|The 2012 Colorado Rockies season came to an end on Wednesday.|
The Rockies ended on a positive note, winning both their final game and their final road series of the season. Despite that fact, the team still recorded 98 losses, a record for the franchise that was set in both 1993, the inaugural season, and 2005, the height of the "GenR" movement that eventually led to the 2007 World Series appearance.
It is easy to get negative about this team. Bring up the front office with a group of Rockies fans and it almost certainly will bring agreement that significant change needs to happen. Bring up management and many believe that Jim Tracy is just as big of an issue as Dan O'Dowd and his front office team.
However, in an otherwise terrible season, there were positives that give hope for a brighter future, one that might be good enough to extend a season in the near future beyond game 162.
Jordan Pacheco was perhaps the brightest spot for this franchise. Initially he was seen as a stop-gap at third base, a guy who would allow Nolan Arenado, the club's top prospect, more time to get better at the Double-A level. Pacheco had never played third base, but the Rockies figured they could put him there and deal with some bad defense.
No one imagined that a rookie, playing a brand new position, would be able to block out the mental stress of both of those factors and go on to hit .309. That batting average was good enough to lead the Rockies and finish 9th overall in the National League.
The questions about his defense? He ended up being better than expected and continued to get better as the season went on.
Another rookie, Wilin Rosario turned heads. His record-setting 28 home runs were the most in Rockies history. He logged 71 RBIs, doing all of that with only 392 at-bats. Given 500 at-bats, Rosario might have done enough to garner the Rookie of the Year award, despite playing for a last place team.
In addition to Rosario and Pacheco, Chris Nelson broke through and showed that he can be of significant value in the big leagues, Tyler Colvin got a fresh start and showed a great swing in a Rockies uniform, and DJ LeMahieu has shown that the depth in the infield is very good.
Overall, however, the last game of the season comes with a certain amount of excitement. It is an opportunity for the team to take a step back and see what they are doing. They can evaluate their talent and their way of going about things without the distraction of a terrible season going on right under their noses. Changes are sure to come. The depth of those changes may end up determining how many Rockies fans return in 2013. However, the good news is that those changes are on the horizon, they are no longer something that will be talked about as a future event. Rockies fans can bury their memories and move forward.
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On a personal note, I wanted to thank everyone who has commented on the site, those who have emailed me directly and the people I have met in person or interacted with on Facebook or Twitter.
As bad as this season has been, I think back to the days in the early 2000's when Colorado Rockies fans simply didn't exist. The team was an afterthought to the majority of Denver sports fans, who worshiped their Broncos and killed time between football season by drinking beer at Coors Field.
Rockies fans often get accused of their lack of passion. They are mocked for their lack of knowledge. To a certain degree, the fans at Coors Field deserve this criticism. However, I can say, through this website, that the Rockies have many awesome fans. In 2005, the Rockies weren't even talked about. No one cared that they were on their way to 95 wins. Seven years later, a team that lost 98 games was followed on a daily basis by passionate fans who were eager to see their team win and be respectable.
Many of the current fans are viewed locally, or even by the front office of the Rockies as negative, that they weren't true fans because they didn't stick by their team in the bad times. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. Teams should be eager for fans that question every single move they make, second guess them at every opportunity and are loud about their opinions. The passion that oozes from fans like that is contagious. Those are the types of fans who will be loyal forever. They may be negative, but they care. The last thing a team wants is fans who simply don't care. Rockies fans are passionate. They root for their team, they get to know their players and they fall in love with them, regardless of whether the team wins 98 games or loses 98 games.
All of that to say, thank you for continuing to come back to Rockies Review. It has been tough, but fun. Continue to check back in throughout the offseason. I look forward to an eventful offseason that leads to a more promising 2013.
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