Monday, July 7, 2014

Don't expect changes no matter how bad things get for the Colorado Rockies

Tyler Matzek was better than his line suggested on Monday.
Apparently Major League Baseball likes to torture Colorado Rockies fans.

Down 6-1 with no chance to catch up to the lowly San Diego Padres at Coors Field on Monday, the rains came down and it looked like fans might be spared the torture of watching the final two innings of another miserable game. Instead, after nearly one hour, play resumed and the Rockies predictably went through the motions and got the game over with.

The bad news comes later, but the good news comes in an unexpected form for anyone who may have not watched the game, but checked out the box score later.

Tyler Matzek pitched a very good game. He was efficient and was able to work out of jams. He got into trouble in the 7th inning, when Walt Weiss decided he was going to go to his trusty bullpen to get out of the inning. Predictably, Matt Belisle came in and quickly gave up a two-run triple, giving Matzek five earned runs in six innings. His performance, however, was far better than his line suggested.

Matzek was great through five innings, giving up only one run. He struggles with command, but shows the talent that made him a No.1 pick in 2009. He struggled throughout his minor league career, but may be the kind of pitcher who blossoms when the pressure of making it to the big leagues is gone.

Beyond Matzek, however the Rockies had very little to be excited about. The Rockies lifeless offense garnered only six hits and scored one run, courtesy of a solo home run from Drew Stubbs. It was yet another night to forget for the Rockies.

With the grumble from Rockies fans growing louder and louder, logic suggests that the Rockies must make changes soon. Logic suggests that someone's job is on the line, if for not other reason than a message being sent that this type of losing is unacceptable, with no room for excuses.

Fans are starting to believe that will happen. Whether it is right away, or in the offseason, the campaigns for Rockies fans rooting for the team to lose 100 games are returning. The idea is that if the Rockies are absolutely terrible, Dick Monfort will finally pull the trigger on much needed changes in the front office.

Rockies fans shouldn't hang their hat on traditional logic with this organization.

If fans think that 100 losses will be the magic number for the Monforts to pull the trigger on changes, they might be in for a huge surprise. The reality is, the one thing that Dick Monfort is more than loyal is stubborn. He refuses to learn the game of baseball well enough to understand that his front office is pulling the wool over his eyes every year.

Despite his overall quietness, it won't be a huge surprise if Dick Monfort makes an appearance soon. It may be via email to season ticket holders, or on a season ticket holder conference call, but this is about the time of year when Monfort makes an appearance to explain to the public why his team is so awful once again. Instead of being really mad about it, Monfort will recite a well-worded line that clearly has been composed for him. He will talk about the amount of injuries that the Rockies have dealt with and the fact that no one could survive with a starting rotation that has used 13 different starting pitchers before the All-Star break.

The reality is, Monfort doesn't know baseball, so he is at a loss for who he would hire if he were to make changes. He relies on Dan O'Dowd to tell him the in's and the out's of the game, so firing him would take away the only source of baseball knowledge that he has. If O'Dowd does end up getting fired by the Rockies, he should go into some sort of sales job. He would immediately be at quota. He has been re-selling the same snake oil to his owner for the past five years.

At this point, even if the Rockies lose 100 games, it would be more surprising if Monfort pulled the trigger on the O'Dowd-Geivett trio and found a way to get a new baseball person into the office at Coors Field. The reality is, Monfort completely believes in O'Dowd and buys every excuse that he is given.

When O'Dowd tells Monfort that the Brett Anderson acquisition was the Rockies version of the Peyton Manning signing, as Monfort told the media during the ballpark walk-through before the season, Monfort believes it. The hard truth is, Dick Monfort didn't know who Brett Anderson was until O'Dowd told him that he had traded Drew Pomeranz for him in the offseason.

When O'Dowd tells Monfort that if the team could have stayed healthy that they would have won 90 games, Monfort has no other source to tell him that it isn't quite accurate, so he believes him. When the Rockies, predictably, deal with injuries, O'Dowd reminds Monfort that it isn't his fault all of the talent that he brought in is on the disabled list. Monfort probably has no clue that Brett Anderson started just 30 games in the past three seasons before coming to Colorado.

Monfort and Rockies apologists will quickly forget that, despite all of the devastating injuries, the first man up into the starting rotation was one Franklin Morales. While the talent is clearly in Double-A still getting seasoned, the fact that the Rockies sold their fans on a chance at the playoffs in 2014, then had the audacity to allow Morales to be the first man up when injuries occur is a slap in the face.

The sad reality is, Rockies fans shouldn't get their hopes up for any front office changes. Monfort believes that O'Dowd is the best general manager in the game. He believes that he possesses far more knowledge than other baseball minds, and if the injuries hadn't happened, the Rockies would be running away with the National League West.

Monfort will buy all of the stories and simply said, will go along with everything that O'Dowd tells him. What that means for Rockies fans is that not only will O'Dowd be back, but Monfort will also believe that fans should be thrilled to have him back, as it clearly isn't his fault that the club struggled once again, it was all because of injuries.

Sadly, for Rockies fans, the only option isn't to root for the team to lose for things to get as bad as possible. Rockies fans only option, if they choose to keep rooting for the long-term success of this team, is to hope that they are wrong about the Rockies front office. They have to hope that in a year they are eating crow and that O'Dowd has assembled a quality team. They have to hope that they are dead wrong about everything that they see regarding the culture of this franchise. Simply stated, the Rockies aren't making any changes, so the best option is to hope things get better instead of worse.

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  1. Hope is the word of choice of the Rockies. When you have no clue and no chance all you have is hope. STOP GOING TO GAMES. When ownership hurts financially changes will come. I want to see 80s Fulton County Stadium attendance (when the Braves were REALLY bad) at Coors. Like less than 10,000 in attendance each home game for the rest of the season. These clowns need a wake up call.

  2. David

    you always offer honest commentary. It's a shame you don't get air time on Root Sports. They always toe the company line and talk about unicorns and rainbows.

    1. No kidding. I keep looking to see if spilbourghs was fired for his honesty the other night.

  3. I agree with the comment above. David, your commentary is extraordinarily spot on. I come from a sports background even though I have made it known that I have been a Meteorologist in the media for over 30 years. I played baseball into College, and my brother Mark is Sports Director for Fox in Houston. I know great commentary when I see it and read it. Would love to see you on Root and would love to see you have your own show on 850 KOA. You are honest and to the point with your comments. And it just so happens I agree with every word you write. In one little instance, though, I do believe that if the Rockies lose over 100 games and maybe even 110, a brain-infected Momfort has to take notice. This team really does stink, and if they lose out before the All Star break to the likes of SD and MN, two very lower tier teams, then this whole crap about playing the last 30 games against upper tier opponents as an excuse to lose goes out the window. And let me remind everyone before we played these top teams the last 30 games, the Rockies were 6 and 17 against crap teams like AZ and other lower tier teams.

    So maybe just maybe the worst record in baseball will make a dent in the hard heads of the Momforts. This team really looks like they are going through the motions. Tulo has looked very ordinary lately. I think he's lost interest too.

    I think Weiss, O'Dowd and the rest of the management need to pack their bags. Time to clean house and start from scratch. Until then, lose on, because that is what the team in purple pinstripes will keep on doing until big changes are made.

    David, I'll also post this on your Facebook page.

    Keep up the great writing! It is very much appreciated.

  4. I would love to see and hear David commenting from the ROOT desk. However, we all know something like that is as unlikely as Dick Monfort selling his team. Wouldn't it be nice though to hear one of those guys, or Jenny, call this organization out? All of their lollipop drivel gets nauseating. In the meantime, I've been traded to the Oakland A's. I'll be rooting for a small market team that is run by a smart, first class organization. Thank god for MLB TV.
    "The fan formally known as Rocky"

  5. I want to see a former player, preferably a fan favorite, come out and rip the organization. I don't know why it hasn't happened before. Perhaps the club wrote a clause into all of their contracts with players stating at no time will any former player speak negatively about the Rockies. If so they risk forfeiture of any signing bonus they received.....or some garbage like that. How can any former player be happy with what has been going on the last several years? Maybe they aren't happy but they know it is a lost cause here and they are happy to be gone from here.

    It must be pretty obvious to a lot of players/coaches when they take a Rockies job, that the organization is incompetent. One particular case has always made me wonder. Did Jim Leyland leave after only one year because he knew this organization was a mess? I think he did. After his time with the Rockies he took a team in the Tigers that was even worse than the Rockies and made them an annual contender. Then again he also led the Pirates to many winning season and he won a World Series with the Marlins....the Marlins!!! A team that USED to be the standard for how NOT to run a baseball organization. I think the Rockies have taken that title.

  6. Only in Denver, where the fan base is too nice, can mediocrity persist for so many a year.

  7. Can you imagine what would happen if this happened to the Broncos. Heads would roll including the beloved John Elway. The Broncos are winners. The Rockies from top to bottom are LOSERS. I won't spend another dollar with this management team.

    1. Amen! Well said! You my friend are spot on!

  8. If they were to fire O'Dowd\Geivett do you think they would be offered jobs in other organizations? Or will they just ship them down to Tulsa or CO Springs like they did to Apodaca? It's frustrating to me that Apodaca couldn't cut it with Major League-ready pitchers, so they send him down to the Springs to work on developing pitchers? Maybe Monfort feels guilty about firing people? Honestly it doesn't seem like there are any answers as long as Monfort is the owner. And that's so depressing