Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rock Solid State of the Rockies Recrap Special

Braves 7, Rockies 4 (boxscore)

Did I bother to go back and watch Monday night's game? Nah. I looked over the boxscore and saw a couple highlights and that was enough for me.

I saw Todd Helton lose Ty Wigginton's throw in the sun, leading to those two unearned runs. I saw Freddie Freeman hit another home run. I saw Craig Kimbrel mow them down in the ninth. Anything else worth mentioning? A baserunning error maybe? A passed ball? Lousy RISP?

Instead of going into further detail on this one, here's my quick overview of the Colorado Rockies in 2011.

If you thought they had it turned around after two games vs. Milwaukee, then you really weren't thinking. Hope is a nice thing to have, but this team hasn't given any reason for legitimate hope since they left Citi Field in New York with a four-game sweep. I don't know that they've had even one great week since then, let alone a sustained stretch of excellence.

The lineup is over matched by great pitchers. The starting rotation is undermanned and struggles to hold its own against stacked lineups. The bullpen is very underrated, but not strong enough to carry the load this team needs it to. The baserunning is disastrous. The manager is a wonderful and honest person, but a lousy strategist, button-pusher, and motivator. And yes, the two money players continue to be non-factors in money situations.

Teams with these problems aren't relevant. Teams with these problems don't just turn it around overnight like we so desperately want to believe this team will. They aren't good enough right now, and now is probably the time to start evaluating and figuring out who's going to help this team in 2012.

I really believe that. The Giants aren't going away. The Braves and Phillies have the East and Wild Card locked down. Applying more bandages to the 2011 team for an unlikely run would only make competing in 2012 more of a question. Let's see what some of the guys are made of over the next 10 weeks. No shipping guys up and down. Let's challenge them and be prepared to make tough decisions when the time is right, while evaluating opposing players that can help us beyond this season.

Ubaldo Jimenez shouldn't go anywhere. But if a great deal did come along, why not? Trading him wouldn't be the end of my world. I hope it wouldn't end yours or kill your desire to see this team win. Remember when trading Matt Holliday was going to end the Rockies forever? And then they traded him and instantly got better.

Different situations? Of course. But a tough decision, and tough decisions have to be made to get to the highest level. That's the only place I want the Rockies to go. Yeah, I want players around that are likable. I feel bad for their families when they have to move. But at the end of the day, it''s job their job. They aren't people I hang out with or care whether or not they talk to me on Twitter. It's a baseball team. I'm a baseball fan. I want my team to win, or put forth every effort to win.

The Rockies have been committed to that since 2004, when they elected to hit refresh and be patient. Now they just have to rework the puzzle a little bit to find pieces that fit better. Or at least that's how I view the whole situation. Now this is when they win 12 in a row and make me take it all back. Tuesday was a good step in that direction, which you'll read more about shortly.