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Thinks 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 years. 

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 does. 

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

 

All 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 experiment failed. 

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. 

Helton, 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. 

The problem 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. 

He 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.

Finally rolling?....
Winners Again!
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).

The 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.

Just when there was hope....
Losers Again!
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.

But for how long....
Winners Again!
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 hand.....

Collapse continues....
Rockies lose again
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 bulletin board.

We might have spoken too soon....
Total Collapse!!!
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 year.

In unbelievable fashion....
FIRST PLACE!!!
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.

It's been a strange season already....
Rockies 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 record. 
    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.

Another shot at the Squirrel....
ESPN 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....
Rockies 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. 

It's ruining the game....
The Biggest Scandal in Baseball
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.

Looks 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.

Looks like expansion all over again....
Can These New Rockies Win?
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 pissed away.

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 forget....
Roger Bailey is Finally Gone
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. 

     

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Last updated 02/18/13 03:18:09 PM