Sunday, November 20, 2011

Colorado Rockies trade Ty Wigginton, excitement still flatlining

Ty Wigginton is gone.

That is good news to anyone who watched the third baseman/first baseman/left fielder/right fielder struggle at every position that he was ridiculously put into.

Even worse than his defense, Wigginton at the plate was even worse. It went beyond his .163 batting average with men in scoring position. That was just the bitter fruit that resulted from the tree of Wigginton. The problem went beyond not being "clutch," the problem had everything to do with Wigginton's inability to change his approach at the plate.

The 34 year-old didn't play the game the right way. He came to the plate with the exact same approach every time he stepped to the plate. Instead of realizing that he was a utility-type of player, instead of being a role player, Wigginton thought he was the next Mark McGwire. Every time he stepped to the plate, he swung for the fences, whether there were runners on base, whether he had two strikes, whether the team was down by one run and the tying run was on third base with less than two outs. It never mattered.

That problem was hardly just a Wigginton problem, the problem went deep into the fabric of the Rockies clubhouse. Watching the 2011 version of the Rockies looked more like two guys trying to prove they deserved their contracts, and the majority of the rest trying to earn their big one. Playing as a team never happened for this bunch. It didn't seem like winning mattered as much as hitting home runs and accumulating stats.

As bad as Wigginton was for the Rockies, imagine where they would have been without him. To a certain degree, Wigginton was a savior for the club who would have been completely lost if they were forced to go with Ian Stewart at third base all season long.

The Rockies made their first significant move by dealing Wigginton. The only problem is that it is hardly a compelling reason to bring back a bunch of disheartened Rockies fans. The issues went well beyond Wigginton. The issues were from the front office down. It seems apparent that winning isn't the main priority for this franchise. Winning is good, but it really isn't an expectation.

The club had a chance to reject the season that was 2011, a season full of expectations that crashed and burned. They had a chance to prove to their fans that despite close relationships between the front office and management and coaches, that someone had to pay the price for the failure. Instead, they showed their fans that status-quo is just fine and that somehow, without changing the culture of the leadership of the Rockies, they would magically fix the ship that has been taking on more water than anyone would have ever expected.

Getting rid of Wigginton was a good start, but at this point, the Rockies have done nothing to show that the season they were responsible for was unacceptable. They have done nothing to try to lure their fans to stick around because things are going to be different.

At some point, the excitement might return for another Colorado Rockies baseball season, but at this point, trading Ty Wigginton isn't going to inspire the fans who remain bitter to re-embrace this team. Not with the same management that can't stick with a lineup for two consecutive days, not with the same front office that overvalued their farm system so greatly that there was very little talent to call upon when injuries hit.

At some point, the excitement might return, but it is going to take more than trading the past offseason's biggest mistake.


  1. good riddance to a fan killing non performer.

  2. This trade doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.....But then again neither does “Grand Junction”!