The Colorado Rockies are about to enter a season in which even the most optimistic fans think they won't be a .500 team.
|Aaron Cook returned to Colorado on a minor league deal.|
The continuous failures of the Rockies, both on the field and in the front office, have worn Rockies fans thin. After losing a franchise-record 98 games in 2012, the team did very little to improve during the offseason. They entered spring training with little improvement to a starting rotation that was historically bad.
Fans have every right to be upset. Baseball is an investment for fans. With roughly three off-days per month, a dedicated fan doesn't spend his or her summer hiking or fishing in the Rocky Mountains, they spend those beautiful summer nights huddled around their television, watching their team play...and in recent years, lose.
That suffering breeds cynicism. That is fair. Fans deserve to be cynical. However, at some point fans need to be rational, instead of simply letting their emotions determine their reaction.
The final week of spring training has been the greatest example of that. On Sunday, the Rockies announced that they signed starting pitcher Jon Garland, who had recently been released by the Mariners. Garland had a good spring, but the Mariners weren't ready to put him in their rotation, so they allowed him to seek employment elsewhere. The nine-time double digit winner landed with the Rockies.
Despite coming off of injury, the move is a good one. It poses absolutely zero risk for the Rockies. They are paying him a base salary of $500,000, just $20,000 more than the league minimum and $300,000 less than they are paying Jonathan Herrera. The sinkerballer has no downside. He brings a veteran arm to the rotation that needed help from anywhere they could get it.
Instead of taking it for what it is, a flyer that the Rockies didn't have to take, fans were sarcastic and cynical in their response. They didn't want Garland, they want CC Sabathia.
On Thursday, the Rockies signed an old friend, Aaron Cook. The redheaded righty had just been released by the Phillies after a decent spring training. The Rockies signed Cook to a minor league deal, and he will start the season in Colorado Springs.
Again, fans reacted with disdain for the move.
Fans have a right to be frustrated with the front office. They have a right to not have faith in the people making decisions for this club. However, it gets ridiculous when fans act like the front office actually believes that these signings are going to make them contenders.
No one is saying that having Garland and Cook in the fold is going to make the Rockies World Champions. However, take a step back and look at the moves. The Rockies starting pitching is the biggest question mark heading into the 2013 season. Not only is the talent thin, the depth is also lacking. So what does it hurt to have a few extra arms in the system that might be able to hold their own for a few starts? Would it really be a mockery to have Cook start four or five games if someone in the rotation gets hurt? Doesn't it make sense to have a veteran, even if he is past his prime, to start every fifth day over a guy who isn't ready to be in the big leagues yet?
The moves aren't going to make the Rockies contenders, but they also aren't going to make the team any worse.
Are there issues in the front office of the Rockies? Absolutely. However, fans should focus on the actual bad moves that are coming from 20th & Blake. When they complain about low-risk moves, they lose credibility.
The reality is, the Rockies already tried to sign the big name free agent pitchers. It didn't work. They already tried to trade for pitching. It didn't work. They have tried to develop young pitchers. It has been spotty at best. So why not try to sign guys from the scrap heap? It certainly can't hurt to try.
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