blogging Colorado Rockies baseball…

Dick and Charlie Monfort

O’Dowd still in charge…

The Rockies announced earlier today that general manager Dan O’Dowd will be shifting some if his duties to his asst general manager Bill Geivett. Geivett will be handling the day to day operations of the Rockies and O’Dowd will focus on the minor league side and player development. And since the announcement social media has been on fire about the Rockies ownership, the Monforts and management and their lack of ability to do anything right, even firing O’Dowd.

How does a general manager let alone any employee with a work record that O’Dowd has, still manage to keep his job? The Rockies are a bunch of idiots to think the fans cant see the blind loyalty the Monforts, O’Dowd, Apodaca and Tracy have for one another. I’ve said all along that the Monforts and O’Dowd are each sleeping in the same bed with one another and as long as it remains that way, nothing will ever change for this organization and the team is concerned and they will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

They’re all businessmen and right now business is good despite the second worst record in baseball this season. They’re averaging anywhere from 32-35 thousand fans (though most of them delusional and arent really baseball fans) every night. For example, the Rockies during the most recent series with the Reds averaged 36824 over the 3 game series, with Saturday night having an attendance figure of 42826.

All and all what this “shifting of responsibilities” is a smokescreen and basically means nothing. O’Dowd is still in charge as Geivett still will have to answer to his boss(O’Dowd) and despite Dan “focusing” on the minors and player development(which he is terrible at), he is still in charge of player acquisitions, etc. So spin it how you want Rockies ownership, this fan and a few others that I know and have spoken to arent buying it.

The Monforts arent selling the team and O’Dowd and company dont have the balls to look themselves in the mirror resign their positions. Why should they? Where else can you make money and not have to do anything, but pretend you’re building a ballclub for a fanbase that is made up of many who only attend games for the social aspect anyway and dont care about the club and dont even know what the score is at any point during a game. The hardcore baseball fans at 20th & Blake deserve better. Hell even the players deserve better!

Until that day comes, expect nothing more than the same old tired story year after year at Coors Field.

Oh and while we’re at it, can we get rid of ROOT Sports broadcast team with the exception of Marc Stout and Joel Klatt? The rest are tired and a joke to the broadcasting industry. The fans deserve better here as well.


Rockies extend Tracy(sort of)…

AP Photo/ Haraz N. Ghanbari

AP Photo/ Haraz N. Ghanbari

The Rockies have had a way of sometimes doing things before the start of most every season that makes you scratch your head and wonder, “Who makes these decisions and why?”. Well we know most of these decisions come from Dan O’Dowd and/or the Monforts. What I am talking about here is of course the “extension” the Rockies brass have given Jim Tracy as manager of the Colorado Rockies.

It was reported late yesterday that the Rockies have offered Jim Tracy an indefinite extension. What the hell does that mean?! I mean I know what it means, but where else in the sports world has anyone ever heard of such a thing? This handshake agreement as it’s being called looks and sounds ridiculous. If I were Tracy I would get this “handshake agreement” in writing. (Cover your ass Jim!)

I understand what “O’Dowd and Co.” are wanting to do here. Their aim is to rid the team and the organization of all questions about Tracy’s status in this upcoming year of what was to be the final year of his contract should the team at some point falter and be in the midst of some sort of losing streak. For that I applaud them for wanting to remove that distraction from the players, coaching staff, and team management themselves. And also to provide stability going into spring training and the season. I just have to still wonder why not just give him a normal extension,  like say a 2 year deal to the 2014 season. To me this is like walking around town telling everyone(friends and family) that you’re engaged to your significant other and not having a ring to show as some sort of proof. You get where I’m going with this I’m sure.

It’s nothing against Jim Tracy. I happen to like him as manager of this team, more times than not. Is he the man to lead this team to the playoffs and possibly a World Series? I would say to that, yes. But at the same time  I would like to believe that there are others who might be a better fit. Dont ask me who right now, I’ll save that for another post in the future. I just think that at night sometimes when O’Dowd goes to sleep he has these weird, crazy, and probably disturbing dreams(or ideas), that he comes into the office the next day and he cant help himself but to go through with them!

Anyway enough on this and congratulations to Jim Tracy on his “extension”.

Rockies….Big ticket deal? Give me a break…

Jim Armstrong has an article in today’s Denver Post on the Rockies and the idea of landing a “big ticket” player in the offseason. To that, I and numerous Rockies fans say, “We’ll believe it when we see it.”

We hear this every off season in some way shape or form. Take for instance the quote from Dick Monfort.

“We have to be open minded,” Monfort said, “but you’re not going to go out and sign (Jose) Reyes.”

Being open minded means that they will sit back and see what player fits their tight (by that I mean cheap) wallets and fans wont see any significant move made especially to the pitching staff. Where it seems every offseason they find one or two pitchers with a below average record and talent, sign him in hopes of rehabilitating a career, if only for the current season while the younger guys develop in the minors. Sounds cheap if you ask me. I like O’Dowd’s quote on winning the division.

“In this division, you win or lose with starting pitching.”

Well please Mr. O’Dowd tell us how long it took you to figure that one out? But yet you placed a somewhat inexperienced starting rotation on the field last season, hoping to strike lightning and in return you got nothing and the fans got nothing. And in the meantime trading your ace Ubaldo Jimenez for prospects and setting the organization back 2-3 seasons while we wait to see what sort of prize(s) we are hopeful to get inside a stale box of Cracker Jack.

Again please prove the fans wrong and make some significant moves this offseason that will make this team better and not to mention a contender. We’re four seasons removed from a World Series appearance and the window is closing fast with a few of the players on this team.

Credit and blame, who gets what and how much?..

Over the last couple of days in the print, radio and television media outlets here in Denver, has been the talk of the Rockies recent turnaround and how much of the credit goes to manager Jim Tracy. And how much of the blame does former manager Clint Hurdle get for the teams poor start?

Let’s go back to 2007. There’s an old saying that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” What happened in 2007 that got the team into the playoffs and onto the World Series had alot to do with not only the players, but Clint Hurdle and how he managed that team to the success they achieved. Then came 2008 and because of the success of the prior season, Hurdle loosened the reigns even more on his team and the result was exactly what we saw last season, a talented team underachieving and making a major step backwards towards mediocrity. After the 2008 season the offseason brought a few coaching changes and the idea (or demand) from ownership and upper management, specifically O’Dowd that the team needed to return to the basic fundamentals of playing the game. Both O’Dowd and Hurdle entered into spring training this season in the final year of their contracts and the added pressure of getting it right this time around in order to keep their jobs. The lovefest of Hurdle, O’Dowd, and the Monforts was starting to crack it seemed. Ownership pressured management, management pressured the coaching staff, which trickled down to the players from spring training to the start of the season playing the game not to win, as so much as to save their beloved managers job.

Should Hurdle bare the brunt of the blame for how the team began this season? No. Had Hurdle not relaxed his managing style from 2007 to 2008, the team wouldn’t have nose-dived the way they did and we probably wouldn’t be having this debate. The majority of the blame for what happened in April and most of May of this season belongs to ownership and O’Dowd. He set the tone verbally for this team going into spring training, with a win or else attitude. Ownership with the “vote of confidence” of Hurdle didn’t help matters at all. Only adding more pressure for the players to produce wins to save Hurdle’s seemingly secure job with the vote of confidence, which ultimately Hurdle paid the price for.

Since Jim Tracy has taken over as manager, the team has gone 13-4 and are on an 11 game winning streak. Some of the credit does go to Tracy and some to the players. But the majority of the credit goes to the same person who deserves the blame for the teams early season woes, O’Dowd. Whether or not it was a move to hopefully save his own job, on May 29th it was announced that Clint Hurdle was no longer manager and that Jim Tracy would take over. The pressure was immediately lifted from the players and they won their first two games under their new skipper. As Tracy still beginning to learn his new team and they him as manager, the Rockies lost 4 straight. Panic didn’t seem to in and suddenly the Rockies were sweeping the Cards, then came the Brewers, and the latest victim, the Mariners, adding up to an 11 game win streak, tying a team record and thus discussion of who gets the credit for the turnaround. I’m sure if you asked Tracy if he deserved the credit, he would divert it to the players, afterall they are executing the strategies laid out by the manager. That’s what any manager would do or say. But O’Dowd deserves most of the credit now for the turnaround as much as he deserved the blame early on. Will this keep O’Dowd around longer once his contract expires at season’s end? Ask me in 3 and a half months, but right now it looks promising.

Rox sweep Brew Crew…

The Rockies have manufactured their 8th win in a row and their 2nd consecutive series sweep of the season with a close win over the Brewers 5-4 this afternoon at Miller Park. Aaron Cook (5-3) gets the win and Huston Street records the save, his 12th of the season. Street made his 12th save rather dramatic giving up a 3 run homerun to Ryan Braun to bring the score to 5-4 in the 9th. The Rockies used 7 pitchers in the game to the Brewers 5.

The Rockies come home to Coors Field with a light schedule on tap with interleague play against the Mariners and Rays, then conclude the homestand with the Pirates. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-6) goes against Jared Washburn (3-4) for the Mariners. Gametime 7:10pm.

NOTES – The Rockies drafted Jim Tracy’s son, Mark Tracy in the 49th round. Cousin to former Rockies slugger Matt Holliday, Heath Holliday was drafted by the Rockies in the 46th round. Heath is a catcher out of Bixby High School in Bixby, OK and also son of Rockies special assistant to the GM, Dave Holliday. Dick Monfort’s son, Sterling Monfort (C,IF) was also drafted by the Rockies in the 47th round out of Eaton High School. And since we’re keeping it all in the family (sort of), Dan O’Dowd’s son, Chris O’Dowd was drafted in the 40th round by the Athletics out of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO.

It’s only a matter of when….

While some of the baseball world expected Rockies manager Clint Hurdle to be fired yesterday, it didn’t happen needless to say. It’s like Dan O’Dowd or maybe Rockies ownership purposely refrained from the coming termination because so many were waiting for it to happen, including the players.

“We know what’s at stake.” Todd Helton is quoted as saying.

Playing the game of baseball to save your managers job is not playing baseball for the right reasons. The same with any other sport. I don’t believe the Rockies are doing that. They could be playing for just the opposite, which is also not for the right reasons, but it seems that way. One way or another, the “if” has been removed from the equation, it’s now only a matter of when.

Dodgers sweep Rox…Hurdlewatch intensifies…

Honestly I’ve been debating whether to post after yesterday’s loss, that’s why you haven’t seen anything before now. What more can be said that I haven’t already poured my heart into in regards to the team’s pathetic performance and my thoughts on Hurdle’s dismissal and so forth? So as of a few minutes ago, I figure what the heck so here it is.

We all know the Rockies were swept yesterday and that since the game ended there has almost been a silence swept over the city. Not just because the Nuggets lost to the Lakers last night or because of horrible NBA officiating that helped contribute in the loss, but also to see when Rockies ownership will relieve Hurdle of his managing duties. Today is the perfect day to do so in that the Rockies are off today. At least they can’t lose when they’re not playing. I had a feeling during yesterday’s game that if something were to happen in regards to Hurdle’s job, that it had to come sometime today. Even the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper reported that some of the players were speculating that something would happen today as well. Well it’s 5pm here and yet nothing has happened. I would suggest that maybe ownership and Hurdle would be discussing a settlement on the remainder of his contract, a buyout of some sort, or maybe that Hurdle step down rather than be fired. Or might there be a discussion on whether or not Hurdle alone is the only one to be dismissed. Maybe the same discussions are to include Dan O’Dowd and Bob Apodaca and whom their replacements may or may not be. Want my two cents? Well here it is. I say give the manager’s job to Jim Tracy, assuming he himself hasn’t recently wondered what he’s gotten himself into with this organization. Give him a 3 year contract, no more than that. Then I say if you want to stay within the organization that they move Walt Weiss into the GM’s position, because outside of the team I don’t know of any GM in their right mind that would want to come here and have to deal with the Monforts as owners, not to mention bosses and what they’ve turned this organization into. Maybe there are discussions on what not to do right now and that is to allow Hurdle to remain the manager until the end of the season. I hope that’s not the case, but it is a distinct possibility. One way or another the Rockies need to make a decision and it needs to be done sooner than later. If the decision is to allow Hurdle to finish out the season then ownership needs to come out and say so. Then from their skybox they can watch their attendance numbers continue to fall downward along with their ticket and concession revenues.

I don’t feel like there will be too many major impacts in terms of trades made between mow and the trade deadline. And I don’t think the Rockies should move anyone right now without being able to help the team in an immediate fashion for this season. Moving players for the sake of a horrible first two months of the season is a cop out on the team, and the fans. Sure the Rockies are 14 games out of first place, but with 4 months of baseball still left to play, things have plenty of time to turn around. If we must make a trade, what then can we get for a purple dinosaur who looks as silly as ownership does? It’s got to account for something, doesn’t it?

Check out a new link added today in the Rockies Blogosphere, Hurdling to Rock Bottom. I couldn’t have said it better myself.