Five questions with polar opposite Colorado Rockies fans
Fanatical is a word describing someone who is filled with excessive and single-minded zeal. This is almost the only way to be a Rockies fan in 2015. Everybody else checked out to the Rooftop bar a long time ago. As pitchers and catchers officially report today for Spring Training, Examiner looks at both sides of the spectrum on the outlook of the 2015 Colorado Rockies.
The Pessimist (or realist) will be taken a cue from the Detriot Lions fanbase who would rather wear bags over their heads when supporting the team. The Optimist channels the Chicago Cubs for ever lasting hope that last year never happened and that next year is finally here.
1. Will the Rockies win more games in 2015 than they did in 2014?
The Rockies will not win more game this year even with a new general manager because the team has the same ownership. They have done little to solidify the rotation or the bullpen in the offseason. Being in the same division as the defending world champs, the money bags Dodgers and the surprisingly dealing Padres, the division as never been as strong than it will be in 2015.
Franklin Morales, while technically a free agent, played in a Rockies uniform as part of the “MLB All-Stars” team in Japan this offseason. If any person thinks Morales is suitable for any all-star team, certainly the Rockies will have no problem bringing him on for an ill-advised third stint with the team. Who knows? Jamie Moyer is still tossing the ball around last time we heard.
Odds are, we’re going to be stuck with Tulowitzki and Gonzalez for most of the year, and they’ll both be injured by mid-June. The biggest splash they have made this off-season is bringing in Nick Hundley. Hundley would be a back-up catcher on most teams but will be the starter on a club that already has two catchers on the roster. Not trading Wilin Rosario, a catcher who has failed to improve at the position or develop the young pitching staff for rotation or relief help, acutely sums up management’s ineffectiveness and inactivity during the offseason. Walt Weiss has struggled to develop as a big-league manager and his third year with the club will be his last. At least he always has Regis as a solid fall back option.
The Rockies most definitely will win more games in 2015. Theoretically, the front office isn’t making day-to-day decisions with the team. Bill Geivett is no longer a resident in the Rockies locker room, which means Weiss should have a chance to grow as a manager and make more autonomous decisions. Should the Rockies stay healthy all year, it’s fair to expect them to win more games than they did last year. It is always a matter of “if” these Rockies can stay healthy but 2014 was the only year in which Tulo and Cargo played under 100 games in a season.
Last year was an anomaly and even if both get hurt again, it is difficult to imagine a lineup without at least one of these stars for the majority of the season. The persistence and dedication by management for these cornerstone players will pay off in 2015 and only solidify the Rockies lineup as one of the most lethal in baseball.
Should Chacin, De La Rosa, Lyles, Matzek and a serviceable fifth-starter (maybe former Phillie Kyle Kendrick) all play up to their potential, the Rockies should be more competitive on a day-to-day basis.
2. Will the Colorado Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki and/or Carlos Gonzalez?
Even with various trade rumors it is not surprising that these two weren’t traded in the offseason. With their market value being so low during the offseason due to both of them having a serious history with injuries, a trade for a washing machine isn’t out of the question. In order to generate some value that is worth trading either, they will need to play most of this season healthy. As stated earlier, the over/under for both of them being out is mid-June.
Even if the Rockies do manage to fire off a trade for either of these guys, the remarkable history of botching big trades looms too large. Remember the Ubaldo Jimenez trade? The main piece, Drew Pomeranz is bouncing around the A’s minor league system in a trade that sent Brett “glass for bones” Anderson to Denver. Anderson broke is finger after hitting a harmless groundball less than two weeks into the season. The only thing Alex White did, the other piece for the Jimenez trade, was show up to Spring Training charged with a DUI. The only player remaining from that trade is Matt McBride. It’s okay if you don’t remember McBride. No one does. Less you be reminded of the trades for Dexter Fowler, Chone Figgins and Darryl Kile, who won 20 games with the Cardinals the very next year. Please listen to history Rockies and don’t make these trades.
Both Tulo and Cargo have stated that they want to stay and win with Colorado. This is the year that both play a full season without being injured. Each of them will have All-Star seasons. When healthy, they can just show up and they’ll be All-Star candidates. With the emergence of the All-Star Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, Cargo can platoon the relatively less demanding position vacant in right field. Cuddyer stayed relatively healthy in right field especially during the 2013 season when he won a batting title. A much more athletic and formidable player like Cargo certainly can accomplish the same thing.
3. Will the Colorado Rockies reach 3 million in attendance this year?
That number hasn’t been eclipsed since 2001, and will continue to stand in 2015. Attendance potential isn’t as high as it used to be, thanks to the Rooftop the Rockies recently opened on the third deck of right field. The main reason the franchise will not reach this number is because they remain one of the worst teams in the Rocky Mountain region, in any sport. Purple Mondays are still driving more people away from the stands than they are bringing in. For the love of all things sacred, get rid of that promotion. The Rockies admittedly run an efficient business regularly attracting top attendance in baseball. But to surpass the three million seems to be a stretch.
They have the best bar in all of Colorado.
4. Will Dick Monfort ever sell the Colorado Rockies?
Emails are always such a tumultuous task for anyone to carry out. Odds are another rant sneaks out to the public before year’s end. He will eventually belittle Colorado Rockies fans so much, that MLB will force him to sell the team.
I’m still on this rooftop enjoying margaritas. This is the most important acquisition made in franchise history. Thanks Dick.
5. What was the most important acquisition for the Rockies in the offseason?
Pessimist: Nick Hundley
Hundley defensively will undoubtedly be an upgrade behind the plate. This brings much needed stability and leadership to a previously misguided pitching staff. With this help behind the plate, this is the best time for both top-pitching prospects Jon Gray and Eddie Butler to make the move to the big leagues. With a potent lineup, this stability is seemingly all the Rockies need to win more games in 2015. Unfortunately one position player can’t answer all question marks.
Optimist: Jeff Bridich
While he hasn’t made many moves during the offseason, all Rockies can breath a sigh of relief based on one fact. Dan O’Dowd no longer is at the helm. Bridich still has much to prove but has shown stability by not panicking and trading away cornerstone players. If San Diego is any indication, a rookie GM can make franchise-altering moves quickly. The short-term doesn’t look too bright but the long-term looks that much sweeter.