Denver, CO. How does anyone explain the mess that is the 2012 Colorado Rockies? How have there been no major shakeups within the organization? Yes, pitching coach Bob Apodaca is no longer around, and yes GM Dan O’Dowd is reassigned or focusing more on the minor league system, or whatever they painted that maneuver out to be. But this is absolutely ridiculous, and this year is like nothing I have ever seen out at Coors Field. This team is on pace for their worst record in franchise history, and won’t just break the all-time record for losses in one season, but will seemingly shatter it. So what needs to happen? I have plenty of answers for that dicey question.
Roughly a week ago, after Dan O’Dowd was “reassigned” to focus on other aspects of the organization, owner Dick Monfort was interviewed. He essentially said that it would make no sense to fire anyone in charge, asking the question of what that would do to improve this season? Um, Dick…nothing, you are right about that. However, lots of changes in the history of sports have been made to improve the organization long-term. Monfort continues to prove that although he is willing to spend money, he is clueless at making key decisions within a MLB franchise. That is not good news for Rockies fans going forward. But heck, do Rockies fans even care? Here in a few home games, the attendance will surpass 2 million, as it has in all but one season in team history. That one season was 2005, when the attendance for the year was 1.9 million. That year, the team tied the franchise record for most losses in a season with 95. With the team this year putting together a stellar 38-67 record so far, it now means they will have to go at least 29-28 the rest of the way to avoid going down as the worst team in club history. A winning mark for the rest of 2012 is a very unlikely scenario from a team who looks as if they have already packed up their tents for 2012.
So what now? Well, fans will still keep going to games to enjoy the weather and a great ballpark. Dick Monfort will keep making his money off of fans who seemingly do not care if Colorado wins or not. Here are a few things I would do if I were the Rockies GM this coming offseason. Looking into trading Dexter Fowler and Jordan Pacheco would be one of the first things, while their values are the highest they have ever been. With both guys hitting around .300, they have been part of a very good offensive team in 2012. Fowler has shown a good amount of power, amassing 12 HR’s so far. Some fans would say keep him, as he has finally hit his stride as a Major Leaguer. I don’t trust it, or him. Deal him while his value is high this winter, and get a few quality prospects in return. Pacheco, on the other hand, has just one home run and 24 RBI. He is proving he can be a good spray hitter though, and again his value may never be higher. Strike while the iron is hot is my philosophy. Once Troy Tulowitzki comes back from injury, moving youngster Josh Rutledge to second base makes sense. Rutledge has been nothing short of spectacular in his 20 games this year. 6 HR’s and 15 RBI already makes fans wonder what his potential could be. Todd Helton is signed through 2013, and will be back unless he decides to retire, which is a distinct possibility. I would look at 2013 as having these guys as planned every day starters…..LF Gonzalez, CF Colvin, RF Cuddyer, 3B Nolan Arenado, SS Tulowitzki, 2B Rutledge, 1B Helton, C Rosario…..and the infamous question of what to do with the pitching? Well, it can’t get any worse in 2013, right? I know one thing, I would not sign any high-priced free agents. I do believe a few of the young guys will develop into solid players, it’s just been brutal this year. 2012 will hopefully motivate all of them to work hard this winter and come into next year with the will to be better.
2012 will go down as the worst season in Colorado Rockies history. 100+ losses seems like a forgone conclusion and really is necessary for everyone, from ownership all the way down to the fans, to wake up and realize what has happened here. This year will hopefully be the harsh slap across the face that this organization truly needs. The trip to the World Series five years ago seems like a very distant memory. It’s time for everyone that is part of this franchise to look in the mirror and decide there is no choice but to be a lot better in 2013.