Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue to build apathetic fan base due to lack of change

Someone needs to be fired, and Bob Apodaca is an easy choice.
The Colorado Rockies are in trouble.

Read blogs, read newspaper articles, listen to the radio and the talk is how, despite the horrible showing from the team, Rockies fans continue to show up at a rate of 30,000 plus per game.

Those who really want change at 20th & Blake insist that in order anything to be different, the owners of the Rockies must feel the pain in their wallet. They believe that only the loss of revenue will light a fire under the seat of the owners to make change happen. Those fans are disappointed because the seats continue to be filled up.

The reality, however, is that attendance is based on the number of tickets sold, not the actual number of people at the game. A large number of those tickets are purchased by corporations as giveaways. Another large segment are season ticket holders and mini-plans. Those tickets are being counted, regardless if the person actually shows up or not.

Everyone wonders why the fans continue to pour through the gates at Coors Field, despite the team. Well, the answer is simple. Many of the tickets were purchased long ago.

With a team that is destined to lose 90 games or more during a season that was billed as the "Year of the Fan", the Rockies will reap the consequences of their poor play on the field in 2013.

Imagine how season ticket holders feel? They invest hard-earned dollars into season seats and they are rewarded with bad baseball. On top of bad baseball, they are told that nothing is going to be done to fix what is going on. They are told that status-quo is just fine. The fans watch as the "ace" of the club tips his hat to the crowd in complete arrogance after watching his ERA rise to 6.91.

Wait until the corporations owning season tickets can't find takers for their tickets. Wait until they can't even give them away to their own employees because the receiver of the tickets doesn't feel that it is worth the gas in their car that it would take to get to the game.

When that starts to happen, the cancellations will being.

The Rockies may be well aware of what they are about to encounter. They may realize that they are going to take a dip in ticket sales in 2013. However, they either aren't fazed by it, or simply don't care.

If they wanted to save face, they would admit that it is time for changes. It is time to show fans and the baseball industry that the Rockies do not stand for losing. It is time for them to do something drastic to make paying fans feel like the losses hurt the front office as much as they rip the heart out of those who are paying good money to watch the team.

During the Rockies May stumble, the fans outcry for a firing was largely emotion based. The fans had watched their team play well enough in April to convince them that they had a chance. They were missing some starting pitching, but the young pitchers showed signs of turning the corner. Then May hit and the ship started sinking. Fans demanded someone pay the price, but owner Dick Monfort stumbled and bumbled his way to saying that nothing was going to change.

Then came Memorial Day. As the Houston Astros rolled into town, the Rockies looked like champions. They took six games out of seven at home and were climbing back to respectability. It was easy to forget the horrid moves from Jim Tracy, the lack of talent in the farm system left depleted by Dan O'Dowd's drafting failures and the poor pitching performances due at least in some part to Bob Apodaca's failures.

This time, as the Rockies dropped their seventh straight game on Wednesday, the call for change is less emotion and more logic.

The Rockies are on pace to have the worst ERA from their starting pitchers in history. That isn't Rockies history, that is Major League Baseball history. No starter in the rotation has an ERA under 5.00. That isn't just at Coors Field, that is everywhere. While the offense continues to put up seven runs, eight runs, six runs night-in and night-out, the team continues to lose.

Imagine going to work everyday and being the worst person to ever do that job. Imagine being in charge of a group of people who were on pace to perform the absolute worst of any group to do that exact same task in the history of the business. The job wouldn't last long.

However, pitching coach Bob Apodaca takes very little heat. His underlings are on pace to be the absolute worst in the great history of baseball. That is pretty tough to do. Does the talent in the starting rotation suggest that they are the least talented in the history of the game? The answer to that is a simple no. Not even close.

If the pitchers aren't listening to Apodaca, it is time to fire him. If the pitcher's are listening to Apodaca, it is time to fire him.

Of course, the failures of this team go far beyond Apodaca's failures. At this point, it can only be explained as a disease that is spreading throughout the core of the franchise. However, fighting that off has to start somewhere. If Tracy is immune this season due to his handshake agreement, then Apodaca must go.

It isn't an emotional reaction from fans anymore. It is simple logic. Something has to change. The talent on this team might not be World Series caliber, but it certainly isn't 100 lose caliber either.

Something has to change. Someone in this front office has to be getting upset. They have to be more mad about the losses than the fans are. They have to decide that it is time to get things back on the right track. It has to happen soon, or the Rockies are going to watch their season ticket holders find other things to spend their money on in 2013.

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  1. It is sad to read this kind of an article day after day - even though everythng in it is right on. I have invested 20 years into this team; to give up my season tickets would be very difficult but...if that is what it will take to get someone's attention I will need to consider it. I am also tired of the ROOT Sports announcers making one excuse after another for poor pitching performances. The lack of experience, Coors Field, low humidity, etc. I am surprised that they are not blaming the huge forest fire for the poor pitching. I am totally bewildered that management cannot see how poor the pitching is, its impact on the rest of the team, and the potential impact in 2013. The draft picks are interesting but it will take several years for these 18-year-olds to make it to the majors and it may not be for the Rockies! Is management that blind? That stupid? Are we the fans?? Makes ya wonder.

  2. A popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The Rockies front office and on field management now call that "patience". A well run organization would put the two together and the new definition would be F-I-R-E-D. We've been down before, but this is the first time it really feels like we are the laughingstock of the league.

  3. Great post, you nailed it. Since many of the tickets are already bought what about organizing a boycott where no one goes in the stadium until after the first inning? Maybe the first game back from the road trip June 25? Having the Root Sports cameras pan an empty stadium would at least send a message that the fans are sick and tired of no one being accountable for this train wreck and no changes being made.

  4. I agree 100 Percent that Bob needs to be gone. Just thinking of all the "good" arms gone awry (outside of our somehow mostly good bullpen) makes me sad. Its like these guys are found in the DR impress everyone get to the Bigs Impress for a few games and then Bob somehow ruins them.

    Unfair? Probably. But thats what it seems like.

    Look at Franky M's talent, Esmils Talent, Ubaldo's Talent, and now Chacins talent. Down the drain!

    I actually don't even blame tracy anymore. I blame Bob and Dan. Dan for his free agent pickups of crap arms and Bob for making those arms worse.

  5. I look forward to any TV commercial break these days. If I were a player for the Rockies I would figure out a way to go on the DL.