|Dick Monfort either thinks Rockies fans are dumb, or it's the other way around.|
Adding insult to injury, the Rockies "tried" to avoid a three game sweep at the hands of the Mets by putting a lineup on the field that looked more like a split-squad road game in the middle of March during spring training. Six of the nine starters weren't on the Opening Day roster.
The Rockies had an outfield that consisted of Charlie Culberson, a lifetime infielder who is just learning the outfield in left, Corey Dickerson, a rookie who made his big league debut six weeks ago, and Charlie Blackmon in right, another player doing a good job earning a big league roster spot, but not exactly an All-Star.
With Dexter Fowler on the bench, it would make sense to leave Troy Tulowitzki on the bench as well, right? Apparently so. Jonathan Herrera was penciled in at shortstop. If Jordan Pacheco was available to play first base, it is almost certain that Michael Cuddyer would have had the day off as well.
The day these guys got their start was also the day that the Rockies called Jeff Manship to the big leagues to make his Rockies debut in place of injured right-hander Tyler Chatwood. Manship apparently arrived in New York City at 5 am to make the spot start. Manship was the available pitcher in Triple-A and was lucky enough to get the call. He possessed a 6-8 record in Colorado Springs with a 4.85 ERA.
Major League Baseball teams have been rolling get-away day lineups out onto the field. It is a chance to rest up the everyday guys and get the guys on the bench four at-bats and keep their rhythm. So why does it matter that the Rockies did it on Thursday?
The answer comes down to the fact that just three days prior, Rockies owner Dick Monfort told MLB.com that he believed, and he knows that the guys in the clubhouse believe, that the Rockies are just one good run away from being back in contention. Well, if that is true, shouldn't a team that is 12 games out of the race with 47 games to play be putting tiredness aside and realizing that their backs are up against the wall? Shouldn't they be playing with a sense of urgency, realizing that they essentially have to play .800 baseball the rest of the way to actually have a chance? There simply aren't enough games remaining in the season to give guys a rest. The best lineup has to be on the field every day.
The frustration for Colorado Rockies fans with the front office boils down to confusion. Make no mistake, very few Rockies fans are delusional enough to actually believe that the team has a shot to go to the postseason. However, when the owner states that the team is still in the race, then just three days later watches his team roll out the lineup that the Rockies did on Thursday, fans feel lied to.
Fans don't like feeling like an owner or a member of the front office is intentionally being deceptive to his paying customers. Of course Monfort and the rest of the front office aren't going to admit that they have given up on this season. However, there are ways to say that games are still important without alluding to a postseason run.
The comment is a 180 degree difference from the message that is being sent from the team on the field. Monfort having the gall to say those things and expect fans to believe it is a slap in the face to the intelligence of those who have invested time and money into this team.
Then comes the scary part. What if Monfort isn't saying those things to placate fans? What if he actually believes it? What if he thinks that this team really does still have a chance? Is he that ignorant to the game of baseball that he is simply waiting for the end-of-year run?
If Monfort is smug and thinks that fans will love hearing his optimism and not actually do the math and realize that this team is out of it, he should be ashamed of himself. There are far too many good baseball fans in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region that know the game enough to know that his statement was ridiculous.
Unfortunately, however, the first option is far better for Rockies fans than the latter. If Monfort actually believes there is still a chance, the Rockies are in real trouble. If he doesn't understand the game enough to know that this team is neither good enough to go to the postseason, nor close enough in the race to make a comeback, then he has no business hiring, and ultimately firing, the guys who are making the decisions. If he were to decide that the Bill Geivett/Dan O'Dowd combination isn't good enough, who would he even interview? Would he even know who other potential general manager candidates are?
Maybe the answer to the O'Dowd era lasting as long as it has finally has been answered. O'Dowd has the easiest job in baseball because he can make excuses every year, come up with hair-brained ideas like the piggy-back pitching situation of 2012 and the altitude-causes-injuries-to-pitchers-arms excuse. Anything O'Dowd says must be true, because he knows baseball.
If Monfort is truly ignorant to how baseball works, no record will be bad enough for the owner to clean house. He wouldn't know what to do next. Instead, he buys into the excuses and thinks he has great men in charge.
The only hope for Rockies fans is that Monfort thinks that his fan base is stupid, and that the opposite of that isn't true.
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