Yes, the Rockies are delusional

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The Colorado Rockies have a very odd definition of what it means to have a “new-look” team.

Sitting here as a writer inclined to give the people in charge of the Rockies the benefit of the doubt insofar as they know more about running a professional baseball team than I ever will, I am still baffled and thoroughly annoyed by the headline for this article about the Rockies on MLB.com that ran on Monday.

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“Monfort eager to see new-look Rockies in action” (emphasis is mine)

What?

Seriously….what?

I do not necessarily think that the Rockies are delusional in that they believe they can be a playoff team. I think the odds of such a successful season are quite slim, but I do not think that type of season is impossible.

Optimism and faith in the current course of action can be argued, misguided though those opinions might be. But seriously, how can you look at this team with any measure of objectivity and say that it is “new-look?”

The San Diego Padres will be a new-look team in 2015. The Oakland Athletics will be a new-look team in 2015. The Toronto Blue Jays will be a new-look team in 2015. The Colorado Rockies pretty much did the opposite of what those teams did this winter (as in, they did nothing).

Whether you agree or not with the philosophy behind their decisions, the Rockies stood pat this off-season. They have the same core of players and the same manager. They will have almost an identical lineup as they did last season, especially considering the fact that Michael Cuddyer, now a member of the Mets, barely played last year anyway (he played in 49 games, to be exact).

Do the Rockies consider the additions of Nick Hundley, Daniel Descalso, Kyle Kendrick, and David Hale the types of moves that warrant a “new look?”

It appears the answer is yes. Here in the introduction for the article in question, as penned by the outstanding Thomas Harding:

"The Rockies head into 2015 hoping the changes they made this offseason will renew belief that the team will be successful. With the arrival of Presidents’ Day signaling Spring Training is right around the corner, Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort shared some of his excitement about what the new season will bring."

With respect to a Harding, a man who does a job I could never do and does it on an exceptional level…what in the hell?

There’s nothing that Dick Monfort can say that will make fans happy. Not during this off-season, even with a new general manager in place. What he can do, however, is acknowledge that the Rockies have decided to ride it out one more year with the same plan as the last number of years.

Indeed, 2015 will be one more try at hoping that Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy as duel-MVP threats en route to a playoff berth. Repetitive though that plan is, it is not entirely without merit.

So if you’re Monfort…say that you still believe in this plan, even if fans are frustrated. Say that you are excited about the direction because of a farm system that is consistently being ranked in the top 10. Those would be reasonable, in-touch-with reality things to say.

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But to even allude to a “new-look” team in the midst of comments that are self-congratulatory about all the hard work this off-season is misguided at best. I do not question that these men work hard, but to even hint that the hard-work during this particular off-season has resulted in any meaningful change to the “look” of the roster is downright laughable.

Listen to and read the previews for this upcoming season, and any coverage outside of Colorado regards the Rockies as an absolute joke. As Dick Monfort has gained some well-earned notoriety for his adolescent email outbursts last season, people are quick to point to him as the reason that the Rockies will be a losing baseball team “in perpetuity,” as Sam Miller of BP put it.

The notion that Monfort considers this to be a “new-look” Rockies team only strengthens the outside opinion that this team is a joke. It leaves non-Rockies fans to laugh at the franchise for being delusional about its place in Major League Baseball, and it leaves those of us who care without a counter-argument, resignedly shaking our heads.

Next: The immense pressure on Eddie Butler and Jon Gray

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