Monday, November 5, 2012

Rox Talk - Hot Stove In Full Effect

Having watched the Rox for 20 years, this past season was the first one that I actually gave up on.  I had no connection with this team.  At no time did I feel this organization was really giving 100% to put out a product worth my time and effort.  This pains me greatly.  I love this team.  I love Coors Field.  I love baseball, but for once my fun factor for the game was just sucked out of me.  The joy was gone.   Even now I struggle to even bother caring for this off season.  Management, with its head stuck in the mud, still thinks they are only a player away from making a run.  I have always tried to be optimistic but with $81 million last year they couldn't get it done.  In addition they were only 2 losses away from 100!  With the season now over, the owners are attempting to spin things again for 2013.  The following are the ten reasons or whines or really (#$%#) whys that this team will once again underachieve and finish last in the Division (and the current reasons why I most likely will not renew my season tickets):

10)  OK first off.  2013 and twenty year anniversary?  Ummm, hate to break it to you but last year was the 20th playing season.  2013 will be the 21st season and while Rox started playing in 1993...20 years was actually last year.  Just another notch highlighting the cluelessness of the Organization.

9) NL West isn't getting easier.  Giants pitching, after winning their second world title in three seasons, are back.  Dodgers will simply win because of their payroll.  D-Backs have a good core.  Padres are young and growing.  Rox are clueless and still have no pitching, see 3) and 1) below.

8)  Managers in the NL West:  Bochy (impressive), Mattingly (gutsy), Gibson (legend), Padres (yeah whoever), and Rox?  Really the best you can do is to trot out a guy who was part of the problem the last few years in Giambi.  Don't get me wrong, I love the guy as a player, but we need someone with a backbone.  Weiss is a nice person but again has ties with the organization that got us here.  Plus he is too nice, I wouldn't  wish this job on anyone right now.

7)  Retirement.  Helton please just retire.  I know you love the game.  You want to fulfill your contract.  You are great player.  I love you, but come on, you're killing us.  Look at the best first baseman in the league and they are home run power guys.  Rox need to return to the Blake Street Bombers days and this isn't going to happen  with a broken down 39 year old.  

6)  Rox let Roenicke get away?  OK maybe this is a wash.  Sure he had a breakout year.  Next year he will probably return to the mean but this guy suffered through the piggyback system.  Made the 4 man rotation at least viable for half the season.  To just let him get away by putting him on waivers tells me someone was doing their homework.  In a real Organization you would have seen value and tried to trade him for something instead of just letting them get stolen.

5) PR grumblings.  Frankly this team has never recovered from the World Series ticket snafu in 2007.  For whatever reason the Organization has taken a very "personal" view of outside media.  Organization needs to be more open and honest with itself.  People put a lot of their money into the Organization.  It isn't charity, we expect something in return.  I don't need playoff teams year in and year out but I do demand accountability and effort from not only the team on the field but the Organization itself.

4)  Stop taking Coors Field for granted.  One of these days people are going to put their hard earned cash somewhere else.  Don't think that another 68 win season won't get you closer to being irrelevant in the minds of Colorado residents.  We love baseball but we need something to root for...I liked to think we haven't become jaded like Cub fans.

3) Who are we?  What exactly is this Organization trying to put out on the field.  Fans have suffered through 14 years of O'Dowd tinkering with baseball at altitude.  Are we a low or mid market team?  Are we an offensive juggernaut or a ground ball desiring pitching staff.  Do we build from within or do we test the free agent market.  My problem is that you can't be everything.  Rox need to find their niche and stick to it.  The Cuddyer signing is my example.  Why bring in a guy similar to Seth Smith and pay big dollars when you could have just stayed with what you had.  Were you trying to make a splash?  Another example?  Last year at FanFest O'Dowd had the audacity to tell fans that last's year decision to go with fly ball pitchers had validity because of the "type" of fly ball pitcher these guys were.  Give you a hint Dan-O flyballs in places like Baltimore and Oakland become home runs at Coors!

2)  Trade Tulo.  Why not?  Get prospects, build for the future.  With our pitching this team is nowhere close to winning.  Tulo is entering that magic year (27-28 year old).  Why hang on to him and end up with another Helton.  Let him go to NY and become the next Jeter.

1)  Pitching Woes.  20 years of major league baseball and can we please just admit pitching at altitude sucks (and move on)?  The problem I have with this pitching thing is now it has become an excuse.  Bad season, objectives not meant, well it's the pitching.  Not enough snow this year, blame pitching.  Coors Light not tasting up to snuff, blame pitching.  Who wouldn't love to have an excuse year in and out.  68 wins, blame pitching.  Watch enough baseball to know that to win you have to have pitching.  Can't deny Rox greatest year was when they had competitive pitches.  Just look at the offense but great pitching and two World Series rings in the last 3 years.  Let's move beyond the excuse and just move on.  Denver Bears were successful.  Find the right kind of pitcher through the draft or off the scrap heap and they will appreciate being in the Bigs and getting the opportunity.  Accepting that you have a problem and moving beyond it is the first step, please Rox Organization just excise it from your excuse book.  

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