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Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort, he the object of much ire and disdain over the years, issued a letter to season ticket holders on Thursday afternoon (it can be found here on the Denver Post’s site).
The money quote, and the one that will probably get the most play, is this one:
"I will leave you with this — I do not believe we are a middle of the pack team; we are right around the corner from being really good with the return of our three All-Stars along with the young players mentioned above. Our organization is committed to doing everything in our power to bring you, the greatest fans in the world, a championship. We will not rest until we do it.”"
This leads me to what I think is a common misconception of what goes on with Rockies ownership and management. Their admittedly awful execution, with a middle-of-the-road payroll (that was quite low in 2013), has pushed many people to the opinion that Monfort and co. “don’t care” about winning. To which I say…
…not caring and being bad at it are two different things. Indifferent and misguided are two different things. I think Dick Monfort, Bill Geivett, Dan O’Dowd, and everybody else involved genuinely wants to bring a championship to Colorado. Their execution has just left much to be desired. I don’t know these men, but neither do you, and I’m much more comfortable making the assumption they do care than that they do not care.
So here we are, coming off another season in which the Rockies’ best players missed lots of games due to injuries and the farm system is a weakness. Presumably management will continue to look inward to solve its problems, will discuss the importance of staying healthy, and remain firm in their belief that this team isn’t far from the playoffs. It’s a familiar tale, and so the frustration from fans (myself included) is understandable.
What is interesting is the transparency Monfort offered as far as the plan this off-season and what he sees as the glaring needs for his ball club. Quotes from the letter:
"Michael Cuddyer, the National League batting champion, will likely move to first base creating an opportunity to fill his position in the outfield with a big bat. We also need to improve the back end of the bullpen. Rex Brothers did well filling in for Rafael Betancourt, however it left us short in the setup role. Adam Ottavino will get an opportunity and we got a sneak preview of Chad Bettis as a starter and bullpen candidate. No matter his role, Chad will help our club."
So we might not have to speculate long about who will take over at first base, and frankly it lessens the sting of the whole thing if it is the beloved Cuddyer who takes over. I’m not so psyched about Ottavino as a set-up man, but I am very interested in Bettis in those spots. Anyhow, plenty of time to discuss all of that…
…here’s to the off-season, everybody, and happier times ahead, even with these owners and front office men.