The Colorado Rockies have not had the season that they would have hoped when they entered the 2019 season. With not performing up to expectations, dealing with criticism is part of the territory.
In 2017 and 2018, the Colorado Rockies made a movement each season in their playoff hopes as they made the Wild Card game in 2017 and won it and advanced to the 2018 NLDS so going into 2019, they were hoping that they could advance further into the playoffs.
However, as the Colorado Rockies have 37 games the rest of the season, they find themselves way out of the playoff hunt for both the division and the NL Wild Card spots due to their record of 57-68.
As a result of their struggles, some have called for the jobs of players, coaches, manager Bud Black, and Rockies GM Jeff Bridich.
On Saturday in Denver, Rockies manager Bud Black spoke to the media, including Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry, about how he and the team deal with the thought of being on the hot seat.
"“[For me], I think it goes back to being a player,” said Black. “[Back when I played with Kansas City], the guy three rows up is hammering me when I came off the mound after I had a bad game. I learned to put that in perspective–the angry fan through a bad performance. I think that always stuck with me. As a player, then a coach, and then a manager, I think that if you have perspective with what’s going on around you, you deal with the negativity much better.”"
As a manager, though, it is a situation that is a bit different for him personally and it’s something that he has discussed with other MLB managers about.
"“As it relates to me personally and I think with other managers that I’ve talked to about this,” said Black, “our concern is about our players, our team, and our organization and if we feel as though our processes are in place and [we’re] doing the right things, that’s where our focus should be, and not the tension of the vocal minority.”"
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For Bud Black, he says that he has an ultimate goal and challenge and it’s about winning that day while also keeping an eye for the future for the franchise.
"“My ultimate goal and challenge is today and also with an eye toward the future so I don’t think about those things,” said Black. “I don’t. I think about what are we going to do today as a group–our conversations amongst us coaches and players to win today–and if you keep it in that type of realm, you are way better off…Ultimately, we know what the expectation of what we want to do today and tomorrow. Now do those expectations change from year-to-year with certain teams? Absolutely.”"
He also talked about how the Rockies have, by and large, failed to do what they set out to do but, at some point, you have to continue to look forward.
"“This year, we had high expectations and the season isn’t done yet [but] we haven’t met them to this point–what we thought we were going to be doing at this point–but that’s water under the bridge so we have to continue to do what we do today and tomorrow so all that other noise, for us as a team, we know it’s there because that’s the nature of it,” said Black."
Even though the Rockies are obviously in a position where they hoped they wouldn’t be this year–out of the playoff hunt with still six weeks to play–Bud Black does like that Rockies fans are talking about the team, even if it is negative.
"“I love the fact that people are talking about baseball and Rockies fans are talking about the Rockies,” said Black. “We want it that way because that’s means [they] genuine[ly] care and there’s emotion to it. I love that. You don’t want it the other way, for sure. But we also know [that] it’s all part of what we do, the praise and the negative criticism.”"
Even in a season that will not bring postseason baseball in the Mountain Time Zone, you can see which players will help you when you expect to contend again and get to see younger players and how they deal with major league situations, instead of playing in Albuquerque or just sitting at home in September.
In the offseason then, you can have a better idea on what needs be addressed for the future.