Saturday, September 29, 2012

Colorado Rockies tie all-time loss record

The Rockies are finishing up their worst season ever.
The Colorado Rockies have now lost as many games as they did in 1993 and 2005.

With Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Rockies now have 95 losses with five games left to play. What that means for the team is that they still have a chance to record their first-ever 100 loss season. Regardless, this team, even with a five game winning streak to end the season, would still be tied for the worst record in club history.

With the worst record at the door step, the question for the club to answer is whether or not this team is worse than the other two teams that landed on 95 losses.

The Rockies would like to believe that talent-wise, this team is as bad as those teams were. The organization wants to pawn the disappointment onto the talent on the field. They want fans to believe that there were no management issues, that the team was devastated by injuries and that they were forced to field a Triple-A team for the great majority of the season.

There is no reason to believe that the 2012 version of Colorado Rockies is worse than either one of the other teams that lost 95 games. In 1993, the Rockies had guys like Alex Cole, Freddie Benavides and Jerald Clark in the everyday starting lineup. They also boasted Bryn Smith, Butch Henry, Kent Bottenfield and a young David Nied in their starting rotation.

The vast majority of these players were picked up in the expansion draft. They were essentially cast-offs and guys who bounced between the minor leagues and the big leagues. They were the typical expansion team.

The 2005 squad was viewed, at the time, as rock bottom for the franchise. The critics were blasting the Rockies for moving forward with their build-from-within mindset. These young players were getting their feet wet in the big leagues and their flaws were evident.

However, as bad as that season was, the talent was certainly there. That was the season in which Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes and Jeff Francis joined their fellow prospect Matt Holliday with the big league club. They struggled, but they also represented the light at the end of the tunnel.

Where those teams as good as this team? The answer is no. No, the Rockies were not loaded with talent in 2012. But they did hit a National League leading .306 at Coors Field. They also had young talent that proved to be good enough to score enough runs to win games.

Their starting pitchers were bad, but how much better could they have been if the Rockies weren't busy making excuses and saying that Coors Field was playing differently than any previous season?

If the Rockies want people to think that the reason that they have been so bad is because they have dealt with injuries, they better hope that the fans forget that when Troy Tulowitzki went out on May 30th, when the team was well buried and about two weeks away from being completely out of the race.

Even if the team wants to blame injuries, or at least hope that fans remember those injuries when thinking about failure, they are leaving out one very important aspect of team sports. Injuries happen. Every team deals with them. The job of a general manager is to provide the depth to overcome injuries and have another guy ready when someone goes down.

Of course, finding someone to replace Tulowitzki isn't going to happen, there is going to be a downgrade in talent. However, using injuries as an excuse is also an indictment that the general manager and his team didn't do their job well enough to have people to replace injured players.

The reality is, this team is an underachieving team. The 1993 team played to their talent level. The 2005 team played to the level that they should have been playing at their level of development. They were talented, but not ready to play to their potential until they had more experience.

If the Rockies want to make excuses and continue to believe that they have done everything to put their team in a position to win, they are in for many more bad years. Excuses aren't going to get them anywhere. They need to make changes, even if those changes simply bring in a new mindset that believes in accountability.

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