|The Colorado Rockies deserve their fair share of criticism|
When I started this blog, it was because I felt that I had different viewpoints on the Colorado Rockies than many of the people who were commenting on Denver Post articles, or in other forums on the internet. It was my way to express my viewpoints, and in-turn, give others like myself an avenue to see some different Rockies perspectives.
Over the course of time, as the Rockies have gone from good, to mediocre, to bad, to really bad and have started the road to recovery. I have read plenty of blogs. Many are very good. Purple Row, the biggest Rockies blog, is a phenomenal blog full of more information than most people have time to digest. Other blogs are full of bias and can't see their team objectively. My goal was to provide a viewpoint different than a fan, who falls in love with every player and dismisses their faults, and provide an honest look at the Rockies from someone who follows every move.
Writing a blog quickly makes the author realize that there is a wealth of evidence against him. It serves as a the greatest source of accountability that is possible. Wavering, perhaps the way a fan would, is something that quickly gets spotted and called out. It forces the writer to take an objective viewpoint.
That means that, regardless of loyalties, opinions or other feelings about players, front office members, or owners, I strive to view each move independently. I force myself to see through my feelings and write from a logical perspective.
During 2012, the Rockies deserved all the criticism that they received. The organization reeked of mediocrity. The front office was in disarray. They instituted a pitching theory that couldn't have been more ridiculous. When they were questioned about it, they got very sensitive. As bad as the team was, there was no accountability taken, from the owners to the coaches to the players, no one mentioned a lack of hustle, lack of heart or lack of talent on the field, everyone made excuses. They made excuses about injuries, the altitude, and anything else they could use as an out for being a terrible team.
Fans had every right to criticize the team that they rooted for and paid good money to watch.
However, at some point, a fan has to decide if they are going to continue being upset, or if they are going to allow the process to take place and see if their team's front office can figure it out.
That is where I feel the current fan base sits right now.
Fans don't trust Dan O'Dowd and Dick Monfort. They shouldn't. Those two have done nothing to earn the trust of their fans, and skepticism is acceptable until the Rockies prove they are respectable. As the trade deadline approaches though, Rockies fans, and even some in the media, are screaming for the Rockies to make a move and go out and get an "ace" to shore up the pitching.
That theory is generally met with cynicism and a snarky comment about how cheap the Rockies owners are and how they don't care about winning.
Here is the reality. Aces don't grow on trees. There isn't a team in the league that doesn't want to improve their starting pitching. No one is going to trade you their ace, unless they are so far out of the race that they don't believe they have a chance to go to the postseason not only this season, but next season as well.
The Rays aren't going to trade David Price to the Rockies. The Yankees aren't going to put CC Sabathia in purple pinstripes any time soon.
Why won't those moves happen? The answer is simple. The Rockies would have to trade not only prospects, but major contributors at the Major League level to those teams to even attempt to convince them to think about dealing one of those guys. In all reality, those teams probably wouldn't even consider that.
Fans have started to clamor for the Rockies to trade Michael Cuddyer for a couple of starting pitchers. Well, this isn't fantasy baseball. As hot as Cuddyer has been, he is still a 34-year-old outfielder with about $15 million remaining on his contract through 2014. Cuddyer isn't going to net an ace, let alone a No.3 starter.
A good example of what teams are willing to give up for an "ace" is what the Indians traded for Ubaldo Jimenez in the 2011 season. Even though they haven't panned out, Cleveland gave up their two previous first round draft picks, two guys who had absolutely dominated the minor league levels and had every scout in baseball talking about the pitching future of the Cleveland Indians. These guys weren't good prospects, they were two of the best prospects the Indians had seen in 10 years. By the way, it took two additional players to get Jimenez to Cleveland.
With all due respect to Jimenez, calling him an ace after his struggles in the first half of 2011 and then following the trade would be a huge stretch.
That trade underscores the difficulty of a team wanting to acquire an ace.
Trading Cuddyer has been a topic oft-discussed by Rockies fans. If the Rockies were to deal their Charlie Hustle veteran, it would be a bad sign for the club. Any trade of Cuddyer will only come if the Rockies don't view themselves as contenders and want to sell some pieces for prospects. Cuddyer won't bring back a Major Leaguer, the Rockies would likely get a good, not great, prospect, and an additional fringe prospect for him. Neither guy would be ready for big league action in 2014.
When clamoring for a trade, no one seems to suggest names. No one suggests a pitcher who might be on the market. People just want the Rockies to make a trade to bring someone in. The heart of the matter is respectable. These fans want their team to win and win now. However, realism has to be a part of that.
The names being talked about on the trade market are Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza. Both pitchers are very good. Calling them aces might be a big stretch. Garza is a career 60-62 pitcher with a 3.84 ERA. Good, not great. Nolasco is a career 80-72 pitcher with a 4.45 ERA.
Would either of those guys make the Rockies the favorite to win the NL West, let alone the pennant? Doubtful.
It is fine to want the Rockies to make a move to get better. There isn't a fan who doesn't want their team to get better. But take the next step. Propose a trade. Talk about some prospects that might be ripe to bring back a contributor at the big league level, and talk about who that contributor might be.
At some point, however, getting upset that the Rockies haven't traded a fringe minor league prospect for David Price is just as ignorant as the front office blaming Coors Field for pitchers needing to throw only 75 pitches.
Be a fan, be slightly ridiculous, but be educated. Be ready to bring some names to the table when talking about trades, especially if there is going to be criticism of the guys who haven't made that trade yet.
If I am wrong, please talk some sense into me. Please let me know. I love hearing other opinions, but please be ready for a rebuttal. I can be convinced, and I respect a good argument.
OK. Rant over. Thanks for reading. I do often wonder why anyone chooses to read this blog on a daily basis, but the numbers say that some of you do, and even if we disagree, I appreciate you reading Rockies Review. So thank you.
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