|This is what the Rockies have successfully made fans care about.|
What used to anger fans of the Colorado Rockies rarely causes so much as a shrug of the shoulders anymore. What used to be appointment television, where a fan would set his or her day around watching the Rockies game has turned into not remembering what time the game even starts.
The Rockies are notorious for being extremely sensitive to criticism, however, they may long for the days when they were being ripped on by sports radio hosts. Far worse than negative press and criticism is apathy, and that is exactly the territory the Rockies are bordering on right now.
After a predictable blowout loss at the hands of the far superior Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, there has literally become absolutely no reason to watch this team. Injuries certainly factor in to how bad this team is and has been, but there is no excuse for a team to play as poorly as they have played, especially in their home ballpark.
Baseball isn't like other sports. The lesser team will often win against a team with greater talent. It simply is the way the game goes. However, the Rockies have reached the point where the result isn't a question. In fact, if they happen to pull off a victory, it is almost stunning. The expectation is for them to lose every single game that they suit up for. It is a shockingly bad state of baseball at 20th and Blake.
Fans long for a winner, but they are ultimately giving into what the front office and ownership have forced them into. Instead of expecting a winner, they are forced to look at Coors Field as a fun place to watch a baseball game. The park itself has become the destination. Places like the party deck, the two areas for kids to play, the tooth trot and every other attraction that Coors Field has to offer become the draw far more than the guys on the field. Certainly there is more entertainment value in the venue than in the team.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort talks about a strong desire to win, but he won't back it up with his actions. Year-after-year, Rockies fans are forced to hear quotes in the Denver Post from Monfort either praising Dan O'Dowd for the job that he has done, or regurgitating the same old tired line about injuries that the Rockies front office has been using for years.
The problem for O'Dowd is that he needed to save the injury excuse for the 2014 season, but he used it starting in 2011 and all the way through 2013. Even though he employed a starting rotation in those years that featured Opening Day rosters that included the likes of Jamie Moyer and Jeremy Guthrie, O'Dowd was sure to blame the injured players for the team's overall failures.
In 2014, with actually some talent in the rotation, O'Dowd could have used the injuries as the reason for the team's failures. The problem is, he played the card up his sleeve years ago. It doesn't work anymore.
In the past, Rockies fans have screamed from the rooftops, no pun intended, for changes in the front office. They have posted on websites, they have begged in season ticket holder conference calls for changes to be made. All of those efforts not only fell onto deaf ears, they were rebutted with half-logic that was even more discouraging than the moves that had caused this franchise to be a staple of mediocrity.
Monfort claims that he wants to win more than anyone he knows, but he certainly seems content with losing.
Rockies fans have called for boycotts of Coors Field. However, the number of people who walk through the turnstiles and never watch a single pitch of the game greatly outweigh the number of people who are living and dying with each Rockies at-bat. If the true fan quits showing up, that ticket will simply be purchased by someone looking for something fun to do outside in the Colorado summer.
Fans have had enough. The problem is, they are starting to see that nothing they are doing is working. It is getting to the point where fans are throwing their hands up and giving up. This ownership group doesn't operate like other franchises. Monfort trusts O'Dowd to the point that he relies on his baseball knowledge and doesn't know anyone else in the game. If he were to fire O'Dowd, he wouldn't know where to start when looking for a replacement. O'Dowd has convinced Monfort that the issues with the altitude are so great that bringing someone new in would mean years of trying to catch them up to speed on the difficulties that are associated with baseball at a mile above sea level.
When Rockies fans see that nothing is going to change, that a broken model of building from within, but failing to develop any true big league talent, the first step is anger. After that, however, comes apathy. At some point, if ownership doesn't care and the front office doesn't care, why should the fans care?
With plenty of fireworks games and other teams who draw large crowds coming to Coors Field on a regular basis, there is no reason to expect the ticket sales to drop. However, if the Monfort's start to see a fan base shrink considerably, they are going to be in a world of hurt.
Angry fans, even if the team doesn't like to hear it, are passionate fans. Angry fans love their team so much and want to see them win that when they fail it wears on them. They want a winner. Teams, especially the Rockies, get agitated by these angry fans, as sometimes the anger is unfounded. However, having angry fans means that a team has fans, and that they are eager for something to cheer about.
When angry fans become apathetic, they don't care anymore. This has nothing to do with jumping off of the bandwagon, it has everything to do with un-returned love. In a relationship, if only one person is doing the pursuing, eventually that person is going to see that the other side doesn't have any interest and give up.
The Rockies ownership group is telling their passionate fans that they don't care about their desires, just keep coming out to the park and crossing fingers in hopes of success.
That won't work anymore. These Rockies don't have anymore excuses. They aren't the new kids anymore. The honeymoon with Denver is over. Fans in Colorado have waited long enough. It is a slap in the face to passionate fans for this ownership group to expect their biggest supporters to get behind a team that literally has no chance to win most of the games that they are apart of.
The Rockies are decimated by injuries, but the fact that this team has no one to step in and at least get the job done is sickening. It is such a poor excuse for a baseball team that the Rockies front office should be hiding from the fans out of shame. It doesn't matter how many injuries a team has had, to field a 25-man roster that has almost no shot of winning night-in and night-out should be a huge embarrassment. Instead, the Rockies bury their heads in the sand and get upset when someone dares to criticize them.
Bad news for the Rockies, the criticism is about to stop altogether, which means that no one will care one bit about baseball in Denver anymore.
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