, we are talking about the ever-smiling, always positive Ubaldo Jimenez. We are talking about a guy who was half a season removed from 19 wins, and Tulowitzki made him seem like he was a cancer because of the way he played.

After Jason Hammel gave up six runs in three innings against the Dodgers in August, Tulowitzki ranted to the media after the loss that it is extremely difficult to win a game when the starting pitcher doesn't give you a chance to be in the game.

The irony of that statement is deafening. Tulowitzki quickly forgot that he hit .211 in May, the same May that saw the Rockies go from first place to third place after going 8-24 in that month. No one heard Hammel say anything about Tulo's lack of results in May when Hammel twice took the mound and threw seven shutout innings without picking up a win.

The problems with this team go far beyond injuries. The issues with this team begin in the clubhouse, and those issues need to be addressed immediately, or the Rockies are going to suffer the same fate in 2012 as they have been facing day-in and day-out in 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta agree with most of what you say. Seems to me that the rule in the clubhouse has been that passionate hard work is NOT to be rewarded. Players have been cycled in and out rather capriciously. Guys who have worked hard and done well have not been given any slack when they go through natural ups and downs; favorites, on the other hand, get every chance to goof up the game. Tracy changes his tune on big things way too often. His words have become meaningless.