Sunday, August 24, 2014

Homestand for hope; Colorado Rockies show what might have been

Nolan Arenado has been a huge bright spot for the Rockies.
For fans of the Colorado Rockies, watching highlights from a game in Oakland or Washington is tough.

The reason is because the excitement in those stands comes through the TV. As the heat of a pennant run hits the final stretch, the fans can sense the urgency. They feel how important every game can be and how necessary every inning can be to a team's hopes.

Back in Colorado, the games mean nothing. The outcome is something that really doesn't matter except for those cheering for losses in the hope that cruising in with 100 losses will magically make Dick Monfort decide that it is time for great changes in the front office. For those who want the Rockies to win, even the great games can't be celebrated for too long, the 52 wins are sobering.

However, as the season mercifully heads into it's final month, there are glimpses of hope for the Rockies.

In years past, after Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki were shelved for the season, it seemed like the team shut it down. The edge wasn't there anymore. From a fan's perspective, the Rockies were going through the motions for the better part of the season. While there has been a few stretches that could easily fall into that category in 2014, the last week at Coors Field has been different.

Nothing is going to make the 2014 season a success. Nothing is going to be enough of a silver lining to take the frown off of Rockies fans faces. That much is certain. But there have been a few glimpses of hope for 2015 in the last week of play.

The emergence of Corey Dickerson, coupled with Nolan Arenado showing everyone that he is on the cusp of being a true force in the lineup are two things that the Rockies can build on. The continued dominance on the mound by Jorge De La Rosa and the fact that Charlie Blackmon continues to show that he can be a solid contributor makes the Rockies have some reason for hope.

On top of those players, other guys are showing that things could be different in 2015. For years, the Rockies have been waiting on the next great catcher to come up through their farm system. Without fail, that catcher has always been a bust. Dating all the way back to Jayhawk Owens back in 1994, all the way through Ben Petrick, JD Clousser, Chris Iannetta and now Wilin Rosario have all fallen short of the expectations that fans had for them.

Maybe the guy who they actually developed into a pretty good catcher had to leave the organization before the Rockies realized he is pretty good. In his return to the Rockies, Michael McKenry has shown that he isn't just a good receiving catcher, but that he can hit a little bit as well. On Sunday he hit another home run, his fifth of his prorated season. While his play has been limited, he has hit .339 and has done a very good job with some of the younger pitchers.

It definitely hasn't been a good year. There is no way around that. In fact, the 2014 season has shown some of the extreme issues that the Rockies have in their front office. Fans are more adamant than ever that it is time for changes.

However, a midst the misery, there have been some bright spots, and at some point that needs to be mentioned. There have been far more disappointments and disasters than positives, but at some point, the focus has to shift to what has gone right, and there have been a few things.

Rockies fans have plenty of reasons to be jealous of the atmosphere in both Oakland and Washington, they should be jealous. That should be the goal. However, the play of a few Rockies that not much was expected from should also be something that Rockies fans can celebrate.

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  1. D.Martin - "Colorado Rockies show what might have been ... guys are showing that things could be different in 2015."

    Re - You just fell for or shilled the very fool's gold you've been criticizing media tools and ROOT/Roxs FO frauds for all year.
    The Rockies had an extended 9-game home stand which includes the only Rockies' number retiring, the return of a "star player" (who did well, then went straight back to the DL), the midst of two volatile players hitting streaks and the return of two injured starters.
    Everything aligned to perfection for a brief moment and the Rockies managed a respectable 2-1 home stand. See, O'Dowd is brilliant! 90 wins and playoffs, here we come!

    The Rockies were 6-19 since the ASB, before this home stand. There are 32 games left this season, the planets no longer aligned, and it wouldn't surprise me if they went 8-24 during it.
    Wouldn't that be typical, or SOP, for this front office; In a lost season, one or two moments "give hope"? At an incompetent, failed franchise, one or two seasons justify their leadership? O'Dowd and Co. and all they'll ever do is create steaming piles that occasionally glimmer off a carefully polished side to impress the gullible. You, D.Martin, either temporarily lost your senses or were duped just as the frauds and posers on Blake St intended.

    1. edit; There's 33 games left including the May 22nd tie against SanFran. So, 8-25 to finish the season?

    2. Listen, I get it...and you read me enough to know that I am far from an optimist when it comes to this team. However, at points you have to be fair. You have to give credit where credit is due. I am no fan of O'Dowd, but he gets credit for Arenado...he gets credit for the emergence of Dickerson. I am a firm believer that you can only criticize if you are willing to give praise as well. O'Dowd has certainly earned the right to be shown the door, but at points you have to look at this team through a vacuum and give credit where it is due.

    3. I grew up a Cardinals fan. Now, I love the Rockies. Yes, even this years Rockies. I think here in Denver, we will never have an easy time winning and going to the Series. Pitchers will never have an easy time. Light air makes it harder to throw curve balls, and pitchers will wear out their arms faster than heavy air cities. Consequently, draft more sinker ball throwers, and draft more pitchers totally. We had at the first of the season the best infield in Baseball. And the outfield wasn't bad either. Now, our catching is getting better. Arenado, Dickerson, Tulo, Cargo, all are Stars. Cuddy should come back. But, total work has to be done on Pitching. The Yankees, Red Sox, could not lose this many pitchers and win anything. Stick with the core of players and bring in Sinker ball pitchers!