Today is Sunday, August 14, 2005 and all Rockies fans should refrain from reading today’s Denver Post.
Don’t do it. It’s not worth the frustration.
First, the number of stupid statements is legion.
Second, the repetition of proven falacies such as that the Coors field outfield is the biggest in the world and the humidor has had an effect are repeated ad nauseum.
Third, the true statements are negative and depressing. As the Baseball Observer has remarked many times before, you would think the Post doesn’t want baseball in Denver.
But, I wouldn’t be the Baseball Observer if I didn’t beat all of their failings to death, now would I? So here goes:
Stupid Statements in Today’s Sunday Denver Post:
“Alas, Mr. October in August was nowhere to be found.” Patrick Saunders
“Sometimes this game is hard to play, and right now it’s hard on us offensively. It’s not for a lack of preparation, but there comes a point and time when you have to find a way to get things done, and we aren’t getting things done.” Clint “Rube” Hurdle.
“I think the guys are in place, but you have to go do it. You can’t talk about doing it, and you can’t hope for them to do it. We need offensively for some guys to get in place and get this thing rolling. There is no doubt about that,” Hurdle said.
Troy and the Incredible Humidor
Woody Paige doesn’t believe in the effect of the humidor, as he refers to the inability of Rockies hitters to hit homeruns in “the best bandbox in baseball”. Post reporter Troy Renck insists the humidor does dampen the power hitting potential of batters, and quotes statistics to prove it: â€œFor those who want to believe the humidor has not affected play at Coors Field since balls were stored there beginning in 2002, here are the totals: 13.8 runs per game pre-humidor vs. 12.1 post-humidor; 3.2 home runs pre vs. 2.6 home runs post-humidor.â€ It may have escaped Troyâ€™s notice, but that is only a difference of 1.7 runs and .6 home runs per game. When you consider that the teams since 2001 have had very little in the way of power hitters, contrasted with the Blake Street Bombers of previous years, the variance is obvious. Add to that the fact that those Rockies teams were terrible, and opposing teams seldom needed very many runs to beat them, and the humidor becomes moot. In fact, the only difference ever reported by anyone, was by a pitcher, who thought the humidified ball seemed less slippery. So, in summary, Troy postulates that weaker teams with fewer power hitters score fewer runs and hit fewer homers because the ball is stored in a humidor. What a genius.
One other thing that Troy and other proponents of the humidor ignore â€“ if it actually did work, which it doesnâ€™t, then it has made the game duller, the teams worse, and the crowds smaller. Were those the results they were looking for? The Observer suggests they use it to store victory cigars and put the baseballs back on the shelves.
Molson Field and the Magic Expanding Outfield
“Coors Field’s wide-open spaces present ample landing areas for doubles and triples. The spacious outfield also provides an opportunity for Larry Bigbie.â€ When you read statements like the preceeding ones from Patrick Saunders and other Post â€œwritersâ€, you might be tempted to think that the outfield is somehow larger in Denver than in other baseball parks. It isnâ€™t. It is physically impossible for it to be without violating the principles of Geometry. No players, including Larry Bigbie in the above-referenced article, ever say it is bigger. Because it is not. End of story.
True statements that are way too depressing to voice:
“The Rockies have produced one of the worst road records in the long and illustrious history of baseball.” Woody Paige
“The Rockies have given us a catcher who couldn’t throw out his grandmother stealing second. If she were using a walker and carrying a picnic basket.” Woody Paige
“The Rockies have given us 19 or more Double-A players and forced us to buy tickets and hot dogs at major-league prices.” Woody Paige
“Did I mention Rockies attendance is rapidly falling to an all-time low and probably will dip below the 2 million mark for the first time? At this rate, by 2011 the Rockies will be down to an attendance of three. The only three left watching will be O’Dud and the Monfort Boys.” Woody Paige, again, referring to General Manager Dan O’Dowd and the Rockies principle owners.
“Having the Rockies play in your ballpark is like having a day off.” Paige once more.
“The Rockies stranded 15 base runners – two short of the franchise high – in their 8-0 loss to Washington.” Patrick Saunders
“It was the first time this season, and the first time in 99 games, that Colorado was shut out at home.” Patrick Saunders
“Never had the Rockies had that many hits (13) yet failed to cross home plate. In fact, only two teams – the New York Giants (15 hits in 1913) and the Cleveland Indians (16 in 1928) – have had more hits in a game while failing to score a run.” Patrick Saunders
So there it is. The profoundly uninspired and untalented writers of the Denver Post have dredged up every discouraging assertion they could make about the Rockies, their stadium, and Denver baseball in general. In fact, it was much worse than Iâ€™ve covered here. Woody Paige says heâ€™s sorry he helped bring baseball here in the first place, and the others are just sorry that itâ€™s still here. At least when itâ€™s gone, we will know who to blame.