Rockies’ 2016 Attempt to Ruin Baseball in Denver

It’s a new Spring, and the Rockies are coming off another disappointing campaign, at least for the owners. They are disappointed because their 2015 efforts fell short of their ultimate goal – to make the Colorado Rockies the worst team in Major League Baseball. In 2015, two other teams actually had worse records than the Denver-based group, in spite of the best efforts of the Monforts, owners of the team. The twin owners do deserve congratulations for a yeoman-like effort, though, weakening the team by hiring a new General Manager with virtually no experience, retaining the field manager who had no experience coming in, and trading their best player to Toronto for players that did not contribute. Additionally, they have raised the fences 15 feet higher in right-center field and down the left field line, in order to prevent those pesky late inning, game winning homeruns by the hometown heroes. They claim it will prevent “cheap” homeruns by visiting teams, but it will obviously hurt the team that plays 81 games here more than the others. The Baseball Observer will endeavor to keep a count of how many homers are prevented by the new extensions to analyze the effectiveness of the latest charade.
The Rockies’ owners are doubling down in 2016 and will not be denied. While they are still predicted to finish ahead of both Philadelphia and Atlanta, those teams are looking much better on paper than the Rockies, so it could be a tight race. It doesn’t really matter, though, because fans that attend Rockies games are coming for the view, the weather, and the party atmosphere, not baseball. So, the team can be out of the pennant race by May or June, which will allow the owners to dump expensive veterans like Jose Reyes, Carlos Gonzales, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and DJ LeMahieu while continuing to rake in millions of dollars from high attendance and TV revenue. By finishing near last, they will also be sure to get access to the best young talent they can groom for sale in a few years.
Again, the team will be fun to watch, due the talent of the aforementioned veterans, plus the addition of some talented rookies like Trevor Story and Miguel Castro. Adding to the fun, the pitching is a mess, so there is little chance of any shutouts being pitched at the local ballpark. Contrary to the belief of the owners and their sycophants, the fault does not lie in the ballpark, but in the heads and arms of their pitchers and in the hearts of their bosses.
Play Ball!

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Rockies’ Opening Day 2014 Sucked

by The Baseball Observer, April 5, 2014

The Rockies trotted out their rote Opening day program with honor guards from 5 service groups, followed by a gigantic American flag being stretched out over the field by other service men and women with help from the Denver Sheriff’s department. Then they finished it off by releasing a few hundred purple and silver helium balloons and firing off some ear-splitting fireworks that released some sparkly streamers. I did not attend any other opening day ceremonies this year, but I am confident that none was as boring and unimaginative as this one. I only hope that the Monforts are adequately compensating the service groups for their participation in this event and not just using them to save money.

Last year the Rockies management did away with the traditional “fly over” by military or commercial aircraft, claiming it was because of the sequester budgetary crisis affecting the military. They ignored the fact that there are numerous non-military alternatives that they could have turned to but didn’t. This year there was no fly over at all and they didn’t even bother to make excuses.

Fans from the early days of the Rockies will remember star-studded opening days that were truly entertaining – but those were during the Jerry McMorris years before the penny-pinching Monfort twins took control of the team and started making games more like going to church than attending a sporting event. Speaking of church, as often as they complain in the press that they are losing money, I expect the Monforts to start passing collection baskets around in the audience soon.

Widely acknowledged as having the worst marketing in Baseball, as well as the worst concessions and customer service, not to mention one of the worst teams on the field most of the time, the Rockies won’t be satisfied until they have the worst of everything, apparently. At the same time, our cost for opening day went from $44 in 2012 to $68 in 2013, to $95 this year, for progressively worse seats. This year I was on a flat metal bench deep in center field that didn’t even have cup holders and was soaking wet at gametime. They also run some kind of “sold out” scam to jack up ticket prices, even though the stadium never looked more than two thirds full.

Thankfully, the baseball players, especially Charlie Blackmon, did an excellent job of providing entertainment. Juan Nicasio pitched an excellent game and Blackmon got 6 hits and knocked in 5 runs as the Rockies trounced the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 12 to 2 score.

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Rockies’ Management Presents 2012 Excuses

It’s that time of year again…
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 denverpost.com 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, are 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 Monfort to take the team to Oregon. Maybe we can get the Bears back.

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I’m attending Windows 8 Unleas…

I’m attending Windows 8 Unleashed Saturday, September 29, 2012, sponsored by the Denver Visual Studio Group — http://t.co/ME1bqNbT

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Look at all the dirt they swep…

Look at all the dirt they swept out of the old GEICO bldg on Wadsworth & Alameda in Lakewood before tearing it down. http://t.co/yBqqXkpx

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New Wi-Fi Standards Should be a Big Deal at CES 2013

Tri-band routers (2.4, 5, and 60 gHz), 802.11ac, 802.11ad, beamforming, Passpoint, Voice-Enterprise, smart grid standards, will be major buzzwords at next year’s CES as Wi-Fi expands, encompassing faster than wired speeds, clear voice calls, and connections to all household appliances as well as entertainment equipment.
Today dual-band capability is a premium, extra cost option with today’s 802.11n routers and client cards, but tomorrow’s WI-Fi devices will be a least 2 bands, and most will probably be three. Current 802.11n routers use the 2.4 gigahertz band, while higher priced models add the less often used 5 GHz band. Some routers only allow using one at time, while the newer, higher-end models allow both bands to operate at the same time, effectively doubling throughput. The newer standards, still in the proposed/testing stage, 802.11ac and 802.11ad add another band, 60 GHz, which will primarily be used for close-in high speed data transfers (such as streaming video from your iPad to your TV) at speeds up to 7 gigabits per second, faster than USB 3 wired connections at 5 Gb/s! Normal communication between a router and a client using 802.11ac can achieve speeds up to 1.73 Gb/s or over 4 times the theoretical capacity of the current “N” routers (300 Mb/s).
The greater speed and capacity is achieved through

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Just watched Joe Bonamassa at …

Just watched Joe Bonamassa at Albert Hall 2-DVD concert. Blown away! Get free download of latest single at http:http://t.co/vEQCJiWD

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Exactly 2 days until the Taste…

Exactly 2 days until the Taste of Colorado! Makes me wish I still worked downtown. @ATasteofCO http://t.co/jhalvDxc Over 50 food places! Yum

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#NBCStandsFor No Bloody Clue. …

#NBCStandsFor No Bloody Clue. I was looking forward to an evening of #Olympics but after a half hour of WWII footage I’m watching DVDs. #NBC

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Hey, #NBC there’s a channel fo…

Hey, #NBC there’s a channel for history. I tuned into your station to watch Olympic sports. What gives? NBC=Numbingly Boring Coverage.

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