Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue to suffer from terrible management

The Rockies are the only ones who can't see how bad this guy is.
The Colorado Rockies made an announcement before Tuesday night's game in Philadelphia.

It wasn't the announcement that many were expecting. Most thought that Jeremy Guthrie, the biggest trade mistake Dan O'Dowd has made, would be dealt. Instead, the announcement was that Guthrie was going to the bullpen. That isn't a huge surprise, but the continued logic from Jim Tracy left those who follow the Rockies scratching their heads.

Tracy told the media that not only was Guthrie moving to the bullpen, but that the club was going to go with a four man rotation with each pitcher limited to 75 pitches, regardless of when that pitch count arrived.

The Rockies manager continued with logic that can only be understood by him. The reason for the move was to save the bullpen from being over-taxed. That's right, a 75-pitch limit for starting pitchers was going to save the bullpen.

There is no way to spin it. There is no way to justify the move. It is simply ridiculous. It is the latest in a long line of moves that suggests that Tracy has no business being in a Major League dugout.

Of course, some of the Rockies apologists have already justified the move by talking about how ineffective the starters have been. They have made the point that with a five man rotation, the bullpen is being so overused that often times a young starter has to sit out on the mound and watch his ERA go through the roof because there simply isn't anyone to eat the additional innings.

The problem is that, as Tracy was criticized for in his two previous managerial stints, it pawns all of the struggles onto the players. He suggests that something drastic has to be done in order to get better results. Instead of thinking about making a drastic move that involves his pitching coach, Tracy lays the blame on his young starters. By doing this, he also indicts Dan O'Dowd for not giving him enough talent to work with.

Think how the starting pitchers must feel about this move. They are limited to just 75 pitches, which means very rarely will they make it through five innings. That means that every fourth day the starting pitcher will take the mound and have a chance to lose the game, but only every once in a while, and only when that pitcher is nearly perfect, will he have a chance to win the game.

They almost certainly will never come away with a quality start. To qualify for that stat, the pitcher must go six innings and give up three or less runs.

So what? Those numbers don't mean anything. Baseball is all about winning and losing. The only issue is that players numbers are what determines their paycheck. When it comes time for a player to negotiate with the Rockies, or whatever team they may be looking to go to in free agency, a pitcher with a 2-9 record and no quality starts is not going to get the kind of money that they most likely would have earned simply by being in a typical starting rotation.

This is a throw-away season for the Rockies. They know it. They knew it when O'Dowd agreed with Tracy on a handshake agreement before spring training began in earnest. It is fine for the front office to realize that it was going to be a tough year to compete. Honesty is a good thing. The only problem is that in acknowledging that this year had the potential to be a bad one, they have excused all poor decisions and moves. The front office has determined that any bad decisions made on the field or off will be chalked up to a throwaway year. That has allowed for an attitude of mediocrity to creep throughout the entire organization. It allows bad decisions and doesn't punish bad behavior.

The Rockies starting rotation is on pace to be the worst rotation in the history of the game. When those numbers are thrown around, listen to who Tracy blames. He first blames the players for their lack of talent, composure, focus, or any other number of issues. He then blames youth and inexperience. When youth and talent have been exhausted, he blames Coors Field. After that, he points to injuries holding the team back. Never, however, does he point the finger at himself. Never does Tracy acknowledge that the message might not be sinking in. Never does he question publicly what pitching coach Bob Apodaca might be trying to get through to his pitchers.

Tracy said on Tuesday that when things are going as bad as they have been, something different has to be tried. The first thing he comes up with is some quasi four man rotation with a pitch count. So the logic isn't that these pitchers are failing because of a bad game plan, bad coaching or any other number of reasons that could be conceivable. Instead, he comes up with a plan that defies conventional logic and reeks of desperation.

The move is so bad that it literally raises question as to whether Tracy is seeing just what he can get away with while still keeping his job. Questioning whether a manager, coach, or player is actually trying to win is walking on thin ice. These guys have committed their lives to this, however, this move makes no sense whatsoever. There is simply no logic that can justify it.

This Rockies team has become the laughingstock of Major League Baseball. An organization that was on the brink of long-term success just three years ago now looks completely lost. They look worse than they did in the early 2000's. It is frustrating to watch. It seems that everyone sees the issues, everyone sees the problems, but those in the front office are either blind to it, or choose to ignore it.

This is going to get worse before it gets better.

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  1. "come on a real fan wouldn't say this" signed idiot Rockies fans.

    Seriously this organization is a complete joke...i pray they fire odowd

  2. "The move is so bad that it literally raises question as to whether Tracy is seeing just what he can get away with while still keeping his job."
    Great analysis. I'm sure Tracy is just messing with the organization at this point.

    1. In order to help the players we need to stop going to games and boycott this management. The owner was quoted in a recent article claiming tracy and odowd are here to stay!! Wtf?? WHY DID MONFORT COMMENT ON THIS? BECAUSE HE IS AWARE OF THE UPSET FAN BASE!! With that said he basically told the fans to deal with it! Did he not??? Ok so in order to do our small part as loyal fans and help the players move toward
      brighter days, we need to hold our ground and do whatever we have to in order to

  3. Doesn't this move basically kill Guthrie's trade value? And why would O'Dowd turn down a deal for a first base prospect from Toronto for Guthrie, when he couldn't draft an eventual replacement for Todd Helton in his time as general manager.

  4. FInally a medeia source calling it like it is!!!!! Wow, im shocked nobody in the media had the balls to say something like this (the absolute truth) way sooner. Thanks for the article and please keep it up.

  5. Here's what we know----- it all starts at the top. Ever since getting 'burned' by the Hampton/ Neagle deal, the idea has been the same as the Cubs model. In other words, it's all about the Coors Field experience. Come out for a great day at the ballpark. Buy some $6 hot dogs and $8 beers, park in our $20 parking lots and ennjoy a great game.

    Winning is not a commitment in Colorado-- it's an accident. Dan O'Dowd is doing the best with what owners give him to work with. Because it's one thing to be committed to winning on a tight budget-- you do the best you can. It's completely another to be committed to fattening the bottom line. That's where the Rockies organization is set--and with present ownership, that's where it will stay.

    One quick note to cdeangelo74----boycotting games won't do a thing. If management sees profits disappear, they won't be motivated to improve the team----they'll sell, quite possibly to an outside resource (Portland or Buffalo come to mind) who will get a new stadium built in THEIR town and begin the 'love' cycle all over again somewhere else. These owners only care about profit, despite anything you hear from 20th and Blake. We lose if we boycott. We, are powerless.

  6. This is, by far, the strangest thing that Rockies mgmt has done to date! How will they ever draw any talent to this team with this management group and with these types of decisions? There is no logic to the 4-man rotation at all and what is even worse...upper management goes along with this decision. I agree that boycotting the stadium is one way to get their attention. I struggle with this...after 20 years of season ticket investments - can I just walk away?? Will it make a difference?? Will it hurt the players more than the totally blind management of this organization?

  7. I doubt they sell out of Denver. Its too lucrative a market. Buffalo is too close to Toronto and Portlandians probably aren't into baseball unless all those baseball players have old timey mustaches and throw spit balls with funny windups.

    I think not going to the game is a good idea but I really do enjoy baseball. Its a tough decision to make. I don't think I'm gong to actively pursue going to more games but if friends/family invite me I think I'll go.

    God this team is a disaster

  8. 6 Man rotation like in Japan.

    So I was thinking earlier this season that we should just use a 6 man rotation like in Japan.

    We have a bunch of young pitchers that we could send out there every 6th day in order to save their arms and give them time learn from their mistakes.

    Of course now that everyone is injured it doesn't make a ton of sense but I wouldn't feel bad about losing with a :

    Nicasio (when healthy)
    Edwar Cabrera
    Chacing (When healthy)

    or something like this. Let the young kids pitch. Show them they are on the team. Just don't destroy their arms

  9. A Manager and GM can only deal with what the owner gives them by way of money to spend for Pitchers, you can't make AA players any better than they are and that's all we have. Monfort is not interested in winning a World Series, that's plain. We the fans are tired of the same excuses ie; rebuilding, prospects from our farm system,they will develop,Coors Field, its a bunch of BS.
    Our core offensive players are fine, spend the money for Pitchers Monfort or get out of the way and give us an owner that wants to play ball.

  10. Fire Tracy. Fire O'Dowd. Fire the owners!

  11. The blame belongs with O'Dowd and Apodaca, but not Tracy. I can't think of a single veteran pitcher who improved his performance under Apodaca's coaching and none of our young pitchers are developing as they should. On the other hand, several Rockies became better pitchers after they left. To me, that clearly speaks to poor performance by the pitching coach.

    O'Dowd is the guy who presented Tracy with an "ace" who lost the most games in MLB last year, a 49 year old who no longer has the skills needed to compete, a guy coming back from a broken neck, another guy who has never pitched consistently well, and a couple of unproven kids.

    I believe Jim Tracy is a solid manager who players respect and want to play well for. This isn't a Clint Hurdle situation. I can't think of a single manager, past or present, who could have won games with the pitching staff Tracy has been given.

  12. Tulo having surgery tomorrow......So who is the best player in the draft next year? He'll be all ours!

  13. The majority of the problems are with Bob Apodaca. Tracy relies on him to know the status of the pitchers. How many games have we seen this year where Tracy pulls the pitcher after a 3-run homer or 2-run double that blows the game? That is all based on his trust of Apodaca.

    Bob needs to go, the 5 man rotation needs to be back on, and the Rocks need to just take their lumps this season and look forward to next.

  14. I don't believe in a boycott to show the disgust there is for this poor excuse for a MLB team. There are way too many people who will still go to the games for the Coors Field experience and to watch their hometwon team when they play here. I suggest we fans who are disgusted become very vocal at the games. When did it become illegal to heckle the owner, manager, coach and players at Coors Field? Let's make Coors Firld an uncomfortable place with some good old fashioned heckling. Keep it clean but booing, whistling loud negative comments about the situation should overtake the cocktail party atmosphere that exists there now.