Rocky Mountain News
Major League Baseball
Email us at: Webmaster@freshbaked.com
Kile is a great pitcher....
Post Writer Needs New Brain
November 11, 2000. John
Henderson better get his name on the brain transplant list right now while
he can still remember. His brain is obviously failing fast as evidenced by
these comments in today's
article in the Post:
"Face it, folks. Kile's two-year free fall
in Denver was probably an aberration. He really is a good pitcher."
"He(Kile)'s the only person on the planet
who doesn't think Coors Field affected him."
"It didn't take Sandy Koufax or a physicist
to forecast Kile would improve at sea level. But from one of the worst
pitchers in the league to a Cy Young Award? Maybe."
These are only the tips of the icebergs, of
course. If you read the entire article, you will be sickened by the way
old John hauls out the trite, hackneyed, and undeniably false B.S. we have
been hearing since 1993. Somebody told him to write a column about the
NLCS and instead of coming up with something new, or fresh, or even
interesting, he just repeated the same lies we have been hearing for
Here are the unvarnished facts:
Kile is NOT a good pitcher. He really only had
ONE good year (1997). THAT was the aberration (grossly enhanced by
pitching in the Astrodome). Winning 20 games with the Cardinal Run Machine
is no feat, crappy pitchers like Ken Bottenfield and Garret Stephenson
have almost done it the last two years. Good pitchers do not have 3.91
ERAs. They also don't give up as many home runs as Kile
Don't you wish these idiots would stop using
Coors field as an excuse for lousy pitching? After 8 seasons, it is quite
obvious to anyone with a speck of intelligence that Coors has a negligible
effect on pitchers. There is no proof to the contrary. Even Kile is smart
enough to realize Coors Field is no excuse for his bad performance. For
some reason Mr. Henderson is hanging on to it for dear life.
Whatever happened to objective, reasoned reporting?
Lastly, if Kile is indeed a candidate for the Cy
Young award, as Mr. Henderson suggests, it is a sad commentary on the
state of that award and an insult to Mr. Young. Not to mention Tom Glavine,
Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Jeff D'Amico, Mike Hampton, Al
Leiter, etc., etc.
Just in case you missed the final voting for the
Cy Young Award in the National League, it appears below, courtesy of The
Toronto Sun (You will notice that Kile only got only one first place
vote - could it have been Henderson??):
PLAYER, 1ST, 2ND, 3RD, TOTAL
Randy Johnson, Ari. 22 7 2 133
Tom Glavine, Atl. 4 12 8 64
Greg Maddux, Atl. 3 10 14 59
Robb Nen, SF 2 2 4 20
Darryl Kile, StL 1 - 3 8
Kevin Brown, LA - 1 1 4
hope is gone....
OK, We Give Up.
September 3, 2000. The
Rockies lost today, for the second straight time at home to a bad
Milwaukee team. The bullpen collapsed for the second straight day. The
Rockies are now 10.5 games behind after 136 games, and the Giants are
starting to win again. Put out the lights, the party's over. The
This year was another down year in the National League
West Division and Colorado did not take advantage of it. Next year
Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco and even San Diego will probably be
better, and with the new unbalanced schedule, the Rockies will have to
play them more than ever before. Unless the Rockies can drastically
improve, there is no hope for a pennant in the near future.
Hammonds and Walker are not going to carry a mediocre team into the
playoffs. Even getting A-Rod at $20 million a year isn't going to do it -
you saw what Griffey did for Cincinnati - nothing, they're worse than last
year. By the same token, look what Pedro Martinez did for Boston, Kevin
Brown at LA, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling at Arizona - not much, none
of them are going to the playoffs either, barring a miracle.
is, once a team spends the money on one of those guys, they cheap out
somewhere else, and that costs them the pennant. Look at the teams at the
top in the National League and you will find two types: Those with
unlimited payrolls (Mets, Braves, Cardinals) and those with few superstars,
but excellent if underpaid supporting players having breakout years
(Giants). It's harder to keep a team like the Giants together, because
salaries are escalating too fast. The Rockies will never spend the kind of
money that the first three teams do, but they could have enough good,
young players who could all have career years at once, and take them to
the World Series in the next year or two. But it would be a fluke, and
they would probably stink the next year.
While we would certainly like a
dynasty in Denver, owners like the ex-Truck and ex-Meat men running the
Colorado club will never do it. Our only hope is one lucky, magical year that
brings the World Series to Denver. The shame of it is that for one bright,
shining moment on the morning of July 4th, 2000 it looked like this was to
be that year.
looks like Babe Ruth....
Bohanon hits, pitches
Rockies to two games over .500!
August 28, 2000. Brian
Bohanon threw a 3-hitter and got two hits including a 2-run double to
almost single-handedly lift the Rockies into the win column Sunday. Todd
Helton had a homerun and a double to raise his world-leading batting
average to .394. It will take a miracle for the Rockies to catch both
Arizona and San Francisco, especially since they have no games left with
the Giants. With 7 left against the Dodgers and 4 against Arizona, they
could pass both of them and end up in second place. But, they would
probably have to win the division to make the playoffs. Why not? Stranger
things have happened, and this has been a very strange season.
August 27, 2000. After
one of the weirdest weeks a team has ever had in the annals of Baseball
history, the Rockies beat the Pirates yesterday to go over the .500 mark
at 65 wins and 64 losses. Helton was 2 for 4 to raise his Major
League leading batting average to .393. This time, no umpires tried to
take the game away, as the Rockies led from the beginning in an easy 11-4
victory. It was the first time they had one the first two games of a road
trip since 1998. They have now won 7 of their last 10 on the road!
Granted, the Pirates are lousy, but the Rockies have to have easy games
once in a while. They better win as many as they can in the next 10 games
against bad teams (Pirates, Phillies, Brewers, then Cubs), because it gets
tougher after that, with most of their remaining games against Western
Division foes (Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks).
old jokes are true....
Eric Cooper, the Blind
Umpire, Kills Rockies!
August 18, 2000. On a
night when it looked like history might be made, with Todd Helton going
over the .400 mark, a horrible call by an uncaring umpire ruined it. Eric
Cooper called a runner safe, simply because the tag was administered on
the helmet as he slid toward the base. Normally, that might make sense,
because if the runner was sliding into the bag and was tagged on the
helmet, his foot would have already hid the bag. But in this case, the
runner was not sliding into the bag - he was sliding to avoid Helton's tag
at least 10 feet in front of first base! His foot was at least two feet
away from the base when he was tagged. Everyone in the stadium knew he was
out, including the runner himself and the runner on third base who stood
in front of the dugout watching the play until the happy surprise came.
Had the runner been called out by Blind Eric Cooper, the Rockies would
have won the game and remained 9 games out of first and climbed back to
.500. I am sure that Cooper knows what an idiot he is by now, I just hope
it makes him a better umpire in the future, because he sure stinks now.
Maybe the boos tonight will help, too.
when there was hope....
August 15, 2000. It
only took them one night to slip back into being losers again, with a
record of 59 and 60. They should have won both games, and the Mets seemed
to be trying to give them away, but there were no heroes for the Rockies
on Tuesday night. There were plenty of goats, however, but we needn't go
into that. The first game was the real heartbreaker, with the Rockies
blowing 3-0 and 4-2 leads by handing out 4 walks and two wild pitches.
They played better in the nightcap, but didn't hit when they needed to and
didn't pitch well in the clutch. They had better turn it around quickly,
as the season is slipping away. Eight games back with 41 to play is not a
good place to be.
for how long....
August 14, 2000. It
took them three long weeks, but they finally did it (regained a winning
record, 59 wins, 58 losses), thanks to miracle ninth inning comebacks the
last two days against the Montreal Hexpos. Hexpos because they obviously
have some kind of hex on them these days, allowing the Rockies to sweep
them in Montreal. According to the TV guys, this is only the second time
in club history that they swept another team on the road! Yes, but will
the miracle continue? The Rockies now have to play the red-hot Mets at
Shea stadium. If they sweep the Mets, the bandwagon rolls again and we can
break out the crepe paper for the playoff decorations. On the other
July 30, 2000. Yoshii only gave up
three runs, all on solo homers, but the bats let him down again. But the
real culprits were Hunter, Shumpert and Mayne, all of whom batted in the
9th with Helton on 3rd base with the tying run. And worst of all, they
batted against Curtis Leskanic, the former Rockie who usually couldn't get
three batters in a row if his life depended on it.
Davey Johnson, Dodger Manager said....
"I guess we got tired of running the bases in Colorado"
July 30, 2000. The Dodgers scored 30 runs in 4 games at
Colorado (and won 3 of 4), then scored 4 runs in 3 games at Philadelphia
(and lost 2 of 3). Of course, he really meant "We got tired running
the bases in Colorado", but Davey has never been known as a smooth
talker. In either case, I hope the Rockies put that comment on the
might have spoken too soon....
July 8, 2000. The Denver Observer may just have to eat the
words below. The Rockies just lost 7 games in a row to reel into the All
Star break and have tumbled all the way to third place, a game behind the
Giants. But, on the bright side, they are still 5 games over .500 and did
place three players on the All Star Team (Helton, Cirillo and Hammonds).
Also on the bright side, the Rockies were close in most of the games they
lost, except for the last three with Anaheim, and they don't have to play
either the Angels or the Giants any more this year (except in the
postseason). So, we at the Observer are still saving up to buy those World
Series tickets. If it doesn't work out, we'll have a head start on next
June 19, 2000. The Rockies stormed into first place Sunday
by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 19 to 2 after beating them Saturday by
only 14 to 5. Granted, the Rockies may be playing way over their heads,
and just might collapse on the road this week, as the local papers
suggest, but we don't think so. This team looks solid! The Rockies are
going to win the Western Division and roll right into the World Series.
You heard it here first.
been a strange season already....
Better/Worse than Previous Years
May 29, 2000. These new Rockies are actually outscoring
their predecessors in home games, averaging nearly 10 runs per game. But
at the same time, they are giving up more runs at home than the previous 7
teams, operating at a 7.32 ERA clip through the first 19 home games. They
also have 36 homeruns in those games. This isn't what we expected, though
we are quite pleased with their 16 and 6 home record, 25 wins and 22
losses overall. What we are not happy about is their 9-16 road
But this team was built around the premise that they
would have better pitching and fielding, play more fundamental baseball,
and thus have a poorer home record offset by a much better record on the
road. So far, none of it is happening. The Observer did not agree with the
Rockie's goals in the first place - we think the Rockies have the best
fans and the best home field advantage in baseball and we want them to
keep it that way. No one should have ever believed the Rockies contention
that it is hard to win at Coors Field - it is obviously easy for almost
any incarnation of the team to win at home. But, given that, this team has
not been playing better fundamental baseball, and the pitching sucks. We
are ready to chalk all of that off to "learning to play
together", and after watching them do a lot of things right, we're
slowly becoming confident that this team will win on the road and even
contend for a Wild Card spot. In the mean time, we are sure having fun
watching them play at home, may that never change.
shot at the Squirrel....
Agrees With The Observer About Neifi
May 16, 2000. In yesterday's Around
the Horn online column entitled "The
Coors Field Factor" or "Pitching, anyone have any
pitching?", the following quote appeared: "We've said it
before, we'll say it again. Until the Rockies learn to score some runs on
the road (getting rid of non-hitters like Brian Hunter and Neifi Perez
would be a start), they'll continue to have problems doing much better
than a .500 record". Amen. (We at the Observer have been calling
Perez "The Squirrel" almost since the day he arrived because one
of our editorial advisors exclaimed: "That's the new shortstop? He
looks like a squirrel!". The name fits perfectly. Thanks, Rose.)
Not exactly what we
had in mind....
Continue Record Setting Year
May 11, 2000. The Rockies lost to
Houston 5-1 yesterday and became the first visiting team to lose a series
at the Astro's brand new Enron Field. Last week they were shut out
for two consecutive games for the first time in their 7+ year history. The
next day, they tied a franchise record by failing to score for
22 consecutive innings. Their road record is a dismal 6 wins, 14 losses.
But, they are not in last place, and they have shown flashes of greatness.
It can still go either way, but they had better slow down when it comes to
setting these kinds of records.
ruining the game....
The Biggest Scandal in
May 6, 2000. We
all have been watching the Atlanta Braves win pennant after pennant, and
recently 15 games in row on the road to this year's title. You might be
tempted to call them a dynasty and a great team, but you would be wrong. You
have to forget all of their success for one reason - they cheat. Not only
that, they cheat with the approval and participation of the league office
and the umpires. Apparently letting Atlanta win is more important to the
powers that be in Major League Baseball then the integrity and ultimately
the survival of the game. Everyone knows about it, everyone is sickened by
it, and yet it continues. How do they do it? It is very simple: the
Atlanta catcher moves away from the batter, outside of the catching box,
and sets up a target for the pitcher that is at least a foot outside of
the strike zone. The pitcher throws the pitch where the catcher indicates.
If the batter swings, he will usually miss or hit it weakly off of the end
of the bat. If he does not swing, the umpire calls it a strike. The Braves
are clever enough not to use it all of the time, only when they really
need to get someone out. It is not a case of the umpires being tricked by
the Braves because they couldn't be stupid enough to be fooled by the
play, and they don't let other teams do it, only Atlanta. In fact, when
other teams play Atlanta, their pitchers don't seem to get any strikes on
the corners - their pitchers are forced to throw right over the middle of
the plate, which of course puts them at an extreme disadvantage. Early
last season, the league had so many complaints they ruled that the umpires
must force the catcher to stay in the box. The Braves pitcher's earned run
averages soared and the team wasn't winning. But then the umpires quit
enforcing the rule and things went back to normal. The Braves won the
pennant and went to the World Series, where once again, they lost. Why did
they lose all of those World Series in the 90's? Because, for whatever
reason, the umpires would not let them use their illegal pitching
technique. Either because of the presence of American League umpires or
fear that too many people are watching. Until this practice stops,
the Braves can go on winning, but no one will ever think of them as a
great organization, just cheaters.
Is he any good, or not....
The Great Neifi Debate
May 6, 2000. If
you listen to the local radio and TV announcers, and read the local
excuses for newspapers, you would have to think that Rockies shortstop
Neifi Perez is among the finest at his position playing today. They go so
far as to say that he is on par with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.
George Frazier, the "color" television announcer said he was the
fourth best fielding shortstop in all of Major League Baseball in
1999(actually only the fourth best in the NL, 7th in baseball for
shortstops with at least 90 games) . He's being paid $2,212,500. This is
another indication of what "Homers" the local media are and the
lack of baseball sense exhibited by the Rockies' management. If you go to
a game, you will constantly hear the fans complaining about what a poor
fielder and hitter Perez is. You will see Neifi appear to not be paying
attention and forget to cover a base on a critical play. If they counted
mental errors he would be among the worst fielding shortstops in baseball.
Also, the kindly official scorer is apparently a friend of Neifi's because
already this year I have seen 3 of Neifi's errors ruled hits. You will see
him make great plays and flub the routine ones. At bat, you will see him
swing at the first pitch when the situation calls for taking a pitch, or
failing to even try to move up runners in critical situations. He might
hit .300, but it is the worst .300 in the league. Outside of Denver, he is
regarded lightly by the media. Athlon Sports, for example, rates him as
the 10th best shortstop, and only because he had a "career year"
(sad commentary for a third year player). ESPN criticizes his
"ill-advised throws". I haven't seen a worse shortstop yet, but
I'll keep looking. This will be a true test of how much our good friend
Dave "Buddy" Bell knows about baseball. If he gets rid of Neifi,
he's an astute baseball man. If he keeps him, he's as dumb as Baylor.
just like the old Rockies ....
What new Rockies?
April 10, 2000. The
home opener was glorious, as always. The weather was perfect, cool and
cloudy. And the Rockies were exactly the same as the previous seven years:
good and poor defense, contrasting great pitching and terrible, and almost
all of their runs coming via the homerun blasts, from some of the
usual suspects: Lansing and Helton. Just like the old Rockies, the new
ones ran out to a big lead, then almost blew it with horrible relief
pitching in the ninth. Just like the old Rockies, this version played
uninspired ball in the field, topped by Perez letting an easy ground ball
deflect off his glove, but was saved by the kindly scorer who ruled it a
hit rather than an error as it deserved.
The game had its unique moments too: Ken Griffey,
Jr. hit his 400th homerun and became the youngest player ever to reach
that milestone, and on his father's 50th birthday, to boot. Then there was
a power surge that knocked the lights and scoreboard out and stopped the
game for about twenty minutes.
The Rockies always add something new at the
stadium each year and this one was no exception. Along the upper level,
they added the pitch counters for "Total Pitches", "Total
Balls" and "Total Strikes". I guess they figured the fans
were not smart enough to subtract the strikes from the total to get the
ball count. They also added a few more "light boards" above the
lower decks, but all they showed most of the game was the line score. We
don't need to see it 5 times all in a row. For some reason, the management
rarely shows out of town scores on the light boards, and when they do,
they are usually not current. The manual scoreboard is kept current, but
that doesn't help those of us in right field.
like expansion all over again....
Can These New Rockies
April 2, 2000. We
prefer to look at it like this: the '69 Mets and the '83 Phillies were
composed of players other teams had given up on and managers nobody else
would hire, and they went to the World Series. The Mets even won it. The
Rockies certainly have the players other teams have given up on (Hammonds,
Goodwin, Hunter, Mayne, Servais, Ledesma, Shumpert, Bragg, Latham, Arrojo,
Aybar, Belinda, Bohanon, Myers, etc.), and the manager no one in their
right mind would hire (Buddy Bell, in case you forgot). So, we believe
that there will be a Mile High Miracle this year and all of these players
will play better than anyone ever thought they could, the manager will
stay out of the way, and the Rockies will win the Division and the World
Series. And nobody will miss all those great Stars (Vinnie, Dante, the
Cat) and brilliant prospects (Gibson, Clemente, Wright, etc.) that they
But, just in case you were looking here for a
dose of reality, we must say that the above is highly unlikely. What will
actually happen is the Rockies will have a boring, mediocre year, and
finish in the middle of the pack. By August, the stadium will be half
empty and you will be able to buy tickets on Blake Street for a dollar.
Hey, the pitching and fielding should be better, so the opponents will
score fewer runs and have fewer base runners. But the Rockies only have
one decent hitter left in Larry Walker, who will probably only play in 100
games and will be walked every time he comes to bat with the winning runs
on base. The Rockies are faster, but team speed never won anything. The
whole thing adds up to just plain boring. There are going to be a lot of 2
to 1 and 3 to 2 games at the Baseball Park at Denver this year, and the
Rockies are going to be on the short end of at least half of them. On the
bright side, the games will be shorter due to better pitching and the
following press conferences won't last as long because Buddy talks a lot
faster than Baylor did.
The Press and Rockies have tried to
Roger Bailey is Finally
April 1, 2000. Roger Bailey was
released by the Rockies yesterday, and the Post said it was because he
never recovered from an auto accident injury suffered during Spring
Training last year. The truth is, he was injured much earlier, in the
midst of what was to be his greatest season in baseball, and his last. In
fact, Bailey was injured while running the bases for the Rockies, when the
idiotic coaching staff decided to wave him around to score during a game
in which he had a huge lead. When he tried to score, he injured his ankle
and never again pitched well in the major leagues. No coach in his right mind
would have risked injury to his best pitcher under those circumstances.
The Rockies and the suck-up press should be ashamed. And they should take
care of Roger, they owe it to him.