2011 Was a Rocky Year for the Rockies – What Next?

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 when the Blake Street Bombers roamed the earth?

None.

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