Thursday, March 28, 2013

Colorado Rockies fans are growing bitter

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.
Since exiting the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion in 2009, the Rockies have fallen hard. A 2010 campaign saw them stay in the race until they packed it in around mid-September. From then on, it has simply been miserable for Rockies fans.

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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26 comments:

  1. aaron cook,puhleeese, why not pick up the phone and see what neagle and hampton are doing.they are veterans aren't they. well we can see who is running the team, not walt weiss. this season 70 wins maybe, losses do the math.

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  2. I have no problem with the low risk signings but what I do have a problem with is the total lack of effort to improve the rotation with even a mid level starter.

    Someone like Jeff Niemann from the Rays who is battling for the 5th spot in their rotation but was readily available per numerous reports.

    Instead you do absolutely nothing! Chachin is considered the ace but had an 8+ ERA this spring, the major piece from the Ubaldo trade is back in AAA, Nicasio has one pitch as the others are still developing and we shouldn't complain?
    We are bitter as we are expected to put our dollars into this club when the organization stands pat and does zilch.

    The ownership is obviously happy with filling the seats with fans from the popular opponents this year that are coming to town (Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs) than trying to be competitive.

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  3. Yawn the Rockies signed more unwanted starting pitchers and haven't developed a starting pitcher since Ubaldo. The Monforts will draw three million fans and that is good enough. 20 years and the Rockies haven't won the BP West. Yeah I would say Rockies fans are absolutely right to be bitter.

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  4. I don't know which fans you're talking to, but opening day is sold out, can't get tickets. Does that sound like fans that are growing bitter? Yes, the front office is ridiculous and make stupid decisions more often than not, but it's the fair weather fans that get bitter, not those of us that are loyal to our guys to the end.

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    1. Let's get real, opening day is nothing but one big party for 90% of the people not fans.It's just an excuse for an afternoon off work to party.I know I've observed it many times until the Monforts jacked the ticket prices out of sight and the screwed up system to purchase tickets for real fans.

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    2. BINGO!!!! I was a season ticket holder for two years. Fortunately it was 2009 when they made the playoffs and 2010 which sucked!!! Opening day is a "I need to be seen at the game, get out of work early. Most people drink until they can't walk and only half the crowd pays attention to the game. The real fan base strats with game two at home. And the attendance drops.

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  5. It's true, it's only the people who THINK they know baseball who get bitter. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing their asinine comments. It's always "Ubaldo this" and "Ubaldo that," when the reality is that he had one good season and then struggled just as much. I can't stand all the wannabe baseball fans who complain so much during spring training, when spring training doesn't mean a THING. These are the same people who jumped on the bandwagon in 2007 and 2009 after barely following the Rox. Are their problems in the organization, absolutely. But showing your ignorance of the sport isn't going to do anything to help.

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  6. Oh geez where do I start????? First of all Rockies fans the last time I checked everyone starts with a 0-0 record to start the season. Please let us remember this is a marathon and not a sprint which is what makes baseball the purest sport of them all. There will be highs and lows this year no doubt however let's not forget about the quality products we do have on the field. A solid outfielder named Cargo. The best shortstop in the game in Tulo. A healthy and returning Todd Helton. Which also makes Cudeyer a better player if he doesn't have to wear the first base mit and can focus on playing a steady outfield and getting better pitches to hit at the plate as well. Chris Nelson is in a make or break year and knows as much so he will be focused and ready to give his best effort yet as well. Yes opening day is sold out and always should be every year in every city. That part is solely placed on the fans and should be. If you can't get the juices flowing and feel the passion for a line drive double or a diving catch after not seeing it for 6 months then your not American. Please never compare us to the Cubs Redsox or Yankees. It is just not fair. Their markets are much bigger and they have the rich cable deals and money to spend which affords them the luxury to sign a guy for big bucks and miss and still not be financially strapped. Furthermore all three of those teams have twice and more the payroll of the Roxs and will finish behind us record wise due to overspending and handcuffing their franchises for the next 3 years. I never want to be put in that spot. Come on Rockies fans sit tight and let this thing play itself out the first month we can always upgrade at the end of April if necessary.A new no nonsense manager and the embarrassment of last year will motivate these guys and I predict we will be no less then 500 on May 1st. Which is where we want to be as the new management and rules start to sync in and give these guys time to acclimate and gel together.

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    1. You're right it's a marathon and the Rockies are Mary Decker......

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  7. Jeff in Ft CollinsMarch 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Dear Michael,

    I think your comments are dead on. I question who the fair weather no nothing about baseball fans are on the front of these comments. We have all met those guys who bitch and complain in the stands and even if the roxs win a 1-0 game they would be upset that we have not traded for Sandoval because he would have hit 4 home runs today and we would have won 5-0 and that would be better right? What morons! A win is a win and they will never be satisfied. We have all met these guys that point out everything that is wrong with everything and everybody else but take no time to clean their own backyard up. My assessment of these clowns are that they are the one dating the beautiful alcoholic girl that no one else wants to date. (We all know a good time Sally in our lives at one time or another) These guys rag on their girl and point out inefficiencies in everyone else life while turning a blind eye to theirs citing this time it's gonna be different guys she said and does all the right things for the last 24 hours and she is so hot and is done with the bottle and loves me. Meanwhile you take her to Burger King for a quick make up lunch and turn a blind eye to the flask of rum being dumped into the diet coke you bought her. Quit bitching idiots and clean up your own backyard and either support us and then judge after you see the product or find a new team. Denver doesn't need or want you clowns.

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  8. These last few posts make me wonder who you gullible fools are? Stop with the kool-aid drinking as you just sound foolish.

    Do you think the Rockies management have a successful plan in place? They repeat the same plan every year and then start winging-it like the 75 pitch count 4 man like last year.

    Check out the successful lower payroll franchises like the Rays and Braves and what do they have in common? A good developmental plan for their pitching. Other than the Latin pipeline we have hardly had a successful drafted pitcher come through the system. When the Rox do supplement their rotation they pick up low risk dumpster diving retreads.

    So for the above posters who said we should blindly support the team no matter what then you are probably the same people who settle for everything in life.

    I put my money on this team with a season ticket package and do expect more. If you want to call this whining then so be it...I just expect better for a product that I spend alot of money on and I put the blame on the front office for not trying to improve their ways and expect another 2.7 million seats sold.

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  9. The problem is not the moves made over the past couple of days. Obviously, something needed to be done and it appears that the owners plan has been to pick up over the hill castoffs from other teams prior to the start of the season. The real problem is ownership and its refusal to acknowledge that the people they have hired to judge talent have failed miserably, both in the draft and in free agency. I have heard that they are more interested in retaining people who have the same religious views as theirs, rather than based upon ability. Somebody tell me how we can fire owners?

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  10. Good story. You would expect huge changes after last year and we get nothing. When the owners don't care if the team wins and fans keep going to the games anyway - why spend the money? The Rockies are estimated to spend 147 million dollars less this year than the Dodgers and 35 million less than the Giants. In our Division only the Padres spend less.

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  11. Jeff in Ft CollinsMarch 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    What a great solution and comparison Sean. Why don't we just add 13 million more people to our local population and why we are at it why don't we just raise the average annual income an additional 40 thousand a year per person and 60 thousand per household. Problem solved. Now we can compete with the Dodgers and Giants with payroll.Better yet let's just triple the price of our tickets that should make us compete as well and you won't here one fan complain about that or find that attendance go down at all. I am glad we have a math major and a fantastic analytical mind such as yours logging on and giving their two cents. After conquering this do you think you might have time to sharpen your pencil and solve the world hunger problems as well? Maybe even balance federal deficit for us?

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  12. As long as 30,000 to 40,000 fans fill seats, what incentive does ownership have to upgrade. Just put a glorified AAA team on field and they will come.

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  13. I really can't stand our management. They don't give a damn about winning. It's all about grabbing money form the Rockie fans. We love our team and will keep supporting them because we are great fans. Montfort's meat packers and O'Dummie O'Dowd HAVE TO GO!!!! Heck let's go get Manny Corpus, Franklin Morales, and the rest of the has beens. If I were Tulo and Cargo I would demand to be traded to a real team. I'm sure the Rockies will accomplish that soon. I love baseball and now I have to live through another crappy season. I'm starting to feel like a Cubs fan.

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  14. MLB commissioner please declare marshall law and remove the monforts/odowd from major league baseball ownership,now! need a singed petition? just ask.

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    1. I agree with you. It seems like sports fans in Colorado are always looking for the next John Elway, no matter what sport they are talking about.

      While I am not a huge fan of Aaron Cook, having another low risk veteran pitcher around cannot hurt. People act as though the Rockies front office is cheap, but forget how hard it is to lure a premier starting pitcher here. If you were a top of the rotation type pitcher, why would you come here? If you look back at the Rockies history, you see a long list of solid pitchers coming here and watching their careers take a serious turn for the worse. Why take that risk, even if the Rockies were willing to shell out the money?

      Roy Halladay is a Colorado native, but does anyone think there was a chance that he would have signed here, even if the Rockies were willing to put out the money? Not a chance.

      Like you, I have had my issues with the Rockies front office, but signing low risk veterans is not one of them.

      Honestly, the hostility toward Aaron Cook - and toward you for defending his signing - seems to be less about the Rockies front office, and more of a classic case of ginger abuse. Come on people, even thought they don't do well in direct sunlight, have short tempers, and are awkward in social situations, redheads are basically people too - give them a break.

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  15. Over under estimate on how many games out of first place the Rockies will be at the end of Memorial Day 2013? I say over 10 games out.

    All this area is asking for the Rockies to do is play meaningful games until the Broncos open up camp in late July. The Rockies will be close to 20 games out by July 4.

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  16. Broncos really? Another brilliant statement. Why can't you guys understand that Bryan makes good points? Right or wrong he understands baseball. What I want is another team ie the Broncos to lose and be expected to win only to leave me wanting more with a wait till next year mantra just like every Cubs fan. Bryan your great baseball mind and understanding the way reality is so refreshing. You get reality over the other morons on here. Hey anonymous morons your bath water is running by your mother. Better jump in the tub or you won't get any pudding tonight. Dear morons. Bryan gets baseball you dont!

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  17. Only people I know that go to Rockies game nowadays only go to have a hotdog, get drunk and enjoy the Rocky Mountain view!

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    1. That is exactly what i go for.. If i can find a cheap seat it somewhere to go have a couple beers and a dog. Or i go to see the visiting team

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  18. you want us to support the 'Miserly Monfort Miseries'..........
    NO THANKS.

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  19. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/51365732/ns/sports-baseball/

    THIS is how you build a team. Out-scout the other guys. Work on figuring out what kind of pitching *does* work here, and draft lots and lots of those guys. Most won't pan out, but some will. Sure, the team will stink in the short term, and you can sign retreads to fill the roster if you want, but until you can find and draft real talent, you'll never get anywhere. Good free agent pitchers won't want to come here, even at exorbitant prices. So free agency should only be used for filling specific spots, not for building the team. Take a long view.

    Success in baseball is just much, much different than in football, hockey or basketball. A lot of fans want a big-name signing, but that's going to make the difference; improving the overall quality of the team will, and smart (stats-oriented) scouting is how you find better players.

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  20. tulo should go! he is a glory hound who hasn't played a full season yet! why should we continue to pay a guy who is always injured? i say good riddance. the only true player on this pitiful team is cargo. i was a season ticket holder for 20 years. i did not renew this year. i don't have any desire to step foot in coors field ever again to watch these bums. by the way, this is the 21st season , not the 20th! owners can't even get that right. pitiful franchise

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  21. The Monforts know nothing about Baseball, they are the embarrassment of MLB and they are prostituting Cargo, Tulo and a few other up and comers with their horrible and greedy ownership. They are a total joke and do not deserve this team!

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