At the halfway point in the season, “rocky” would be a nice way of describing the Colorado Rockies season. Halfway through their 2012 campaign, the Rockies are on pace to lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history. They have thrown out standard baseball practices by creating a four-man starting rotation and a seventy-five pitch count limit. General Manager Dan O’Dowd and the players have talked about competing in the national league race, but the party line has not translated on the field. The team’s solution is a letter to the season ticket holders. Here is an excerpt from owner Dick Monfort’s letter:
“As for the season, this is not the start that we hoped for. Our commitment to winning has been questioned. Our efforts have never been about money, we want to WIN! I can honestly tell you that our desire and our only desire, is to bring you and the entire Rocky Mountain Region what you deserve, and that is a World Championship.
With that said, we know where our weaknesses lie and we have challenged everyone in the organization to get this fixed! Every loss is unbearable to me, but we have a group of young men who truly believe they can deliver on our goal.
It has been a tough three months and we have every expectation that things will turn around and we will deliver a much better performance in the second half. Your loyalty is greatly appreciated and not taken for granted.”
Several things that jump off the page after reading this letter; “Our efforts have never been about money, we want to WIN!” Is Mr. Monfort hoping that fans read this, forget that this Rockies organization is being completely mismanaged, and lose their minds by seeing that the Rockies actually want to win? He capitalized the W, the I and the N and added an explanation point. That speaks volumes; it is impossible to miss on the page. It is also only the first of two exclamation points in the three paragraphs.
Monfort’s declaration that the organization is committed to winning a World Championship is the first that I have ever heard on the subject from either of the Monfort Brothers. They speak about the possibility of winning a World Series, but have never stated that as their goal. This is what puts them behind the Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets in rocky mountain region as far as accountability. The Rockies have never set that high of a benchmark for success. Of course, this commitment they mention has seen a regression since 2009. The Rockies record will almost certainly be worse than the previous campaign for the third year in a row.
The second paragraph of the statement, where the Rockies have young men who believe that they can win, is not very comforting. The Rockies are on pace to have the worst starting pitching ERA in major league history; breaking a record that has stood since the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies strongest offensive line up in the last few years is being destroyed by a lack of accountability on the defensive side of the ball. The Rockies promoted the man who was in charge of the pitching, pitching coach Bob Apodaca, because he was tired of losing. He is now an assistant to the general manager. Does that scream winning to anyone? In the process of this horrible losing, the best result will be that only Carlos Gonzalez asks out of Colorado and Troy Tulowitzki does not leave with him.
Finally, the Rockies have, “every expectation that things will turn around… in the second half,” but there is no consequence put in place if this team does lose a hundred games. Do the Monfort’s really think Rockies fans are stupid?
Of course, I’m not a season ticket holder, so I can’t say for sure if the party line is still working. This is, however, the third time the owners have reached out to season ticket holders in less than a year, starting with a phone conference after the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last July. Just remember, the Rockies… “want to WIN!”