|Dick Monfort often gets labeled as extremely loyal.|
Let's get something straight, Dick Monfort may be the most loyal person on the face of the earth, but what is going on with the Colorado Rockies owner has nothing to do with loyalty, it has everything to do with stubbornness.
Throughout the P.R. disaster that Monfort has brought upon himself throughout the past week, even Monfort's most vocal opponents talk about him being a fiercely loyal person, with that as the reason for Monfort not making any changes in his front office for so many years.
The problem is, it has nothing to do with loyalty. Is Monfort good friends with Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett, probably. However, listen to Monfort's words. When he talks, he doesn't say that both of his top men are failing at their jobs, but they are great baseball minds, so they will be able to shift things. He doesn't talk about believing that they are the right two guys to lead this club in a different direction. He believes in them, but he believes that the Rockies are headed down the right road.
Loyalty would be Monfort sticking with his front office as they drastically shifted their mindset and found a different path to success, as things are clearly headed in the wrong direction.
On the other hand, stubbornness is looking straight at the facts, seeing the issues and seeing the failures, and saying that everything going on is not only just fine, but that despite the clear failures, that everything that the club has been doing and continues to do is exactly the course of action that they should continue on.
The Rockies, to anyone who has been watching for any number of years, are headed in the absolute wrong direction. They are a draft and develop organization that has failed to develop 10 everyday or every fifth day starters at the big league level in over 20 years of existence. Two of those developed prospects are Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton, both of whom required about as little development as any prospect can require.
As the Rockies head into the figurative second half of the 2014 season, fans are already looking for the moves that this team might be able to make to be a true contender in 2015. The Rockies are 15 games under .500 and have no chance whatsoever of crawling back into the race. However, when asked if the Rockies are going to be sellers at the trade deadline, Monfort was quick to say that he would love to see the team add another starter.
That's right, the Rockies are going to be buyers at the deadline. They might be the first team who "earns" the right to vote first overall in the following summer's draft and was actually buying at the trade deadline. Of course, when the media is involved, and there are still two-and-a-half months worth of home games to sell tickets to and have fans watch on TV, an owner can't suggest that his team is done. However, that statement didn't seem like one in which Monfort was putting out a political answer. His tone suggested that he truly believes that the Rockies could go on a nice little run and get back into this thing.
What Monfort doesn't realize is that if the Rockies were to make the playoffs, even as the second wild card spot, the run that would be required would be twice as impressive as the historic run of 2007 that saw an already competitive Rockies squad suddenly turn the corner and hit their stride. The Rockies of 2014 haven't even shown flashes of being a contender. Injuries have severely limited the ability for the true character of this team to be judged, but the reality is, the Rockies talent level, even with the injured members returning, have zero chance of making a playoff run.
The problem for Monfort is that his stubbornness is not only holding the Rockies back from potential success, but it is also driving the only building blocks that this team has out of town. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have done everything but begged for a trade to a contender. While Monfort being stubborn has caused the same front office to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, the Rockies aren't just spinning in circles, it is causing the Rockies to go backwards.
The sad thing is, even losing Tulowitzki and Gonzalez might not be enough to convince Monfort that him believing that his front office is heading in the right direction is absolutely wrong. What might be the deciding factor is the fallout that comes after those two have found new homes. Fans still make the turnstyles spin at Coors Field, but if the Rockies want to see their value go down, wait for the Nielsen ratings to go away. When fans aren't watching the team on TV, their sponsorships aren't worth nearly as much money and the advertisements on Root Sports won't rake in the money that they have in recent years.
Don't expect Tulowitzki or Gonzalez to be moved before the end of July, but after a season in which the Rockies will almost certainly lose at least 90 games, it may become public knowledge that Tulowitzki has not only politely told management that he would be alright with a trade, but instead demanded that a move be made.
If things get to that point, and the Rockies are in a situation where Tulo is insisting that something be done, the Rockies management group won't be able to command the return that they are hoping for. Opposing teams will know that the Rockies don't have as much leverage, and suddenly what would have been a king's ransom for Tulowitzki will be less than that, and not allow the team to improve the way that they would need to with the loss of a superstar like Tulo.
This week has certainly seen the Rockies in the news. However, it has been for all of the wrong reasons. As is typical with Monfort, when he decides it is time for him to open his mouth, he often times finds himself trying to backpedal, but in the process of backpedaling, he winds up in the ditch that he just dug for himself.
The sad reality is, the Rockies may not have hit rock bottom. This franchise may have to go into the deepest depths of being horrible before they make any kind of changes. It may go beyond the standard struggles that the Rockies are used to, and instead be the type of humiliating struggles that afflict professional franchises like the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns.
While most fans are frustrated, they chalk up Dick Monfort's resistance to change to his loyalty, the reality is, it has nothing to do with him being loyal. It has everything to do with him being stubborn. Stubborness in professional sports rarely results in victories.
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