Aug 18, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies manager W. Weiss (22) watches from the dugout in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. The Nationals defeated the Rockies 15-6. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies have some work to do down the stretch if they’re going to lose 100 games, but there’s an important reason to (sadly) root for it to happen.
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The Colorado Rockies have some work to do if they are going to lose 100 games this season. Before play on Thursday evening, the club was 48-70 (.407), which would put them on pace to go about 66-96.
That’s obviously damn close to the century mark, and would tie the 2014 club for the second-worst record in the history of the Colorado Rockies’ franchise. But if they lose 96 this year, it’d still be a better season than this club deserves.
Yes, I want the Colorado Rockies to lose 100 games. They’d have to go 14-30 (.318) down the stretch to do it, but considering they are just 9-21 (.300) since the All Star break before play on Thursday, they may just have a .318 stretch in them.
It’s not sheer morbid enjoyment that drives me to want the Rockies to lose 100; I’d rather they be great, because it’s far, far easier covering a good team than a terrible one. Nobody wants to watch or write about a team that gets their brains beat in such a predictable manner every night. Find no further proof than my last two half-assed game recaps (here, and here) if you’re skeptical of that.
No, I want them to lose 100 because I want Jeff Bridich to recognize how bad the ball club is, how serious the problems are (specifically in the starting rotation and bullpen), and how drastically things must change if the Rockies can ever hope to contend.
I fear that Bridich, like his predecessor Dan O’Dowd, is stuck in the mindset that the Rockies are only a few pieces away from being a contender. They’re not. They’re awful.
This team has lost 89, 98, 88, 96, and now on pace for 96 more games in the last five years. They haven’t been anywhere near contention recently. They’re not a couple of moves away; they’re a complete paradigm shift from winning and several years of actual re-building (read: not signing Kyle Kendrick) away from being decent.
I’ve written before about blowing up the bullpen to make it younger, which in the short term will make it even worse. The same can go for the whole roster; make it younger, do what the Houston Astros did, take it on the chin for another year or two, and build a farm system that’s already good so that something cool can happen soon-ish.
It’ll be painful in the short-term, for sure. But will it be more painful than perennially losing 89-95 games with no hope of being relevant past April 25, and then lying to yourselves about how next year will be the year because so-and-so will get healthy and so-and-so mediocre free agent will be the difference maker? Please.
Go young. Go really young.
Trade away veterans. Stock pile prospects. Some will work, some will not. But the more top level minor league talent you have, the better your odds in development.
Suffer immensely for two or three years. Then start signing free agents to fill pieces around your rapidly improving prospects who, before you know it, are pretty damn good big leaguers. Contend!
(Yes, that path is more complicated than those sentences, but that’s the general idea. And maybe this is asking too much of the front office, but considering Bridich is new — despite his ties to his predecessor’s regime — I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt… for now.)
Anyways, I fear I sound like a broken record with this, but the Rockies are not a couple winter moves away from contending. They’re not if only Adam Ottavino and Corey Dickerson had been healthy, we’d have won 80 games. They’re not next year it’ll be better because Tyler Chatwood will be back and Jordan Lyles won’t have a freak injury THREE years in a row, right?!
They’re a very bad team. They have some great players, and some really fascinating prospects. They without a doubt have some of the pieces that can make a very good team. But the way they’ve been going about it — retaining Carlos Gonzalez, retaining Wilin Rosario, holding on to Justin Morneau way too long until injuries rendered him without trade value, picking up mediocre veteran free agents this winter for the rotation and bullpen — is entirely wrong.
Go young, man. Get awful for a couple years, trade away CarGo and a few others this winter to get some prospects back, keep drafting well (that’s one thing the Rockies have done decently the last couple seasons!), and finally admit what needs to happen: you’re much, much more than a couple of moves away from contending and you’re in need of the actual, real, authentic re-build.
I’m happy to stand by a team that loses 100+ games for a few seasons, so long as they have a long-term plan for development. I’m not so excited about a team losing 90+ that is oh hey, we’re just THIS ONE MOVE away from being good, we promise!
Get it over with: admit you’re awful, get awful, and start to actually re-build the team.