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Preview: Rockies Disaster Report

Rockies Disaster Report



RDR is a blog dedicated to providing smart commentary to the most hearty fans in the league: Rockies fans. We'll have at least 7 posts a week, including analysis of games, prospects, and more. So stop on by, take a look and leave a few comments as you fol



Updated: 2015-09-16T08:59:34.256-07:00

 



WHERE HAVE WE GONE?!

2005-08-16T07:43:42.800-07:00

Well folks, it's been a crazy ride this year, and for added stability, Gabe and I shelled out the monies for a domain name and hosting (for the love of god click on adsense).

You can still see medium-notch commentary on your favorite/geographically mandated to follow baseball team at www.5280sports.com/rox , and there's also a column for the Avs and the Broncos. We're like the Jeffersons, people. Except with less hangin' in chow lines.

Stupid school



Losing Steam

2005-08-14T16:55:01.986-07:00

The Rockies just aren't that good. When they are good, it's usually for one game which is surrounded by two or three horrible horrible games. We saw that kind of thing over the homestand this week. In the first game, the Rox squandered a good pitching performance, losing 4-2, and then in the second game, the Rockies were out of it by the fifth. On Sunday, the Rox continued their suck-fest with another poor starting pitching performance and poor offensive production, doing nothing to damage the undeniable argument that they just aren't very good.

They replaced Corey Sulivan with Larry Bigbie in center field, and oddly enough, swapping one mediocre fourth outfielder for another didn't do much. Now I'm not saying that benching Corey Sullivan is a bad thing, it's just that when his replacement is bad too, well, what's the point.

The entire season has had an aura of futility that was lifted for about a week. The Rox won on the road consistently for the first time all year, and then they came back and swept a double-header against the Marlins. Then they were swept by the team that up until about a week ago had a starting short stop hitting .182.

Things are looking grim, folks. The rotation is bad, the starting lineup is full of slap hitters, and frankly, improvement hasn't happened as you'd expect. Sure we're winning more than once every nine days, but we aren't winning more than four games, max, every nine days. Things are looking mighty grim.


The Rockies are depressing beyond all belief.

Then again, football is back.



Boy

2006-02-21T13:05:28.756-08:00

What happened to the starting rotation?

At the beginning of this year, the Rockies thought that their starting pitching was going to be a major strength for the team. The bullpen was going to be the question mark.

Like so many other things over the past few years at Coors Field, that was a misconception.

Joe Kennedy, the Rockies' opening day starter, had complained to the manager to be the number one guy. Jason Jennings, who turned out to be the number two guy, said the same thing. Boy were they wrong about that whole "being good" thing.

In the first game of the year, Kennedy was chased out with his tail between his legs. He didn't get the W, a rare case of justice in the exceedingly strange world of starting pitcher won-lost records. It was a sign of things to come. Kennedy won four games over sixteen starts, never going to the bullpen or being demoted. His ERA was equal to the goal of a Bronco red zone trip: 7 points. The young Uncle Charlie specialist was dealt to the Oakland A's, and he now works in relief.

As for the other contender for the number one job, Jason Jennings was decent in the early-going, but then tanked in May and June. Just as he was getting into a groove, J.J. broke his finger trying to take out a would-be double play turner. After the All Star Break, his ERA was just 3.00.

The number three starter for the Rox is the highest-ranked remaining pitcher for the team. Jeff Francis has had a predictably up-and-down rookie season. As you'd expect with a rook, Francis has shown flashes of brilliance, and even has sustained them for two and three game stretches, but has also looked absolutely horrible when he can't locate his pitches. His lack of overwhelming stuff demands pinpoint control for him to be very effective, and on days when he can't keep the ball down, The Franchise struggles in a horribly ugly fashion.

This leads us to the former number 4 starter: Shawn Chacon. After one year of an ill-advised switch to the closing role, the Rox decided to do something odd; the starting pitcher would start. Chac was easily the Rockies' most effective starter for much of the year. He injured himself sliding into a bag (on the opposite limb that Jason Jennings did), but aside from the time he missed, the Greeley native was the closest thing the Rox had to an ace. His 4.09 ERA was the best on the Rockies starting pitchers by almost an entire run. Despite his age, his ability, and his home-grown nature, the Rockies dealt him to the Yankees for some prospects. Let's not forget that the Yankees don't have anything resembling a farm system, so these prospects will not pan out.

In the fifth slot is Jamey Wright. Wright has been consistently bad, with few exceptions. There have been abberant zero or one-run starts when The Big Handsome pitched very well, but really he's been just a little better than Joe Kennedy. His 5.85 ERA speaks for itself.

Spot starter turned every-fifth-day guy BK Kim has been the Rockies' second or third best pitcher since Chacon was dealt. Somehow, some way, the walk-happy native of Korea has wiggled his way out of jams en route to a very solid 4.68 ERA as a starter. His methods include, but are not limited to: Walking batters, hitting batters, striking batters out, poorly fielding bunted balls, and throwing wild pitches that bounce off of the backstop, immediately rebound back to the catcher, and allow him to get out of the inning unscathed. B.K., statistically, is the Rockies' best starting pitcher with the recent departure of Shawn Chacon.

Zach Day, Jose Acevedo, and Soo-Yun Kim are all vying for the fifth position in the rotation.

So, theoretically next year's rotation could be:

Jennings
Francis
Cook (could be ace, could be second or third)
Kim/Wright/Day/Acevedo/Kim/Young/Caravajal (pick two)

That's no good.



Whujumufujickle

2005-08-12T21:41:28.910-07:00

Well after two nights of not watching the Rockies play, the Rockies are two games worse in terms of record. That's no good.

Seriously foks, if I'm not watching the Rockies, I'm gambling, or even more likely, playing madden. Oh Madden.

So I guess this is a post saying, "hey, I can not play madden for about five minutes or so."

Boy Balto is an incredible story...



Oh Slammina (baseball)

2005-08-10T21:31:24.793-07:00

The Colorado Rockies cranked out their third victory on the current homestand Wednesday evening. The win, which moved the Rockies to 3-1 since their return to Coors on Monday morning, was largely the product of recently activated starter Aaron Cook. The red-headed sinkerballer tossed six and a third innings of very solid ball, allowing three earned runs.

When Cook's effectiveness waned during the top of the seventh, the Rockies threw Scott Dohmann on the bump with Cookie's runner on first. The Dough Man walked the hulking pinch hitter Daryle Ward, setting up Tike Redman, who promptly smashed a triple to right center field.

From there on out, the bullpens took over, with DeJean, Fuentes, and Cortes each working a scoreless inning apiece and maintaining the tie through the tenth. Mike DeJean had absolutely electric stuff, with a diving slider that fooled all of the Pirates he faced, and Fuentes was his usual self. David Cortes performed admirably, not fooling around with batters, but rather tossing the ball into the zone with impressive velocity.

In the bottom of the tenth, Todd Helton went with a pitch and sent a gigantic double to right center. Following Helton was exactly the guy everyone wanted to see in a clutch situation: Matt Holliday. Holliday punched a single up the middle and Helton scored from second base, sore calf and all. Tike Redman booted the Holliday single to center field, perhaps rushing to cut down the potential game-winning run, which sealed the deal for the recently resurgent Rox.

Up next for the Rox is the series finale against the unremarkable Josh Fogg. The Franchise will take the mound, trying to shake off a bad performance in Arizona that was only saved by an offensive explosion.



Hoo-rah

2005-08-09T07:05:55.313-07:00

Two wins on the same day? What did we do to deserve this? Oh right, months/years of dedication to the team. I'm feeling like Mike Jones after he hit the big time but before he got slapped with a 250,00 dollar phone bill. Word.

On the other hand, I've got a beef with Clint Hurdle right now. He started J.D. and Gonzo in the first game, so there's no issue therein, but pulling your starting pitcher in the fourth inning of the first game of a double header? That's just stupid. Again, the Rockies won both games, so I can't complain too much, but in my opinion it was just stupid. The reason Tony LaRussa can get away with pulling stunts like that is that he's got a track record and a solid/not horribly overworked bullpen. Hurdle the hurdle (that must be navigated/circumvented to win) used six pitchers in the first game of a double header. Say what you will about "playing one at a time," but the Rockies players knew not to go shake hands after the game, and Hurdle should've been more mindful of the pitching situation. Plus it was hot as hell. Add to the heat the fact that BK is the least economical of any pitcher I've seen this year and was starting the second game, and you've got a pretty sticky situation. Especially 'cause the ice cream was melting. Oh those chocolate dipped cones are freakin' delicious...

Well the Rockies won both games, BK carried the team into the eighth, something that never happens with Rockies starters, and Mark (again, not TGTBATB), Gabe, and I had to leave for a slew of reasons. Ok, Madden and affordable food (turned out to be free).

Oh yeah, I forgot to add in this conversation the co-bloggotronomator and I had during the second game in the car:

Jeff Kingery: And Miles leads off the inning with a double!
Me: Shut up, Gabe, it's just one hit.
Gabe: You didn't see Gonzalez hitting doubles, did you?
Me: Shut. Up.
Jeff Kingery: And Danny Ardoin hits a line drive over the fence!
Me: Just don't say anything.
Gabe: D--
Me: SHUT UP.
Gabe: Yeah but--
Me: WE'RE TURNING ON MIKE JONES.
Mike Jones: 231, 830, 8 zero zero fo', hit Mike Jones up on the low, 'cause Mike Jones about to blow...

Speaking of Mikes, Michael Strahan is a beast.

Speaking of Michael Strahan, I'm going to play Madden



Dear god

2005-08-09T06:12:49.176-07:00

Dear God it was hot today. Gabe, Mark (not of TGTBATB) and I met up with some good people at the Rockies game and had a nice time. Everything was expensive except for the tickets (rockpile tix, friendshipizing w/usher who clearly approved of youthful mischief allowed for closer viewing), and in the words of one of the good people we met up with, Coors Field "financially and emotionally raped us." Also, I drank a 2 liter of the official non-alcoholic Jew beverage seltzer and half a liter of Coke in less than three innings. Shade never came. Ever.

Gabe, Mark and I also left after the first game, sadly enough, due to Madden. We bailed on the Rox, having already seen a sweet extra-inning victory and hungry for Madden. Basically, we did the Dodger fan thing and left about halfway through the event, although we didn't arrive late nor did we steal our team from Brooklyn.

So we went to a Madden tournament which I did very poorly in due to a variety of factors including but not limited to: Sean King's fake 99 speed, a fictitious wideout for the opposing team that caught 200 yards worth of passes, bad controllers, jerk opponent, jerk host, small television, recent ban on performance-enhancing steroids, indefference of administrators to the various factual inaccuracies of the rosters i.e. sean king's 99 speed, the game being played on Pro instead of All-Madden, employee pricing on general motors vehicles, my ailing quadriceps, the game ending after the third quarter which nobody told me about until halfway through the third, and Trevor Price's ammended 99 speed which successfully eleminated any scrambling threat that Donnavan McNabb had in his brain.

Come to think of it, why am I writing instead of playing Madden?



Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks...

2005-08-07T23:46:03.906-07:00

Well it's a big day in the news - aside from the Rockies losing, Peter Jennings died, the submarine dudes were rescued, and it's the anniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima. And in breaking news, myself and cohort Sam will be hitting the ballpark tomorrow with a couple other members of the gang for the two-fer deal included with this upcoming day/night doubleheader. I'm excited to see Kim/Kim pitch, especially the latter, who should put on quite a show given his late hottness.And yet, I still have a few notes about tonight's game:1. Carvajal just didn't seem to be in sync. After giving up back-to-back homeruns to thel ikes of Clarck and Glaus, you'd think he would realize that hanging sliders and various other pitches doesn't work.2. Okay, I'm gonna be honest. I'm in the minority in the blogging world because I'm of the opinion that Miles should be starting ahead of Gonzales. But, going 2-4 with a double and a single does give him a pretty good day. The only knock I can put on him is the strikeout, but as Sam constantly reminds me, Miles has the same disease with a worse OBP. I'm beginning to turn a little on this issue3. Atkins continues to hit well, but here's the best part (even though he missed an RBI opportunity): he had 1 BB, but 0 strikeouts. What I'm liking more and more about Atkins, is that he gets good wood on the ball. I've rarely seen him in bad at-bats, and his defensive play has been very good.4. The basepaths are still looking like slip-n-slides with Closser behind the plate. He allowed 4, count'em, 4 stolen bases today, three from the speedy but aging Craig Counsell. Now I'm not saying that Counsell is a bad person to let steal, because he's a damned good runner, but Closser just does not seem to have the arm to play a good defensive catcher. And even though he's been on an offensive tear recently, he went 0-3 with a walk, and is still batting 2 points below defensive stud Danny Ardoin. Yes, his OBP and slugging are a little higher, but it's my opinion that (at least on the road), defense is worth more than offense. When the Rockies are scoring 4 runs, I'd much rather get Counsell out twice than have our 8-hole man reach base .24 more times out of every ten at-bats. I realize that JD is a better slugger, so maybe my argument doesn't hold up as nicely at Coors field, but Danny Ardoin should be given many more road starts, especially considering the fact that pitchers perform better when he's behind the plate. Now I know I've spent a lot of time ranting about this, but all said and done, I'm rather content with our catching situation. JD will only become a better hitter (as will Ardoin, for that matter), and Danny will only get better defensively. Some have called this our weakest position, but even with TG out, I don't see why - we've got a pretty solid core.5. Despite the fact that we only scored 4 runs tonight/last night, I've really liked how this team has been scoring lately. We've been able to put together good smallball with a lot of clutch hits and some decent power. Get Helton/Barmes back in the mix, and I think we'll have a damned good offense, especially as this team starts to come together offensively even more. Over the last few series, I've really seen an improvement, and we haven't had a 2-run night in a long time, which is a good sign. That said, we could use a little bit more production out of the likes of Corey Sullivan and Garret Atkins (the latter in the power department), but I think that will come.6. This brings me to six. As I believe my co-blogger mentioned, Francis is considered an RotY contender even though his numbers have been sketchy lately. The reason he's won 11? Run support. Francis has been getting stupendous run support all season long, and that's half the reason why he's been successful. If, as I've mentioned, our offense continues to produce, we can put a winning team o[...]



Miscellany

2005-08-07T07:36:00.166-07:00

I stumbled upon Lou From Littleton's comments on the Chac trade while looking for an example of Aaron J. Lopez' lame writing. You can find it here. It's alarming to me because Lou from Littleton is the most delusional Denver sports fan in the metro area, which is plenty obvious if you listened to him when he was on KOA or right now on KKFN. He's pretty pissed. Think about this: everyone thinks that Jeff Francis is a premier candidate for Rookie of the Year, but his ERA is 5.37. The reason everyone thinks he's the premier ROY guy is that he has 11 wins, due to top-of-the-league run support. If Chac got that kind of offense to support his outings, I'm damn near positive he'd still be on this team and would be plastered on the side of Coors with the GEN-R logo emblazoned below his face.

I just don't like Lopez' writing is all.

So Joe Sakic took a shot at Coors in the paper.

"I'm happy they didn't enlarge the nets. Making the goalie pads smaller is enough. I wouldn't want it to be like Coors Field where you have such high-scoring games."

I actually don't really care that much, just thought it was nice that the Rockies appeared on the second page of the paper for a change.

The game starts at...2:40 today...for some reason or another...



The reason i title things "Rawr" is that I become frustrated with coming up with a clever name.

2005-08-06T07:14:55.446-07:00

Well I missed most of this game with the exception of some of the scoring plays because I was gambling. Heavily. I'm proud to report that I posted a 120% gain on my initial buyin. Shut up. So what if that totals to eleven dollars from a five dollar starting bet. You've got to start somewhere. The best part is that I sat down to catch the ninth and the Rockies take the lead.

Anyhow, the highlights...back to them.

I'm becoming more and more optimistic about Garrett Atkins because of Matt Holliday. (Insert Matt Holliday nickname here) didn't hit for that much power last year, but this season he's been socking dingers and whatnot. His gap power turned into homer power. This is my hope for (insert Garrett Atkins nickname here. If I may at this juncture suggest the 1920s-gangster-esque nickname "meats," well, there's nothing you can to stop me)'s future. So far he's not hit too many homers, something that I think a Coors Field 3b ought to do, but his doubles total is tied for second on the team (Wooo Luis Gonzalez).

On the exact same topic, but in a new paragraph, that homer that Matt Holliday hit was reeeee-dicurous. Color man George Frasier said that the only player he'd seen do it other than Holliday was Jim Rice. Pretty good company.

Another ineffective performance by Randy Williams makes me doubt his worth. Plus, are the Rockies in a position where they can really carry a lefty specialist with Caravajal basically not playing? No...especially because they're way out of first.

Actually, Monfort could've been right about the division. I mean, if the Rockies go on a tear (not that likely) and the rest of the division stays crappy (likely), we could concievably pick up enough games to shift our spot in the standings by playing .600 ball for the rest of the year. I'm not making a prediction, but just saying it's not impossible.

Well JD, after I backed him with the undeniable force that is the Rockies Disaster Report, struck out twice and went 0-4. Oh well. Speaking of catchers, Chris Snyder, who looked really good against the Rockies at the beginning of the year has put up pretty bad offensive numbers since then, batting .218 with 5 dingers in 82 games. I'll refrain from making a comment about catchers that don't live up to expectations.

In the rare event that you're still reading this, could someone tell me where I can find a list of players that are going to be free agents at the end of the season? I will forever be in debt to you if you find it.



You put your catcher in, you take your catcher out, you put your something something and you shake him all about

2005-08-05T06:39:13.023-07:00

Clint Hurdle has avoided overreactive behavior in the 2005 season. With a team that's started more rookies than any other club by a gigantic margin, how could anyone do anything else? Everyone knows that the players are trying their best, so what's left to do other than steadfastly bouncing a ball against the concrete dugout floor?There are some instances when Hurdle needs to shed the down-and-out mentality, and think like the manager of a contending team. He finally got around to doing that recently when he gave Luis Gonzalez the starting nod over the light-hitting and mediocre-fielding second bagger Aaron Miles. His very high average with runners in scoring position notwithstanding, Aaron Miles' power statistics were virtually nonexistent, and his OBP was essentially the same as his batting average. Think what you will about the nerdy, number-crunching Sabermetricians and their theories, but even the most traditional baseball man will not hesitate to say that a leadoff hitter needs to work the count. A leadoff man that performs his duties will make the pitcher toss a few and get on base, providing his teammates with an opportunity to see the pitcher's stuff and setting the table for the hitters that follow him. While Gonzalez strikes out more and has a slightly worse average than Miles, he also has an OBP that dwarfs Miles' and power that intrigues everyone.So Hurdle made the right call.It's time for another.Danny Ardoin, who absolutely tore up the PCL, has been exactly what everyone expected. A light-hitting catcher who can catch and throw with the best of them; he is the second coming of Henry Blanco. For a while, the change of pace was entirely appropriate. The pitching staff needed stability and experience behind the plate, and the Rockies had to start controlling the running game. Plus, the Rockies theoretical starting catcher, J.D. Closser, was hitting about .150 and runners were treating the bases like a track. It's time to let J.D. out of the doghouse. Danny Ardoin is not a long term solution, and Closser, despite his abysmal batting average, posted very respectable OBPs in almost every month except April. Especially during this hot streak that the Indiana native has been on, the skipper ought to give Closser the starting nod again. With his newfound power supply complementing his already good OBP, J.D. is better than ever. That unequivocal confidence Hurdle placed in the young backstop for the first few months of the season needs to be brought back; Closser deserves another shot.***~Jeff Pickler's stats are pretty darn impressive. He should get a big league audition, even if it means taking a bit of time away from Luis Gonzalez.~The Rox will take on the D-Backs today. When the season was only an infant, Diamondback management looked like a bunch of geniuses. Their high priced acquisitions of Sean Green and Troy Glaus were producing like nobody would've thought(they still are doing pretty well), and pitching was great. Well, once the Snakes started taking on real teams (anyone outside of the N.L. West), their true worth was revealed. Yet another mediocre N.L. West team. Royce Clayton looks like he was a one-year wonder at Colorado, with little production in the "so damn hot" state. Even with the up-and-coming star Chad Tracy at third, there just isn't enough hitting to compensate for their lack of pitching. Russ Ortiz, handed a fat and pretty much consensually regarded (by everyone in the world except the Diamondbacks management squad) as stupid contract, has not performed up to his 7.3 million dollar salary. Rockies fans can address their letters of "Nyah-Nyah! Told'ya so! It's not just Coors that ruins pitchers!" toArizona Diamondbacks 401 East Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85001. [...]



Again with the folks.

2005-08-04T06:20:46.380-07:00

So I forgot to post this on the blogotron for a while, but last week I saw a ESPN Classic deal on Kirk Gibson's famed dinger, and the best part about it was that you can see brakelights in the picture of the ball going over the right field fence. Oh Dodger fans with their early departures.



Rawr

2005-08-03T21:48:00.510-07:00

Hey folks, I stumbled upon a forum while Alou was making one of his legendarily frequent pitching changes.

http://baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?p=357572#post357572

It's within the Rockies section of the forum, but it's basically a bunch of jerks bashing on Coors. None of them have ever watched a game played at Coors, even on TV, judging by their comments. I set one of them straight, but didn't dignify the a-hole who said that "Rox" was too cool of a nickname for such a lame team with a response. Jerks.


Edit: I caved when one of their responses to my challenge to some Cubs fan's ridiculous statement. I got angry and took a shot at the Dodgers. And the Gubernator.

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER BACK TO BACK GAMES.



It's Like a Gigantic Tub of Jelly Beans

2005-08-03T06:34:33.686-07:00

According to Tracy Ringolsby, Luis Gonzalez is now the Rockies' starting second baseman. Sweet."SECOND THOUGHT: Luis Gonzalez has been the Rockies' super sub since joining the team a year ago. Now Hurdle wants to see if Gonzalez might even be better. Gonzalez is going to get a chance serve as the team's everyday second baseman the rest of this season. "Aaron (Miles) has done an admirable job, but we have to see if we have more of an upside with Luis," Hurdle said. "This is another one of the questions we want to answer before the end of the season."In the wake of a series of trades which I didn't like, this mollifies my hatred for the team. Finally Gen-R is being implemented in the one spot that desperately needed it. In honor, I'll repost what was one of my first opinions posted on the blog. By the way, my draft entry took more work than any other one since. I think I was very right about trading Desi immediately, as he was theretofore a superb player. Should've traded him.Sha-Zam!With Clint Barmes' freak injury and Aaron Miles' less freaky injury, a player that has been deserving of playing time has begun to shine. If you don't know who I'm talking about, it's no. 4, Luis Gonzalez. This super-utility guy (he apparently carries something in the area of ten gloves on road trips) has shown that he has the ability to start in the bigs. He has performed admirably in the wake of the Miles injury and will get more playing time with Barmes out too. I personally believe that he should get the starting job at second base over Aaron Miles, given his power numbers. Gonzalez exceeds Miles' numbers in OBP, Slugging %, homers, and has legitimate power to the gaps. It seems to me that in Coors, a ballpark know for its inflated power numbers, every positional player for a team that plays 81 games there ought to have the ability to knock the ball out of the yard; thus, the Rockies should trade Miles or push him into a utility role (especially with Desi Relaford's revival, he should be starting every game too). Aaron Miles' hitting style would be ok in Coors if he drew more walks, but because he doesn't do that, his OBP is almost identical to his average, thereby decreasing his value. Many teams would be glad to have a contact hitting second baseman in Miles, so there would be some value in return. Keeping to the youth movement, Luis Gonzalez is the younger player as well, and thus should get the starting nod.Desi Relaford has shown something as of late as well, and the Rockies need to capitalize on that by trading him (if they are truly committed to the future). A team with two rising middle infield stars (Gonzalez, Barmes) has no room for a utility man that can hit .320. Normally the view would be that Relaford's stats are merely a reflection of Coors field, but he is hitting better on the road than in the thin aired hitter's paradise. Like Miles, Relaford is a contact hitter with little power, but in contrast to Miles, Relaford works the count and walks very often. This makes him acceptable in Coors, however, the Rox should exploit his rising value by trading him and consequently free up space in the infield while acquiring a good prospect.The following playoff-competitive teams are probably interested in a veteran middle infielder hitting .320 (some have players to give in return):Padres (Loretta down, Xavier Nady is a solid prospect)Marlins (Alex Gonzalez is hitting only .278)Mets (Kaz Matsui is no good)Brewers (loaded farm system, starting SS has .182 BA)MarinersTwins (Loaded farm system, may need a veteran to anchor the infield)Yankees (but who would they trade...)Orioles (badly need infield depth)Blue JaysDon't take this as hostility towards either player, I really like Desi Relafo[...]



Oh vacancies.

2005-08-01T16:17:00.690-07:00

With the Rockies having an off day, this is a great opportunity to watch one of the best pitchers in the game do his thing. Tune your television to ESPN, 'cause you don't want to miss the A's-Twins game. Santana's pitching. In the event that you're getting the National League game, well, lame. The fact that ESPN "alternative" exists on DirecTV really makes me happy. Woo.



Recap-0-Tron

2005-08-01T09:04:18.456-07:00

I'm lucky to have my reduced blogging duties coincide with my newfangled eBay escapades, because now I can try to do a better job on both, although the eBay stuff is entirely new so there's no room for improvement/anything to compare my performance to. P.S. Shawn Chacon looks crazy different. I think that in the future, academia will no longer footnote things traditionally, but rather will hyperlink to e-text editions of their sources.***Over the past month, the Rockies have gone from a last place team to being a, well, last place team. The general manager Dan O'Dowd assured his loss-weary constituency that he would only make "good baseball moves," but proved to be as trustworthy as the city of Washington on the whole(and Peter Angelos, who's in that general area). In trying to pull the wool over the eyes over Rockies fans everywhere, O'Dowd and the Monforts seem to have accidentally blinded himself and then stubbed several of his toes. The "baseball moves" were kicked off by trading Preston Wilson's salary (player now included!) to the Nationals for the oft-injured sinkerballer Zach Day and toolsy outfielder J.J. Davis. Day, still a young man at the age of 27 (hey isn't that how old Shawn Chacon is? Stay tuned!), has a good sinker; according to O'Dowd, sinkerball pitchers "profile" better at Coors than other types of pitchers. ZD, like the California vintage bearing his initials, most likely has a shelf life of a couple of years before he starts turning sour. J.J. Davis, once upon a time the eighth overall pick in the MLB draft, has not reached the level many thought he would achieve. His OBP numbers from the minors look like very good batting averages (.342 at AAA Nashville in 2003), but he has power (26 homers in that same PCL season) and is reasonably young at the age of 26. The P-Dub to Washington move was prudent and somewhat wise, and everybody knew it was going to happen. The next trade was with the Oakland A's of Moneyball fame. The Rockies sent former-ace-turned-terrible-pitcher Joe Kennedy and the yang to his yin, former-washup-turned-super-eighth-inning-man Jay Witasick. Joe Kennedy and Jason Jennings battled for the top spot in what was supposed to be the strongest rotation the Rockies have seen since their humble beginnings at Mile High Stadium, and JK Kennedy (Haha, tricked you into giving me a fat contract. I'm not good! i wuz jk lolol) earned the opening day start. He never performed like a number one guy (even a Rockies number one guy) in his second tour of the Majors in a purple-striped uni. There were flashes of brilliance, and he pitched very well in many games save for the six run first/fourth/fifth/sixth inning that he would inevitably surrender in those JK-patented almost-great starts. His four spotless innings per start notwithstanding, Kennedy's ERA was above 7. He was probably doing some collar tugging around the trade deadline. Jay Witasick, the diamond in the inexplicably jewel-filled rough that is the bullpen scrap heap, had performed admirably for the Rockies in 2005. After the first month of the season when the home-grown bullpen deflated any hope of respectability (yes, NL West teams can be respectable), the Rox made some good moves and picked up enough veterans to restore the bullpen to decent, if not above-average status. The bridge from the starter or sixth and seventh inning guy to stellar closer Brian Fuentes was Jay Witasick. His presence in the eighth and extended scoreless stretches allowed the Rockies to hold onto their leads in the rare event that they had one, and kept the Rockies within striking distance if they were down by a couple of runs. The A's sent the Rockies mino[...]



Good Housekeeping

2005-07-31T08:44:40.416-07:00

With all of this stuff going on, I'm going to wait until later to do a less angry trade recap. For now, I'm just going to mention some things.

The Bigbie deal didn't go through, according to Tracy Ringolsby, who's on the Fan right now, because O'Dowd "thought the Red Sox's word was worth anything." The Sox backed out. The Byrnes trade that never was makes sense, despite its obvious salary dumping overtones, because Shop(p?)ach is a solid defensive catcher with decent power (wooooo). If the deal went through, it would've essentially been Kennedy and the best setup man we've seen since Brian Fuentes for Quintanilla, Shop(p?)ach, and Stern. Maybe, just maybe, I commented too rashly about this. Not about the Chacon deal, but the Byrnes saga (post Oakland). If this was their plan, then I guess their moves make some sense. Then again, JD was supposed to be good. I think JD should play winter ball this year, by the way. Go to Mexico, play every day, get your junk in line.

On the subject of the Red Sox, I hear that Tampa Bay's front office is the worst in baseball. They ask for far too much and want to give far too little. They also got Kazmir on the cheap when the Mets were on tilt, though. Maybe they just don't play the downanout club game and actually want a fair deal for their good players. My knowledge of this the consequence of listening to sports radio on the drive home at 11:30.

I don't like the fact that I have a reason to root for the Yankees. I really don't like that at all. Stupid Chacon with his endearing cap angle. If I could, I'd root for the Indians and CC Sabbathia (one of two pitchers I see that could concievably win 300 games in the modern era), but they're far away and I'm just not blue-collar enough. I should move to Buffalo.

I thank the lord every day for the return of hockey and football. There is going to be absolute pandemonium starting tomorrow with free agency. I'm not sure where I stand on Footer and Forsberg, but there's some question as to whether the Avs will be able to retain either one. If all of the qualifying offers they extended get accepted, they will only have 5 million under the cap, and I think Foppa and Footer will command max contract (aka 7 million) money. On the other hand, the Bruins offered Joe Thornton five million dollars a year. ridiculous. He is a max contract dude.



Do a Little Doublethink on Big Brother Dan

2005-07-30T22:05:19.126-07:00

Throughout all of the trade talk and rumors, all of the coverage of what most have called the awful Chacon move, I think we've all felt that something's just not right. And it's probably struck us all by now, the questions we've been dying to ask: Wait a minute, weren't the Rockies building a homemade, Colorado dugout? These kids, who have been pitching in Colorado all of their lives, are the only way to win, right Dan? Apparently not. In a stunning move, Dealin' Dan O'Dowd pulled one right out of Orwell's pocket and asked us all to do a bit of doublethink in a press conference yesterday. The Rocky's Dave Krieger puts it well:

And so the faces keep changing. One day you are part of the building process and the next day you're not. Remember when Chacon and Scott Elarton were part of the grow-'em-at-home plan? These were Colorado kids who had always pitched at altitude.

That was the secret.

For about a minute and a half.

Somebody asked general manager Dan O'Dowd about the homegrown thing and he immediately veered off into his rap about kids the Rockies have drafted. He didn't even remember the grow-'em-at-home plan. No wonder. There have been so many plans.

From Rockies' newest profile: Kiss hope goodbye in Saturday's Rocky


Quite frankly, this is an insult to the intelligence of Rockies fans everywhere. We remember when a slightly more chipper Dan told us that homegrown was the way to go, and asked us to stay the course for a few years as we built a bullpen that would know how to pitch in Coors Field. So we did. But now, it seems, all hope of building some kind of Colorado Dream Team has gone down the drain, because the GM doesn't even recognize the plan anymore. For years, we've been told that we're building and building, getting better and getting there, but every year since the Bichette and the rest of the bombers left, the team has been completely different. Hopefully, this is the last straw for Dealin' Dan. Too long, we've been asked to wait patiently as year after year of "rebuilding" goes by, with a completely different core in every "phase" of rebuilding.

The entire situation is beginning to show what it has always really been: not an effort to put together an attractive product, but an effort to cut salary and make as much money as possible. I wouldn't be this pissed if they had told me the truth from the outset - but year after year we've been told of the comittment and dedication to a good franchise, and year after year it's looked more and more like a pipe dream.

The Rockies have enjoyed a pretty decent following for their level of incompetence - the blog community proves that, but I'm thinking that's about to change. I'll continue to be a fan of the team, but I don't have to be a fan of the management. I hope you'll all join me in my campaign to Deal Dan Out. And while we're at it, let's fold with a pair of Monforts. When the day comes that we have real management in town, hopefully we can laugh at all of this - but right now, I can't wait to say "good riddance".

-Gabe



Long Winded, Angry Tirade.

2005-07-29T21:39:04.726-07:00

We've been had. We've been absolutely freaking had, folks. Duped, hoodwinked, conned, decieved, et cetera.

Ownership quite clearly has O'Dowd on an elaborate network of strings. Dan O'Dowd simply keeps payroll down, and in this manner he can keep his job. That wasn't the plan before, because there were lots of huge contracts handed out to players like Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton. The ideology changed, and now the Rockies ownership clearly has mandated that the club spend as little money as possible under the guise of fiscal responsibility and commitment to the farm system. When asked about what to do with the millions of dollars that would be freed up by the expiration of the contracts of Neagle, Hampton, Wilson, and Johnson, O'Dowd talked about "shoreing up the bullpen." This is absolutely ridiculous. As I said earlier, we've been had.

Reminiscent of a Simpsons episode when a taxcut is described as a "colossal salary grab" by a White House aide and is marketed as a "temporary refund adjustment," We're being decieved. The Rockies had (and I argue still have) the opportunity to be a big market team along the lines of the Cubs, Cardinals, and to some extent, the Mets. They sold out freaking Mile High Stadium regularly during the innagural year. Yet, when it comes to finances, the Rockies unequivocally declared that the Rockies are a mid-market franchise who should model themselves after the Twins. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the Rockies have the resources to be like the Cubs or Cardinals; the only reason for the Rox to run their club like a mid-market franchise is to make truckloads of cash. That's not enough though. They were not content to have a reasonable payroll. The Rockies then decided to trade Preston Wilson, which was understandable. That's what struggling clubs do, they unload salary. Fine.

The Rox also decided to trade away a crucial plank of what little success they'd had in Jay Witasick to the A's for another marginal prospect and a decent outfielder.

A few weeks later, the Rockies trade away their best starter, their homegrown guy Shawn Chacon, to the Yankees. What do they trade him for? Money. I'm sorry, I meant, um, prospects. Prospects that make about zero dollars. These prospects are so far off the map that they aren't in the Yankees' BA top ten. THE FREAKING YANKEES. THE FARM SYSTEM SO DEPLETED BY TRADES THAT IT'S THE BUTT OF EVERY LETTERMAN JOKE. Moreover, the prospects have trouble with control Whoa now, what's the thing that the Rockies can't do? Oh right. Walk people. Gee. How can you explain this trade? HE IS 27 YEARS OLD.

Oh right

Chacon was making the UNGODLY SUM of 2.3 million dollars.

Then comes the Byrnes deal. Byrnes for Bigbie. A fan favorite all-out player goes to the Orioles, the Rockies get a fizzled out prospect with worse numbers, and, oh yeah, a much smaller salary. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS TRADE BEYOND SHEER GREED. THE MONEY IS GOING DIRECTLY INTO THE POCKETS OF THE OWNERS. GAAAAAAAAAH.

I quite honestly am going to write to the commissioner. The Monforts and their abettors need to be ousted from their oh-so-comfortable position.

A note from Gabe (not wanting to take the glory from Sam's tirade): Please check out the fine work Rox Girl over at Purple Row has been doing analyzing the Chac trade. Her Q&A list really puts the whole deal in perspective.



Humor to help us get through the Chacon trade, as posted in a comment in the last post

2005-07-29T09:40:23.823-07:00

In fact, I'm surprised that he hasn't traded Helton yet. I mean, he was just batting near .300 when he got injured, and he had tons of power behind him all season, he's seen all kinds of great pitching. Oh, and there's no way he'll ever fully recover from, gasp, a strained muscle. Not to mention the fact that he's never been seriously injured before, so this one will hit him hard...hrm, now seems like a perfect time to trade him. Why, I'll bet we could get three or four Yankees prospects for him!

-Gabe
P.S. This was sarcasm.



Stuff and Junk

2005-07-29T06:10:06.633-07:00

Well, then. If you read my earlier post, you know how I feel about trading Shawn Chacon. I said if they trade him, I lose respect for the Rockies organization and their so-called "plan." There is no concievable reason to trade your number one starter of the year for two YANKEES prospects. WE'RE TALKING THE FREAKING YANKEES HERE, PEOPLE. Not exactly the deepest minor league talent pool in the world. I don't understand. I flat out don't understand. I'm normally hesitant to admit that, but I have absolutely no idea why they would do this. Ohhh wait. I just saw this on the intertron:
Chacon, who earns $2.35 million, will be arbitration-eligible for the third time after the season.

I get it now. They've been lying to us this whole time. Who'd've expected that?

Everyone should be pissed. EVERYONE.

This is the most ridiculous Rockies trade since ever.

YANKEES PROSPECTS?!

All's well that ends well. Too bad, cause if it ended well, I wouldn't be so pissed.

I'm so desperate for baseball I'm probably not going boycott them.

Absolutely fucking ridiculous.



Welcome Back to D-Town

2005-07-27T19:31:08.566-07:00

So there I am, feeling like I need to check my e-mail, in the midst of a 1-1 ballgame. Jamie Wright is pitching well, and the Rockies offense is making solid contact, it's looking like a good game in the making. Then I come back, ask pop what happened, and learned (not to my surprise) that Jamie had given up back-to-back homers. But that's okay, it's just 3-1, and we're good at playing catchup. Plus, I'm hungry and a Quesadilla is calling to me.

Long story short, I get back from my Quesdilla-making only to see Byrnes make a stunning diving miss on an insideout liner (though props for trying), allowing in another run to make the game 7-1. Now it's 9-1, and Carvajal's just allowed a 2-run double by the backup catcher. I guess it's just the Rockies welcoming me back from a 5-week break from glorious Rockies baseball.

Thanks, guys, I missed you too.

-Gabe

P.S. I'd like to send a shoutout to my co-blogger Sam "The Brick" Handler for his excellent work during my hiatus. Wow, he's such a better blogger than I.



Black and Silver Like the Raiders

2005-07-26T07:34:05.300-07:00

The Rockies win on Monday evening came with a black lining. In the 5-3 victory over the Mets, superstar first baseman Todd Helton was running to third base from second, and the 6' 2" face of the Colorado Rockies looked to have tweaked something in his leg as he gingerly lumbered his oversized frame to third. Helton says he will only miss one or two games, but given the Rockies' current place in the standings (in the "IRRELEVANT" column next to the Reds and the D-Rays), the struggling club doesn't need to rehab Helton as quickly as possible; rushing players back from injury tends to breed more of the same troubles in the future.

The former Volunteer quarterback had been uncharacteristically streaky in the first several months of the season, consequently having a low average, before experiencing a resurgence of consistency in the month of July. Helton looked (and most likely looks) poised to vault his drooping average above the .300 mark for the first time in a long while until this setback occurred. A Rockies source says that the injury is similar to that of Dustan Mohr, sustained while jumping over the dugout fence to celebrate an opening day victory, suggesting that Helton could be out for roughly 20 games. Unfortunately, there's more bad news about Helton's return date in the form of Todd Greene. Green pulled a hamstring earlier in the year and wasn't supposed to be out for more than 15-25 days, yet the veteran catcher is still out after almost two months. Then again, Helton's tough, Helton has no history of injury, and Helton wants to play more than anyone to ever put on a Rockies uniform (my appologies to Neifi, Mr. Byrnes, and early Dante Bichette).

Depending on the length of the injury, the Rockies either will play super utility man extraordinaire Luis Gonzalez at first and start Miles and newcomer Anderson Machado up the middle, or call up the hulking 1B from Colorado Springs Ryan Shealy, who showed good power in interleague play as a DH.

Maybe that's the silver lining.



Neifi!

2005-07-25T08:00:22.786-07:00

No posts last weekend. Sorry about that. Looks like I didn't miss much, huh? I actually watched Sunday's game, and Chac looked pretty solid as usual. Why they're trying to trade him, I have no idea.Neifi Perez hit a grand slam in the 10th inning on Sunday night, and who doesn't want an excuse to catch up with what he's doing?(Old school Vlad Guerrero, old school Neifi)Neifi Perez, once upon a time a Rockies shortstop, loves Colorado. According to numerous anecdotes by Drew Goodman and his cohort George Frasier, Perez speaks upon his time in Colorado as wonderful, euphoric, et cetera. This could be because Perez was a Rocky during the period when losses weren't in quartets and when wins weren't one by excruciating one. Also, maybe, just maybe, loyalty isn't dead. A very viable possibility as to the origin of this loyalty is that the Rockies signed Neifi out of the Dominican Republic in 1992. In the country where Sammy Sosa is rumored to have used a milk carton as a glove, the life preserver (Joe Posnanski has a stellar piece about Tony Pena's experience with this in The Best American Sports Writing 2004 (awesome series. They have it for all kinds of writing. Also recommended is the short story edition)) of Major League Baseball, in this case the Rockies, probably is memorable.After being signed as an amateur free agent by the Rockies in 1992, Neifi Perez started his Rockies career. He debuted in the majors four years later on August 31, 1996 and stayed with the club for all of September, starting 17 games in that span. In '97, the then 23 year old short stop started 83 games and saw 313 official big league ABs. He didn't have great power numbers, he didn't have a great OBP, but he would play catcher if it meant seeing more playing time, and thusly he captured the hearts of Denver fans, something that hasn't been done for a long time since.Three and a half years later, Neifi wasn't any more patient at the plate, and was dealt to the KC Royals for Jermaine Dye (Three team deal: Neifi to KC, Dye to Athletics, a mess of "prospects" to the Rox. Oh Jose Ortiz, he was great). On the lower budget Missouri team, Perez performed poorly, his average dipping almost 50 points and his slugging dropping almost 150 points. Neifi simply was not happy. He missed Colorado and he missed the Rockies. After a few years bouncing around the league, sometimes on the NL West San Fran Giants allowing Colorado fans to see him, sometimes on the Cubs, sometimes in the minor leagues, Neifi resurfaced in 2005.Once the face of the Boston Red Sox, Nomar Garciaparra had been traded in mid-2004 to the Cubs in a three team deal that brought Orlando Cabrera to the BoSox and left the Expos with very little. Garciaparra went down with a torn groin early in 2005 and Neifi Perez all of a sudden was the starting shortstop for the Cubs. He's not performing particularly well statistically with a .265 average and barely-above-that OBP, but his propensity for big hits has endeared Neifi to the Chicago population (That's not to say he won't be zealously replaced with someone better at the drop of a hat).It's good to see Neifi around again.[...]



Woooo!

2005-07-22T20:22:18.593-07:00

The rollercoaster road Rockies (mostly screaming downhill sections, a few quick rises) pulled off a wonderful victory.

With the Rockies leading 3-2 in the ninth, bright spot du season Brian Fuentes was in to close the game. The tying run crossed the plate under the Frisbee Man's watch, but he buckled down with one out and the bases loaded to preserve the tie and give his team a shot.

With two outs in the top of the tenth, Aaron Miles broke his bat and sent an arching shot to short center field. Todd Helton then proceded and continued to rock the house (Track 1, Do You Want More?!?!!?) with a gut wrenchingly slow fly to deep, deep, GONE, right field. 5-3 Rockies.

David Cortes closed it out in the bottom of the tenth with the help of a solid play on Jack Wilson's no-out bunt with men on second and third; Cortes fielded the bunt, twirled around, and delivered the ball to Luis Gonzalez covering third, just in time to get the force on the lead runner.

The Big Handsome put forth a dominant performance, yielding only two runs in six innings. He had four strikeouts and only one walk in his sextet, forcing batters to hit his dominant stuff if they wanted to reach base.

Matt Holliday continued his torrid post-injury streak with a solo homer that cracked the game's scoring open and two singles.

Garrett Atkins had a double with the bases loaded and a walk in four official ABs as well.

Tomorrow, Alaska native Dave Williams takes the mound against the Rockies, and on Sunday, Shawn Chacon, a fellow Last Frontier-er, will go up on the hill in Pittsburgh. I wonder whether that's happened before...