The Colorado Rockies had an hour-long press conference on Tuesday after the Nolan Arenado trade came to officially pass on Monday evening. In concurrent press conferences with Arenado and the Cardinals front office, Rockies owner Dick Monfort and GM Jeff Bridich spoke with the media about the deal.
There was much to discuss from their comments (and some fireworks as well) and for much of it, we’ll discuss in the coming days along with Arenado’s comments and analysis of them. One of the more intriguing quotes came from Bridich toward the end of the Zoom press conference. He was asked by The Athletic on how this trade and the Rockies’ play in the last two years can be seen as anything other than an organizational failure at this point. Here’s what Bridich had to say:
"“Look, I mean if we’re looking to pass blame, I mean you can blame me,” said Bridich to media, including Rox Pile. “It’s the job of the GM to create a team that that competes and wins as much as humanly possible.”"
But then Bridich went down the rabbit hole a bit in what he said in his following sentence.
"“But I think the word ‘human’ there is an important one,” said Bridich. “There are there are relationships in our human existence that do last forever. But we are human beings in a business where sometimes relationships don’t last forever and commitments don’t last forever and it’s not just the endemic to this particular sport, baseball, it’s all over sports. Where sometimes it’s best for, you know, in this case with Nolan’s desire to move on and be with a different organization and so we tried to honor that and listen to him. But if you’re looking to parse up blame, you can throw the blame right on me. That’s part of the role, that’s part of the job.”"
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While it’s good that Bridich is willing to take the blame for the Rockies’ fall from grace in the last two seasons, it can only go so far. You can take the blame for misgivings but if there are no consequences for the misgivings, it doesn’t carry as much weight.
In the past few years, the Rockies have made countless free-agent signings, which is a good sign that the Rockies are (or at least, were) willing to spend a lot of money on players. However, when those players don’t pan out and many of which were aging relievers or square pegs that were shoved into round holes by having to play different positions, that’s an organizational problem.
And owner Dick Monfort was asked if he thought about firing Bridich at any time and he said “no” (we’ll have more on that quote soon). Everyone knows that would be the answer because, if he was “yes,” Bridich likely wouldn’t have a) been on the conference call or b) even made the trade. However, that angered many Rockies fans, particularly on social media.
With the reaction that the Rockies have received for the trade, they will definitely see a hit to their TV and radio audience as well as their ticket sales (when that eventually comes). If the Rockies are hit by those even more and the team is a last-place team, the Rockies will eventually have to make a move, whether that is firing Bridich, firing Bud Black, revamping the front office, or, perhaps, even Monfort selling the team (more on that soon too).
At bare minimum, they will have to make some trades or free-agent signings and have them pan out. While four of the five players in return for Arenado are a ways away from the majors, perhaps, some or all of them will pan out for the Rockies. However, as it currently stands, the trade looks to be the worst in Rockies history and one of the worst, if not the worst, in MLB history. But time will only tell on that.