Purple Haze - An Organizational Attempt At Record Futility
The buzz of the crowd on a packed Wednesday night as a strong armed right hander makes it through 8 innings with a perfect game. The night by night track of two allegedly altered human beings sending baseballs screaming into the stands at prolific rates. Watching your home team lose for the 8th time this year when leading by at least three runs.
The 2012 version of the Colorado Rockies entered the season amid an air of skepticism, optimism, and trepidation. Everyone had a feeling this team would be able to hit, but everyone knew the biggest concern would be the starting pitching. Over the off-season, the Rockies acquired 17 pitchers in a slew of trades and free agency signings. The biggest newcomer with the potential for a tremendous impact, the team wanted you to believe, was Jeremy Guthrie. The organization's selling point? He's an innings eater, a workhorse. Throw him into an opening day rotation that included 84 year old Jamie Moyer, Juan Nicasio returning from a broken neck, a fattened up Jhoulys Chacin (the future ace that rendered Ubaldo Jimenez trade-able) and 23 year old Drew Pomeranz who was the centerpiece of the Ubaldo trade for the Rockies. Now here we sit after 62 games and concern doesn't begin to scratch the surface. Guthrie has seemingly lost his mind, and not in the fun, cheeky, I just shotgunned 3 beers in 5 minutes way. He's on the verge of a breakdown. Moyer was released. Nicasio is on the DL. Chacin is on the DL with no timetable for even starting to throw again. And Pomeranz is struggling at AAA. What do you get after 62 games of ineffective starting pitching and overuse of your bullpen?
Deep breath..... The league's highest ERA (5.42), the highest number of hits allowed (652), 3rd most homeruns allowed (80), 4th most walks allowed (224), the league's highest batting average against (.297), 3rd fewest saves in the league (11), and a the league worst trifecta of OBP, SLG, and OPS .365/.487/.852. As it's been pointed out by smarter baseball people than myself, these numbers have the Rockies in the rarefied air of the worst pitching staffs in major league history.
What makes this even worse is the fact that the Rockies have a tremendous offensive club, even without all-star Troy Tulowitzki. But it hurts when you continually lose games in which you score 6 or more runs. The funny thing is, the ineptitude of the pitching on this team has not kept the fans away as the Rockies are currently averaging over 33,000 fans per game. As long as that continues, and the team remains profitable, there is no reason for this ownership to make any drastic changes. They are completely out of touch with reality as exemplified by Dick Monfort calling Dan O'Dowd the best GM in the game. This same GM who has continually failed in the drafting and developing of quality major league talent. Manager Jim Tracy was given handshake sealed lifetime contract, and pitching coach Bob Apodaca who has been with the club for a decade continues to steal a paycheck year after year.
You can't fault the players, as they continually go out and play day after day to the best of their ability. It's another thing to turn a blind eye to an organization who is willing to accept mediocrity as a striving point and refuses to show the accountability or desire to put a winning product on the field for their fans.