|Troy Tulowitzki made his beliefs very clear on Wednesday.|
On Wednesday afternoon before the Rockies home blowout of the Chicago Cubs, Tulo opened up about his desire to win. He told Nick Groke of the Denver Post that changes have to be made. The statement was made to clear up the idea that Tulowitzki is demanding a trade occur.
Tulowitzki makes it clear in his words with Groke that he sees that Rockies as being very close to where they need to be. He believes that they are a few pieces away from being a true contender. He points to the Opening Day roster and believes that the club is good enough to be in a much better spot next year.
However, he was quick to point out that changes need to be made. What kind of changes? Was the statement one that was an indictment of manager Walt Weiss, the second year skipper who routinesly gets his moves questioned? That is a possibility, but as former Rockies beat writer Troy Renck, who hasn't strayed too far from the baseball beat suggests, it isn't Weiss, as Tulo has taken a strong liking to his manager.
The statement made it clear that Tulowitzki isn't going to let Dan O'Dowd do to him what he has done to so many before him. The standard course of action for O'Dowd, when he chooses to get rid of a fan favorite, is to make a bold statement to the media completely assassinating the character of the player in which he has just traded, or is going to trade shortly.
The common statement, as was seen with Matt Holliday, was that the player simply didn't want to play in Colorado. That despite all of the great effort to win, the player believes that his life would be better somewhere else, so, poor O'Dowd, poor Rockies fans everywhere, that jerk of a person simply wanted out, and the team felt the need to oblige an unhappy player.
O'Dowd most recently said this with Dexter Fowler, who frankly never lived up to his billing. However, for someone in O'Dowd's role to rip the character of the player on his way out is simply classless.
It is easy to imagine that O'Dowd had already started to craft his excuse with Tulowitzki. If the shortstop came and asked for a trade, O'Dowd would tell owner Dick Monfort and anyone else who would listen just how bad of a guy Tulo was for not buying into the program and trusting the organization. In fact, it may have even been Tulo's fault that the Rockies never reached their potential because he was always such a bad guy in the clubhouse.
Instead, Tulo beat O'Dowd to the punch. He made it clear that he wants to stick around in Colorado, but only if there are changes, and changes that happen very soon. Of course, he doesn't specify what types of changes need to be made, but the comments about having the same basic roster in place, and his relationship with Weiss being strong, makes it easy to suppose that he is referring to either the front office or the amount of meddling Dick Monfort, who knows next to nothing about baseball, does in the Major League operations.
Things were bound to come to a head. The steam has been building since Monfort did an interview with Patrick Saunders which highlighted his lack of baseball knowledge. He followed up that interview with deciding that it was a wise decision to fire up his iPad ad start replying to angry fan e-mails.
Those moves, coupled with Monfort making it clear that O'Dowd and the front office is likely to remain in place, has cause some strong negative reactions from the most loyal of fans. There has been anger in years past, but that was usually followed by apathy. This time it is different. The anger isn't just frustration, it has so much more to it than simply that. This is a fanbase that is seeing the strong possibility that, after what will likely be a 100 loss season, the star player will be dealt while the front office that couldn't help but trip over themselves continues to call the shots.
Tulowitzki's comments are essentially forcing the hand of Monfort. He has to do something. If he sticks to his guns and remains loyal to his failing friends, he will have to deal with the wrath of a fan base that is sick of buying in to a front office without a clue. This time, however, the team will be lacking the star that gave every fan a reason to believe that it will be a good year.
While Tulowitzki has angered many Rockies fans with his comments in recent years, this time, Rockies fans are rejoicing. This is the ultimatum that only he could make. The media, fans and bloggers could call for changes in the front office, but potentially the only one who could make it happen is Tulowitzki himself. His statements on Wednesday afternoon basically let Monfort know where he stands.
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