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2013 Colorado Rockies Will Finally Win the NL West!

by The Baseball Observer, February 16, 2013

This is how it will unravel. Walt Weiss takes over as manager and gets the Rockies playing as a team. Troy Tulowitzki has a career year, benefitting from the wisdom imparted by Weiss, gleaned from his years as a Major League shortstop and clubhouse leader. Tulo’s teammates are inspired by his leadership and open up a huge early lead in the West and coast to the playoffs. They finally lose in 7 games in the NL Championship series to the Philadelphia Phillies, who go on to win the World Series over the Toronto Blue Jays.

After the season, Weiss, who signed a one year contract with the Rockies, tries to get a deal equal to other managers who took their teams to the playoffs, but the cheap Monforts try to low ball him and he ends up walking away, never to manage in the Major Leagues again. The Rockies hire Don Baylor again and finish last in 2014 and 2015.

The Baseball Observer also picks the Angels to win the AL West and Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians to win in the Central. In the National League, Cincinnati will win the Central and the Phillies will top the East. No wildcard team will last beyond the short rounds (1 and 5 games), so it doesn’t matter who they are (insert your favorite team name here).

Tulowitzki will win the MVP in the NL, with Roy Halladay taking the Cy Young. Josh Hamilton or Albert Pujols will be the MVP in the American League, with Verlander repeating with the Cy Young.


It is that time of year again...

Rockies Management Presents 2012 Excuses

By the Denver Baseball Observer (DBO)

Every year at about this time (slightly later in 1995 and 2007) the Rockies' management commissions their paid shills at the Denver Post to roll out their excuses for the previous failed season. They do this as part of their marketing plan for next season, reasoning that if the fans think next year will be better they will continue to buy season tickets or at least plan to attend games and continue to buy licensed merchandise (apparel and other junk emblazoned with Colorado Rockies logos).

This year their paid spokesman is Patrick Saunders, a longtime sportswriter at the Post, whose article "Mile-high madness (20 years of baseball at altitude)" appears on page 1CC of the Sunday, September 16, 2012 edition. There is also another version of the article on the web site, but that version may change, so this article is based on the print version. The Baseball Observer considers Mr. Saunders, as well as most of the other sportswriters at the Post, paid shills because their parent company is also one of the Rockies' owners, and they are recipients of substantial gifts from the Rockies, including press box privileges, which are not given to objective reporters. The stories written by Mr. Saunders and his peers at the Post frequently contain statements and opinions from Rockies? management presented as facts, the aforementioned article is no exception.

The article begins with one of these statements "baseball played at high altitude is a game of a very different color". This is the favorite excuse of Rockies management that is trotted out frequently, but has no basis in fact. There are other baseball clubs at high altitude, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs are two examples, where baseball has been played for much longer than the Rockies have existed and yet teams there have had winning traditions and have continued. The Denver Bears won several minor league championships in Denver before they were banished by the arrival of the Rockies. The Baseball Observer attended numerous Bears games at Mile High Stadium and never heard anyone, from fans to reporters, to players to team management, complain about how difficult it was to play baseball at altitude. Baseball is certainly not the same in Denver as it is in Los Angeles or New York, for example, but the differences are minor and inconsequential. If you believe the Rockies and the Denver Post, then you also believe that if the Yankees moved to Denver, they would never win another World Series. Patrick (May I call you Patrick?) writes in the article that the Rockies General Manager, "Dealing" Dan O?Dowd, is planning to take extraordinary measures to address the situation of playing baseball at 5,280 feet, or actually 5,183 feet, the precise elevation of Coors (nee Molsen) Field. However, the Post writer found that Mr. O'Dowd's intentions were not clear, as he illustrated with this quote: "Number one, I don't want to make us appear that we are making excuses. Number two, I don't want to make it sound like an insurmountable problem. I don't want to convey a sense of hopelessness. That's not how I feel." (Actually the Post wrote it as "No. 1 and No. 2" but since they didn't indicate how O'Dowd made it clear that he was abbreviating, I spelled them out.) And this one: "We now realize where we are at and where we play. I think we need to attack it in unique ways that create an opportunity and a competitive advantage for us. There is not going to be one easy answer to any of this." The Rockies have played in Denver for almost 20 years now, and O'Dowd has been the GM for 13 of them. Doesn't it seem that he and the rest of the Brain Trust must be incredibly dense to take that long to figure out where they play? Did you still think you were in Cleveland, Dan? Mr. Saunders then brought a Mr. Bill Gievett into the article. Mr. Gievett now shares the GM duties with Mr. O'Dowd, at his own recommendation. It is easy to see why: even though Mr. Gievett claims to have "been in the game forever", be echoes O'Dowd?s claims that something "nontraditional" must be done in order to win games in Denver. He thinks, along with O'Dowd, that the thousands of fans clamoring for new management are wrong, because they have finally figured it out and good times are coming. At this point, I, as the Baseball Observer must interject. The fans who think new management is required to fix the problems with the Rockies are absolutely correct. In fact, it is so obvious anyone with a brain should see it. What does that say about the owners? Anyway, here is the considered opinion of the Baseball Observer: The statements attributed to the Rockies' co-GM's are, if true, simply insane if taken at face value. To explain this, look at the Oakland Athletics and their success chronicled in "Moneyball". The Athletics, Billy Beane, and others have studied baseball to see how to win and they found it was really very simple. Baseball is a game with fixed rules. There is no room for innovation or nontraditional methods, unless you change the rules to your advantage, which is not going to happen. The A's figured out that to win, you really only need two things: great fundamentals and good players. All things being equal, the teams with the most effective pitchers win, so most of the emphasis in stocking any team should be to get the best pitchers possible. After that, use scientific evaluation techniques to get the best combination of hitting and fielding at each position. The A's excelled because their evaluation techniques, based on the principles of Bill James' Sabermetrics allowed them to find excellent players that were overlooked by other teams. They also imposed their system on all employees including the players, to insure that everyone was going in the same direction and used fundamentally correct methods. These same principles make for successful organizations in any endeavor, they are not rocket science. The Rockies do not win consistently for one reason: the owners do not want to win and are not committed to it. The Monforts obviously enjoy running the Rockies with all the fun and power that it brings and are not driven to turn the franchise into a consistently high-performing team. That would require too much money, hard decisions, and loss of control - it wouldn?t be fun anymore. So, they are content to hire people they like rather than winners and leaders, and to continue with the same approach they have for the last 20 years and just try to dupe the fans into thinking they are working hard to build a winner. All of these other "problems" the Rockies consistently cite: the poor record on the road, pitchers who can't pitch in Colorado and hitters that can't hit anywhere else, high burnout rates and frequent injuries, dry baseballs, etc., etc., are just diversions to take everyone's eyes off of the real reasons for the teams mediocrity: owners that will not bring in the best players and administrators because they don't care about winning. For them, it really is not about winning or losing but how much fun they can have playing the game. In the end, probably the smartest guy the Rockies every had was Dante Bichette, who was quoted as saying the only thing that made sense in the article: "It's going to be tough to ever perform well on the road for Colorado." "That's why you have to hammer people at home." There are a number of philosophies that would produce winners here in Colorado. One of them would be to build a team that is unbeatable at home like they were in the early years. That approach filled the stadium and took them to the playoffs in 1995. Another would be to follow the A's example. But in the end the Monforts will probably follow the same model they have always followed, with the same results. And the only ones that will be happy and satisfied will be themselves and their cronies in the expensive seats down on Blake Street. But there is one thing about the Colorado Rockies situation that bothers the Denver Baseball Observer. Monfort, the two-headed monster that owns the team, had a similar situation with the Monfort Slaughterhouse in Greeley, Colorado. They inherited the business and didn't have to do anything but enjoy themselves and rake in the profits, yet they decided to sell it. Why? Maybe they were bored, or they were afraid they would drive it into the ground and have nothing left. In any case, they sold the goose that laid the golden egg, as the saying goes, and ended up buying the Rockies. Maybe that same feeling of foreboding is beginning to creep up on them like the dark shadow of doom, and they are thinking of selling the team or moving it to another location where they will not have to constantly battle the evil specter of high altitude. I hear Portland is in the market for a Major League team. Maybe Monfort knows how sick the fans are of their lame excuses, losing records, and the same smiling faces, and they are doing it on purpose! Think of the movie Major League, only without the sexy owner, and change the move from Cleveland to Florida, to Denver to Portland. It sounds like just the kind of thing the Monfort would do. Postscript: The Denver Baseball Observer was confused today, Tuesday, September 18, 2012, when he/she/it noticed an article in the Denver Post by Terry Frei asserting that he was sick of the excuses being made by the Rockies, too. Then the DBO realized that it has begun already, and that Frei is part of the plan to make everyone hate the Rockies and smooth the path for the Monforts to take the team to Oregon. Maybe we can get the Bears back.

Ex-Rockies catcher goes ballistic along with current team and fans

The Baseball Observer

June 3rd, 2012

The Texas Rangers are in a bit of a funk at the moment. They were outscored 31-11 in their last two games at lowly Seattle, and have lost 4-2 and 3-2 to the second place Angels team, which they lead in the standings by 3.5 games prior to Sunday. These circumstances seem to have set the entire team’s nerves on edge, as we shall see.

Going into the bottom of the seventh inning of the game on Saturday, the score was tied 1-1, after the Rangers had only managed a single tally out of a no-out bases loaded opportunity in the top of the inning. The Angel run had scored on two Texas errors in the 6th. Here is the batter by batter replay in the 7th:

1.       Erick Aybar singles on a bunt back to pitcher Yu Darvish that would probably been an out if fielded cleanly. Mistake number 1.

2.       Angel catcher Bobby Wilson strikes out while trying to bunt.

3.       With Mike Trout batting:

a.       Aybar steals second safely as Shortstop Elvis Andrus drops the ball. Mistake number 2.

b.      Trout then grounds to Andrus, who could have charged the ball and thrown Trout out, but doesn’t, instead complaining that the ball hit the base runner, Aybar. Three umpires disagree. Mistake number 3a.

4.       Pujols walks. Mistake number 3b.

5.       With Alberto Callaspo batting, Trout steals second. Mistake number 4. Callaspo singles, scoring Aybar and moving Trout to third.

6.       Kendrys Morales hits a short fly ball to right field, fielded by Nelson Cruz, who throws the ball low and short of the plate causing the catcher, Yorvit Torrealba, to move in front instead of blocking the base, allowing Trout a clear path. Torrealba catches the ball and spins to tag Trout, but too late according to the umpire. Mistake number 5.

After Trout scored, former Rockie Torrealba lost it, throwing his mask down, waving his arms, jumping up and down and screaming. He was promptly ejected and will most likely be fined. Yorvit obviously thought he had blocked the plate (as he said later) and figured incorrectly that Trout could not have touched home. Replays appear to show that Trout was safe, but it is not possible to tell exactly when he was tagged. In any case, no objective person could claim any obvious result of the play. Torrealba may have actually blocked the umpire’s view of the tag, making it impossible to call Trout out.

After the play was over, Torrealba resumed his position behind home, prompting home plate umpire John McClelland and Rangers’ manager Ron Washington to tell him he had to leave, prompting another tantrum.  “I’m an emotional player, and I went off,” said the stocky catcher.

As Ex-Rockies fans know, Torrealba has exhibited a short temper in the past, particularly where umpires are concerned. During the last offseason, Yorvit was suspended for 66 games in the Venezuelan league for hitting an umpire in the face during an argument.

Many Texas fans seem to be aligned with Torrealba’s version of the play and have vented their wrath in particularly disagreeable manners. One fan on Twitter, claiming to be a “red headed baseball mom” wrote to Angel pitcher and former Texas Ranger C.J. Wilson: “that was terrible call last night. Mind ur own business u effing douchebag. & thank us for bailing u out over&over”. When Wilson, tweeting as @StraightEdgeRacer responded that he did not think a mom should be calling people names, @tabor16 replied “don't worry. My kids are old enough to know u are a dbag. They remember #cardiaccloser #giveupmostoftheleadbeforemanagingasave"

No wonder most athletes and celebrities avoid social media.

Lame Quote of the Day

April 7, 2012 - "Twenty years ago, in the Rockies' first home game, dad Eric Young Sr. provided a moment that lives in snapshots forever." by Troy E. Renck (in this case, the "E" is for error) in the Denver Post. The Eric Young Sr. moment occured on April 9th, 1993. You do the math. This may be the Rockies' 20th season, but that day was still less than 19 years ago.

Rockies Win First Game of 2012

April 6, 2012. Eric Young Jr. scored the winning run on an errant throw from Astros' catcher Jason Castro as the Rockies moved to 1-0 on the 2012 season. Colorado is now 12-8 on opening days with a 818-947 (.463) record and one playoff appearance when starting the season with a win. Conversely, the 8 times they have fallen in the opener, their record is 620-632 (.495) with two playoff appearances (2007 and 2009) including their only trip to the World Series in 2007. (Statistics courtesy of

It Looks Like 2012 Will Be Another Year of Disappointment for Rockies Fans

By the BaseballObserver, Sunday, February 26, 2012
2011 ended badly, with the Rockies racing off to a 12-3 start and ending up 73-89, just two games ahead of the last place Padres. This was especially ironic as the town's Rox Pundits, lead by their King, Troy E. Renck (the "E" stands for "Electric", we're told) gushed that the 2011 version of the Rockies could be the best ever, and that a fast start would be their key to success.
They weren't, and it wasn't.
At the end of last season, many of the local sports commentators were calling for the heads of manager Jim "Dick" Tracy and GM "Deal-less" Danny O'Dowd, but the Monfort Twins showed their contempt for both the media and fans (and all reason) by retaining them both and even promising Tracy he could manage indefinately.
This, once again, demonstrates the Rockies' front office lack of any kind of business acumen, similar to the deal in which they gave Coors Brewery naming rights to the stadium forever, which is now widely recognized as the worst deal in sports history (or the best for an advertiser). In that deal, only the financially strapped cities in the stadium district, and their citizens suffered. By keeping Tracy and O'Dowd indefinitely, all Rockies fans suffer, as well as the aforementioned cities and their citizens, because the team has little chance of success, which will result in reduced revenues for all stakeholders, except the Monforts.
Contrary to last year, most of the local sports mouths are not predicting great things for Colorado in 2012, possibly due to the “once-burned” theory or the following observations:
• The Las Vegas odds makers have predicted that the team will finish in fourth place in their division again, though possibly with a slightly better record.
• They have lost their starting catcher, third baseman, second baseman, right fielder and several contributing bench players from last season, and with the possible exception of right field, replaced them with players of uncertain quality.
• Virtually all of their pitchers are unproven at the Major League level, and at Denver’s altitude, including their closer.
• Historically, Tracy has only had one good season which each team he has managed. He had his good season with the Rockies in 2009. He is not likely to have another one unless it is with another team.
• He may be the best Rockies manager yet, according to Woody Paige and others, but it should be mentioned that his record has gotten steadily worse each year and the 2011 Rockies only finished one game better than the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates managed by the man he replaced, Clint Hurdle. Hurdle’s Pirates may be better than the Rockies in 2012.
• The owners don’t really care if the Rockies win. They are wealthy and enjoy the unquestioning support of all of the fanboy politicians and sports media in the surrounding communities. They will have corporate and fan support no matter how the team fares and will keep on getting richer by following their policy of putting the cheapest product on the field and charging all the market will bear. After all, it is cheaper and easier than building a championship franchise. It may even be more profitable.
But Rockies fans should not give up all hope. The team made it to the World Series in 2009 with essentially the same bunch of boobs in the front office, so who is to say it won’t happen again?
The BaseballObserver does not recomment that fans put any money on it, however.

2011 Major League Baseball Playoffs Ex-Rockies Factor

There are scant few ex-Rockies in the playoffs this year and they are evenly distributed between the teams, but, as it has gone for almost a decade, it will be an accurate predictor of the outcome of the playoffs. Actually, it may make the Baseball Observer work a little harder in order to determine the rules in play and the actual percentage of Rockies-ness held by each player. So, since there are two matchups where each team has two ex-Rockies (Phillies-Cardinals, Brewers-Diamondbacks) the degree of Rockiesness, which equals the actual time spent on the Colorado team must be used to weight the matchup, although it is apparently only applicable when an XR is in the same role with his new team as he was with the Rocks. Those teams with no ex-Rockies players, namely the Yankees and Tigers, must be rated on coaches, so one would think that the Yankees would clearly win because Joe Girardi spent several years on the team while Jim Leyland was only in Denver for 1 (2005). However, it turns out that Girardi was a catcher with the Rockies, and is now a manager with the Yankees, so his years of service clearly did not weigh into the decision, as the Tigers won.

For ease in viewing the inevitable results, the Baseball Observer has concocted a rating system, whereby an ex-Rockie is awarded one point for being an active participant in the playoffs, or a half point for being on the roster, but inactive. An additional tenth of a point is awarded for each year of service. In the case of the manager, a full point is awarded for being an ex-Rockies manager in the playoffs, along with a tenth of a point for each year. A manager participating in the playoffs who is an ex-Rockies player, but did not manager the Rockies, gets a point for managing, but no credit for years of service.  

Player Name


Rockies Years


Roster Status


Henry Blanco






Jason Marquis




Inactive (DL)


Craig Counsell






LaTroy Hawkins






Jose Contreras






Ross Gload






Matt Holliday

St. Louis





Octavio Dotel

St. Louis





Joel Peralta

Tampa Bay





Darren Oliver






Yorvit Torrealba






Jim Leyland


1 year




Joe Girardi

New York (AL)






Division Championship Series

Texas (2.5) beats Tampa Bay (1.1)

Detroit (1.1) beats New York (1.0)

St. Louis (2.6) beats Philadelphia (2.2)

Milwaukee (2.3) beats Arizona (1.7)


League Championship Series

Texas (2.5) beats Detroit (1.1)

St. Louis (2.6) beats Milwaukee (2.3)


World Series

St. Louis (2.6) beats Texas (2.5)



What's Next For The 2012 Rockies?

After the second disappointing year in a row (and 18th of 19), what can loyal fans of the Rockies expect in the future? We can expect more of the same, because the Monfort brothers are unwilling and incapable of doing any better. Yes fans, your team owners are running your team more as a pleasant diversion, a hobby if you will, rather than a serious enterprise. They just want to keep it going, making as much money as possible and avoiding using any of their personal funds, so they can enjoy it until they die, then can pass it on to their kids for their amusement. The only time Colorado went to the World Series was a total fluke, ended quickly by a serious team, the Boston Red Sox. You see, Boston, like most other baseball teams, is owned and run by professional sports managers who intend to use all of their resources to win or know the reason why. On the other hand, our Rockies are just a fun pastime for a couple of accidental millionaires who made their money the old fashioned way - by inheriting it. They got control of the Rockies the old fashioned way, too - through political hijinks and criminal activity by others. The Monforts benefitted from the illegal activities of one of the original owners, Mickey "Mouse" Monus. After Mr. Monus’ problems became public, in order to keep the franchise in Colorado somebody whose reputation was at least not totally sullied had to step forward and take his place in the ownership group. Thus, the Monforts and Jerry McMorris were recruited and practically given the team because they weren't convicted criminals and appeared to have a lot of money. Jerry later had his own financial problems and was rousted by the Monforts who took total control over the team in 2005 - the rest is history. Dick and Charlie Monfort have been very consistent in the way they operate the Rockies. They might tell you they are following the “Moneyball” blueprint made famous by Billy Bean and immortalized in the book and movie. “Moneyball” is based on using scientific and statistical methods to devise a playing strategy and then getting players that fit into that system. “Moneyball” was successful for the Oakland A’s, and later for other teams using the same philosophy, mainly because it involved getting players that other teams using conventional scouting methods were not recruiting, making those players cheaper and more effective. The Rockies are not using the “Moneyball” philosophy, which is obvious from their draft record, coaching decisions, and style of play. The Monfort brothers are outspoken proponents of developing talent through their farm system only because it is cheaper. If you look at the trades they have made, notably the most recent blockbuster involving Ubaldo Jimenez, they are usually dumps of highly paid stars, with questionable players in return. For years they have stuck with Dan O’Dowd as the General Manager in spite of his lack of performance. They only seem to hire mediocre (Tracy, Bell) or totally inexperienced (Baylor, Hurdle) managers, with the notable exception of Jim Leyland who has had spectacular success everywhere else he has been. Makes you wonder what the brothers did to make sure he did not succeed in Colorado, doesn’t it? The Baseball Observer even suspects that the Monforts only put the humidor in to save money on lost baseballs on homeruns by the Blake Street Bombers. If the fans had a vote, they would probably want to junk the ball moisturizer and go back to the days when the Rockies were unbeatable at home and thrilling to watch. How many times these days do you hear a spontaneous, deafening roar of “GO! Rockies!” as you did in the early years at Mile High Stadium and Coors Field? If the Monforts have any interest in building a championship team, they would send Tracy and his coaches packing, fire O’Dowd, get some experienced executives, hire Tony Reagins (recent Los Angeles Angels GM) and get Terry Francona or Ryne Sandberg to manage the team. To pay the extra salaries, they should quit giving Coors/Miller a free ride and sell the naming rights to the stadium to someone who is willing to pay for them. Maybe Sports Authority would like their name on two stadiums, particularly if they know that ownership is willing to commit to winning after all of these years by hiring some good people.

Opening Day 2011 - Bright Start, Foul Finish
The weather was perfect, and hopes were high when the Rocks raced out to a 3-1 lead, only to fall behind 6-3. Then, thanks to some clown-like throwing errors by Arizona, the game was tied at 6-6 and the fans were high again. It all came crashing down in the thirteeth after Arizona scored and some Putz closed the Rockies out 1-2-3. Well, there is always tomorrow.

On Saturday, April 2, the fool's joke was over, as the Rockies, behind Jorge De La Rosa slammed the door on the desert visitors, 3-1.

April 3, 2011. The Rockies and DiamondBacks were snowed out!

Coors Naming Rights: Multi-million Dollar Rip Off!
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Rockies Begin 2013 With a Win

February 23, 2013

Troy Tulowitzki knocked in a run in his first spring at bat as the Colorado Rockies crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks in Scottsdale, 11-2.

Tulowitzki heartened every Rockies fan by looking like the 2011 version of himself, rather than the injury plagued 2012 model.

Josh Rutledge had a perfect day, with 2 singles and a double, as did Tulo’s replacement at shortstop, Jonathan Herrera, who had 3 singles. Rutledge had four RBIs and 2 runs.

Tim Wheeler and Non-Roster (NR) invitee Kent Matthes contributed to the 18-hit barrage with solo homers.

Drew Pomeranz was the Rock’s starter and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 2 innings. Tyler Chatwood, Adam Ottavino, Rex Brothers, Edgmer Escalona, Logan Kensing (NR), and Josh Sullivan chipped in with scoreless outings, with 2 innings from Tyler and 1 apiece for the rest, limiting Arizona to 10 hits.