|Bill Geivett will be on the excuse-tour shortly.|
After a loss to the Orioles, dropping the second game of the three-game set 8-4 behind another sloppy performance, highlighted by a bad error from Troy Tulowitzki that led to a seven run 3rd inning, things are becoming very clear for where this team needs to improve.
However, those improvements that are so obvious to many of the people who follow this team day-in and day-out won't be acknowledged by this front office. In fact, there will be a myriad of excuses that will be told to the media and fans alike.
The first excuse the Rockies will make is to point to injuries. Dan O'Dowd, Bill Geivett, and Dick Monfort will be quick to point out how well the club was doing before Tulowitzki went down in mid-June with a broken rib. They will then point to the poor record with him on the shelf.
After the injury to Tulowitzki is mentioned, there will be subtle mentions of guys not necessarily being injured, but little nagging problems keeping a player from playing to his full ability. The first name will be Carlos Gonzalez. The Rockies front office will say that, even though he only spent two or three weeks on the disabled list, the injury to his thumb essentially zapped his power and limited him to a slap hitter. They will point to that as a reason that they couldn't win more games.
The next name will be Dexter Fowler. The Rockies will talk about his wrist injury and how he bravely played through the energy, but all of those home runs that he hit in April stopped once he hurt his wrist. They will say it with a tone of "if only we weren't so unfortunate."
They will quickly turn that conversation into the one about how many more games they won after losing 98 a year ago. They will talk about it being progress, despite losing several players to injury.
After the injury talks, they will start to point to ineffectiveness by some of the players. They will say that they made a wise move to bring in Jon Garland at the end of spring training to fill the hole that was the fifth spot in the rotation, but he wasn't able to get the job done. They will say that he had a few good starts, but then couldn't figure it out anymore.
When Garland is done being mentioned, they will point to Roy Oswalt. They will say that right when he was starting to get his dominance back, he suffered a leg injury that rendered him essentially useless until the Rockies were long out of the race.
They will move on from Garland and Oswalt and talk about how disappointed they were that Juan Nicasio, despite showing his talent on a few occasions, still struggles with command and isn't to the level that they expected. They still believe in him, they will say, but they were shocked at how he failed to take the next step. They will follow that up with a reminder that he was injured in his rookie campaign, made a miraculous comeback, then was injured in June of 2012, so he was essentially a rookie.
After Nicasio takes his blame, O'Dowd or any other member of the front office will pin the failures of this team on an easy target, Drew Pomeranz. They will say that the lefty who possessed the most talent of anyone failed to get his head in the right place. They will say that despite all of the right things being told to him, how he simply didn't take the advice of the Rockies development team and paid the price for it.
When the club officials are done blaming the players and their injuries, there will be plenty more reasons why they couldn't succeed. They will say that, even if everything had panned out the way they expected, that the Dodgers simply went on a run, much like the Rockies in 2009, that made it their year. They will be quick to point out that their record after the All-Star Break was so good that no one stood a chance.
Then they will talk about how they like the team and how they see so much talent coming up through the farm system. They will talk about Chad Bettis and how he had flashes of brilliance in the midst of being forced to make the jump from Double-A to the big leagues. They will talk about Eddie Butler and how he pitched in the Futures Game and how he could make a big splash. After they mention that, they will be very quick to remind fans of how well they did in the draft by acquiring Jonathan Gray, who looks to be the real deal and could quickly impact the big leagues.
In the end, the Rockies front office and ownership will make no mention of underachievement. They will never acknowledge that this team should have played better than they did. They won't mention that the approach at the plate was terrible, or that the fielding is still sloppy. They most certainly won't mention the lack of options they had both in the fifth spot in the rotation, and on the bench late in games when they needed a big hit.
The unfortunate thing is, this team makes so many excuses that it is easy to predict which ones they will pull out. Make no mistake, the excuse tour should start shortly. Unfortunately, the Rockies owners won't be the ones squelching it, they will be working in full force to make sure everyone is aware of the excuses.
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