The starting pitching…horrors! The defense…so awful! Who’s going to catch? Who’s going to play third base? Tulo…he’s injury prone! Not worth the money! Nobody hits on the road…the Rockies are doomed! And look at the farm system. You think help is on the way?…fat chance!
Tulo and the Rockies get to work in the coming weeks. Image: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
That has generally been the refrain when it comes to the Rockies off-season. Most people seem to think that this will be a season conceded to building for the future. There are few or zero scenarios where the Rockies somehow stumble into contention in the 2013 season. That is a perfectly reasonable take, by the way. That negativity is well-supported.
You don’t have to look far to find dire predictions for the 2013 season. Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan crushed the Rockies back at the beginning of January. The Denver Post ran season preview content today. It included a baffling take-down of Dan O’Dowd by Woody Paige (baffling only in Paige’s insistence to call O’Dowd a “dictator”). Troy Renck wrote a piece in defense of manager Walt Weiss, but it included a number of sobering observations about what 2013 holds for the Rockies. Take this sentence as an example: “But let’s be honest, this is a transition season, the roster howling as much. Give Weiss room to make mistakes.” This view assumes that there will be story lines to follow with the Rockies this year, but none of those stories will have to do with playoff contention.
Ineptitude and irrelevance are the prevailing views of the Rockies’ season. But then there is the Hall of Famer, Tracy Ringolsby, who took a different view of the team’s prospects this season.
Ringolsby points out that the players who are key to the team’s chances this year were not present for enough of 2012. As such, it is not worth investing worry in last year’s results and citing them as a reason the Rockies will be a disaster in 2013. This is the rosiest picture one can possibly paint, of the starting pitching especially. There is something to be said for this method of parsing through the data. After all, the three most important starting pitchers (Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, and Juan Nicasio) contributed only 28 starts to the historically bad results of 2012. If you want to argue for optimism, you can separate them from all of the awful numbers from last season and at least say: “Hey, maybe we don’t know. Maybe things won’t be so bad.”
As Spring Training commences, the season previews will pick up in earnest. You can bet that most NL West projections will have the Colorado Rockies in 4th or 5th place. Rightfully so. But Ringolsby has shown us that there is a thoughtful path to optimism. You can choose to have high hopes for the Rockies and not be totally off your rocker.
So which is it? For the 2013 Colorado Rockies, do you choose optimism or pessimism?