On The Colorado Rockies’ Beat: Pinch-Hitting With A Pitcher


Jul 30, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher C. Rusin (52) hits a two-run home run off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher C. Martinez (not pictured) in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Either the Denver Post doesn’t have too many folks who know baseball (or the Colorado Rockies), or else there’s a fun little narrative at play here.

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The Denver Post ran a story on the Colorado Rockies that I’m sure was an afterthought for them this week — it was just one of their DP sports blogs (damn bloggers!) — but I can’t understand the point of it.

It had to do with Chris Rusin pinch hitting for Eddie Butler on Thursday afternoon in New York, and I can’t figure out why it’s newsworthy.

Is it just trolling for clicks? Is it the Post doesn’t understand pinch hitting a pitcher for another pitcher can be normal in early innings in the National League?

Is it that the Post literally doesn’t know that the Rockies carry a short bench and an extra reliever, so they don’t want to waste a hitter in the fifth inning of a fairly close game? Is there a narrative over there that hey the Rockies suck so bad that they have to use a pitcher to pinch hit hardy-har-har? Or is it just like, oh, hey, these are fun facts about pitchers pinch-hitting for the Rockies (cool…)?

But really — I don’t get this story. I’m sure I’m being too critical (welcome to Rox Pile!), but is there something here that I’m missing about why this was newsworthy for the paper of record in a decent-sized media market? Clickbait is for the blogs… right?

This all comes back to one big thing, especially after Ben Hochman left the Post last week: the quality of writing (specifically baseball writing) over there has been… interesting. I feel like the folks they have on peripheral coverage of the Rockies actually know very little about baseball.

Even the primary beat writer — Patrick Saunders, who’s a nice dude but’ll wear on you a bit — doesn’t have the same feel for the game as did Troy Renck, the Rockies’ former beat writer who now covers the Denver Broncos.

I know, the Post is struggling very badly as of late, and they want their best writers on their most important beats, hence Renck to the Broncos. But taking him off the Rockies’ beat, while sensible, is a tough move; he was a good baseball writer.

Either way, this post of theirs is a blip, and we’re all afforded mulligans (dear God, don’t go back and read some of my crap-ola on this site), but let’s be real about it: every post you publish says something about you, and your publication. We’re not winning Pulitzers here, but…

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