Top 10 Inside Jokes I Hope Are Over


One of the most delightful things about being on Twitter during Rockies games is the groupthink that develops. We all start to notice the same things, and then we make fun of them. That’s what you have to do when you have no control yourself: make fun of those who do. However, the issue with these inside jokes is that they start to get old after a while. The funny starts to develop an edge of bitterness. So these are the things that we all beat to death, and that I hope we have nothing to say about next season because they are no longer an issue.

10. Contact Play Failure

I’m really not a believer in the contact play under any circumstances. Maybe as a manager I would be accused of playing it too safe, but it’s too risky to run toward home when there’s no force play unless the ball gets out of the infield. An obvious exception to this would be the squeeze play. But if the hitter is going for an ordinary hit and he makes weak contact, a smart fielder throws to home if he sees the runner break. The Rockies have made a ridiculous number of outs in that situation this season. I don’t want to see it anymore. Spring training needs to be running-clinic heavy!

9. Huston’s Drama

This has tapered off since Rafael Betancourt has taken over closer duties and done a much less scary job. It makes me wonder whether Huston Street’s days with the club are numbered, but I digress. For the first half of the season, the closer job was exclusively Huston’s, and he gave us quite the dog-and-pony show every night. He has only blown 3 saves, but he has come dangerously close to blowing about 20 more. Part of it is the 10 home runs in 55 innings pitched. Regardless of how its accomplished, I just hope I’m not biting my nails in every single 9th inning next season. My heart is tired.

8. Making So-So Pitchers Look Amazing

In the middle of the season, when the Rockies were really struggling to do anything right, they started a trend of boosting the opposing pitcher’s ego. Rookies, guys with losing records, guys they’d always beaten before: you name it, they were losing to them. To name a few, Ryan Vogelsong, Randy Wolf, Jordan Zimmermann, Micah Owings, and Casey Coleman all went to bed feeling real good about themselves after facing the Rockies. Lately they’ve reverted to simply making good pitchers look good, but the joke remains. Whenever some unknown guy comes to the mound, we ruthlessly taunt the Rockies for how likely they are to make him look awesome.

7. Jim Tracy’s Bullpen Overmanagement

Everybody’s a specialist in Jim Tracy’s bullpen, and sometimes he likes to shuffle them around like it’s a fun little game. There are several issues with this, not least of which that every National League team has had a good long look at each of our relievers and knows exactly what he can do at this point. There’s also the problem that comes with warming everybody up in nearly every game. The biggest problem, though, and the one we make fun of Jim for, is the way he pulls pitchers who get 2 good outs and ought to be allowed to finish the inning. Next year, I would love to see him give a guy the chance to close out a good inning. This will mean fewer pitchers used in each game. I can dream, right?

6. Tulo’s Bad Clutch Hitting

It’s no secret that Troy Tulowitzki is one of the game’s best players. He’s also nowhere near his full potential, as evidenced by his splits in multiple areas. He’s good enough to be an Albert-Pujols-caliber superstar, but he is completely useless in certain situations at this point in his career. One of these, the most glaring, is when it’s late in the game and the score is close. There are many complicated ways to calculate his effectiveness in the clutch, but it’s simple enough just to look at his numbers before and after the 7th inning. Before, he’s hitting .327 with a .607 slugging percentage. After, he’s hitting .250 with a .405 slugging percentage. What this amounts to is merciless ridicule when he comes to the plate in the 9th inning representing the tying or go-ahead run with 2 outs. What will he do, what will he do?? He’ll strike out. I guarantee it.

5. Alfonzo Over Iannetta

The Eliezer Alfonzo Experiment might be the most confusing one Jim Tracy has conducted this season. He persists in playing Alfonzo instead of Chris Iannetta far more frequently than he should. Iannetta may not be meeting his power potential, but, slotted into the 8-hole as he nearly always is, we don’t need him to. And he is a force in the lineup even if Tracy doesn’t value him as such. His on-base percentage is nearly 100 points higher than Alfonzo’s. This seems like it would a no-brainer, but the Twitterverse is suspicious of the condition of Tracy’s brain, so whether or not he can make a decision that seems this obvious is unclear.

4. Eric Young Jr. Over Anybody

This is probably interchangeable with 5 because in both cases it’s a defensive downgrade. EYJ is fine in the lineup because of his speed (he’s second on the team in stolen bases despite only playing in 58 games), but nowhere is he useful to us in the field. Especially left field, where Tracy frequently puts him in lieu of Seth Smith. More on Smith below, but under no circumstances should he be benched in favor of EY, who pretty much always looks overmatched by the baseball. No EY. No. You are a career pinch-runner, I’m afraid.

3. #nightlybaserunningerror

If you aren’t on Twitter, maybe this will be an incentive for you: when the Rockies do something dumb on the basepaths, as they do EVERY night, people will say really funny stuff about it.

2. Seth Smith Sitting Against Lefties

This joke is so so old. It’s not the least bit funny anymore, though we keep trying to think of different ways to tell it. Yes, Seth Smith’s numbers are better versus right-handed pitchers. That does not mean he should only hit against them. Especially because the guys that usually play left field in his stead (Ryan Spilborghs, Ty Wigginton, or, yes, EY Jr.) not only aren’t any better hitters, they aren’t great fielders either. It means that there’s really nothing to lose playing Smith every day. But Tracy will not do it. And the worst part is, he most often benches Smith after he has a great day at the plate, with multiple hits. It’s not Smith’s fault the next day’s pitcher is a lefty. Even the Denver Post’s Rockies beat writer, Troy Renck, pokes fun at Tracy for this.

1. Lineup Changes, Especially on Tulo’s Off-Days

You’ll notice that there’s a theme running through many of these items, and that is that Jim Tracy is to blame for them. We’re in general agreement that his time has run out, but we’ll have to put up with him for another season at least. Hopefully that season will not include any games in which Alfonzo or Kevin Kouzmanoff hit clean-up. Jim, some advice: in 2012, pick your 8 best guys and play them 6 out of 7 days. Just try it. I can promise you one thing, and that’s that we will all like you just a tiny bit better if you do that.