The Year of the Fan.
This has been the slogan out of the front office for the 2012 season. It’s perfect. It makes you think the organization cares about the fans. The term “throw away year” is being tossed around a lot, but the question remains; did Dan O’ Dowd and the Monforts figure starting pitching would be this bad? Was the marketing behind Purple Mondays a strategy to keep the minds of fans distracted? Sure, maybe it’s pushing it to think the front office knew how bad this season could be, but there’s a possibility that’s even scarier. Did they actually think the pitching rotation was going to be good?
O’ Dowd did acknowledge before the season began that with young pitchers in the rotation, inconsistencies could follow. It would seem that O’ Dowd knew exactly how bad the season could turn out back in February. In an interview with Troy Renck of the Denver Post, O’ Dowd stated that the idea of the complete clubhouse overhaul came from wanting to create a bridge for upcoming prospects, with proven players, who understand how to play the game.
“Changing the culture motivated the changes,” O’Dowd said. “And one change led to another. There was a vision of what we wanted, but all the dots kind of connected on their own. Overall, we don’t think anyone we signed or traded for is going to sprinkle pixie dust on our issues or make them go away. That has to happen internally with us doing things the right way consistently.”
Red flag right there. If management wasn’t trying to bring guys in to fix the problem, then they obviously weren’t trying to compete this year.
It’s easy to look at the rotation now and ask what they were thinking. It’s easy to point out Jamie Moyer and Jeremy Guthrie as the most ridiculous spot holders, but the move to bring Guthrie in made some sense. Problem is he didn’t live up to his end of the bargain.
The moves to bring in Jeremy Guthrie and Jamie Moyer are only a small portion of the things fans have had to try and make sense of in 2012. There have been a few head scratching moves and comments from the organization this year. Let’s take a look at a few.
The Right Attitude
Before the start of spring training, Dan O’ Dowd talked about how the major overhaul in the clubhouse was about getting players with the right attitude. The problem with this is, when talent is lacking, great attitudes won’t get you wins. Instead of bringing players in with the right attitude, the push should’ve been to bring in players that will get wins.
The Handshake Agreement
The news of the indefinite handshake agreement got the blood boiling of many fans before the season began. The move was puzzling at best. After the entire coaching staff was retained following the disappointment of 2011, it could’ve been justified to give Tracy and his staff a little more time. But to grant a manager an indefinite extension based on the fact you like his personality is no way to run an organization. When Tracy took over for Clint Hurdle in May 2009, the Rockies finished 74-42 and gained a wild card berth. But since then, the Rockies have gone 181-210. Is that all Jim Tracy’s fault? No, but there needs to be accountability somewhere.
The Best GM Hands Down
“I can’t think of a general manager in baseball that’s as good as him. Granted, I don’t know all of them. I do get a chance every once in a while to speak with them, but I just think (O’Dowd) is head and shoulders above everybody else.”
Every Rockies’ fan can probably quote this word for word. Owner Dick Monfort’s comments to the Denver Post. These comments seriously pull into question whether or not ownership even knows what’s going on at Coors Field. Once again fans were left to wonder; what in the world is going on with this franchise? The best part of the quote was Dick Monfort saying “I can’t think of a general manager in baseball that’s as good as him. Granted, I don’t know all of them.” How can he claim O’ Dowd is the best GM, when he doesn’t have a clue about the others in the league? Let me help you out Mr. Monfort. Look up Andrew Friedman and Mike Rizzo.
The 4-Man Rotation
The most recent and maybe most ridiculous page in the book of 2012 is the 4-man rotation. All there really is to say about this is it can turn into a disaster. The only reason, the starting rotation hasn’t been able to pitch consistently past the 5th inning and somehow a 75 – pitch limit will change that? The bullpen is already overtaxed. Sure, this can make the starters throw strikes, but is this really the answer? No.