Rockies’ Mess Continues

rockiesSeptember is the best month of the baseball season. Every game counts, and there are twists and turns that occur during a game.  Every fan base should get to see their team play games that matter in September. But with the mess that is the Colorado Rockies, their fans won’t be getting to experience that again.

Rockies fans experienced that in 2007 when their team won 14 of 15 games in September, and that was good enough for the Rockies to play in the postseason.

From there, the Rockies swept the Phillies in the National League Division Series and they followed that up by sweeping the Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series. Their magic run ended when the Red Sox swept them in the World Series.

As then-Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said, this may never happen again. That 2007 season was a special run, but let’s remember something. Everything went the Rockies’ way in September of that season. There was a reason Hurdle said this may never happen again. It was hard to believe the starting rotation was going to sustain what they did heading to the following season, and that same rotation fell apart the following season.

Watching the Rockies play the last three seasons, it’s hard to believe they even had that run in 2007. It’s like that was not real life.

When Hurdle said this run may never happen again, he might as well say the Rockies would be hard-pressed to make a run for the playoffs every year. He knows the organization does not know how to build a winning team.

There are always changes in the roster year after year. The pitchers have not developed well outside of this season. The guys don’t know how to execute fundamentals. The managerial hires have not worked out. It’s one thing or another with the Rockies.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort can rave about the job Dan O’Dowd has done as the Rockies general manager, but the truth of the matter is the team has lost so many games under the general manager’s watch. As Bill Parcells would say, you are what your record is. The Rockies general manager has assembled 10 losing seasons under his watch. That’s enough to get him unemployed, but he is not even in danger of losing his job. It’s enough to make a person envious to work for Monfort.

There will not be any meaningful games in September as long as O’Dowd is the general manager. He has no idea how to build a winning team. Go ahead and talk about 2007 and 2009, but that’s ancient history. It’s about what have you done for me lately.  It’s hard to believe the Rockies are giving any reason to be optimistic.

This franchise is a flawed organization. They come up with stupid plans to build a team such as forcing their starters to not pitch past 100 pitches. O’Dowd can rave that his plan worked, but what he fails to mention his relievers were overworked to the point they have been ineffective this month. Some of their hitters have not developed such as Tyler Colvin, Josh Rutledge and Jordan Pacheco.

Another problem the Rockies have is the clubhouse culture. It seems the organization prefer guys who are quiet rather than guys who take their job seriously.  They prefer guys who won’t get angry after a loss.

That’s the problem right there.  The Rockies need guys who can inspire others. They need guys who know how to win games. They need guys who have high standards. They need guys who will push others to excellence. They need guys who need to care about losing. It’s hard to come up with a guy on the roster.

As good as Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez are, they don’t want the responsibility of being leaders. They are about themselves first and foremost. They want their numbers first. It would be nice if all speak up about what’s going on, but they are not going to do that. Odds are they will play out their contract and they will move on. They probably know it’s a lost cause.

No one can blame Coloradoans for not even watching the Rockies these last couple of months. The Rockies were done in July. Everyone knew they were not good enough to be a playoff team after they realized the hitters were overmatched at the plate. Everyone knew the bullpen was going to be toast after being overused the first few months of the season. Everyone realized Walt Weiss was overmatched as a manager.

Forget playoffs. It was hard to believe the Rockies would have a winning season this year when looking at their deficiencies.

What makes anyone think it’s going to get better? One can only rely on blind faith for so long. This franchise is lost.

Even if Weiss is not back next year, what competent manager would want to manage the Rockies? O’Dowd will still be telling his next manager how to manage a team.  He would prefer a manager to not speak up at all, which is why he has the perfect manager in Weiss in his own warped mind.

What the Rockies need is change. They need a general manager who knows what he is doing. They need a general manager that has fresh ideas. They need a general manager who has a better feel for the game.

The problem with that is Monfort does not want to deal with the process of hiring a new general manager. He realizes he is not competent enough to get it right.

So look for more of the same. O’Dowd is not going anywhere, and Monfort is not selling the team.

Rockies fans deserve better. They are good baseball fans. They understand the game well, and they have been very supportive despite bad management. They should get to watch meaningful games in September. They should get to watch a quality product. It’s not too much to ask, right?

When Monfort keeps O’Dowd, it’s only fair to wonder if he cares about the fanbase. In his mind, fans should be happy about 2007 and not ask for anything more.

He might as well pull a Marie Antoinette and announce fans to eat cake.


Leslie Monteiro

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie is a contributor for Lightning Rod Sports. He covered high school sports in Bergen County out in North Jersey, and has written op-ed columns on sports such as Bleacher Report and NY Sports Digest.

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