Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thank you Aaron Cook

I really wanted to write a really long, positive piece today to wrap up the Rockies home schedule. But then the team goes ahead and gets themselves shutout by Anthony Bass and five San Diego Padres relievers. That doesn't exactly inspire me to be positive, but I'll try to say nice things anyway.

Padres 4, Rockies 0 (boxscore)

Thank you Aaron Cook.

I wouldn't say you necessarily went out on a high note, but you went out on an appropriate note. Much like most of your Rockies career, you weren't dominant or overpowering, but you found a way to collect yourself and did a good job keeping the team in the game. You really did. And that's always impressed me about you.

Now done addressing Aaron Cook personally.

Say what you will about Cook's performance this season, I promise you he has more guts than anyone on this team save for Juan Nicasio. To come back from the blood clots in the lungs to become the Rockies all-time winniest pitcher. To come back from the broken leg, the broken finger, it's all very impressive. Because of that, I will never say negatively about Aaron Cook the person.

Yes, it's time to part ways with Aaron Cook the pitcher, but I'm sure there will come times when I miss both the person and the pitcher. The Rockies will miss both too. We need more guys with makeup and toughness. There's no question about that.

And I even admire Aaron Cook enough to not label this a Recrap.

-- I found it interesting that Jim Tracy unleashed the following diatribe on his offense before today's game.

“We need to get over ourselves and do what’s necessary to win the game, and that applies to everybody. Every single player in that room needs to understand that. Because if we gain a heck of a lot greater understanding of it than we have right now, we’ll turn things around just like that. If we don’t, then we’ll continue to stagger for a while.’’

“It’s something I’ve heard being preached from day one of spring training about using the entire field,’’ said Tracy. “I can’t begin to tell you about how many times the complexion and more likely the outcome of the game would have been changed if we just moved the ball forward.

“We don’t understand that, and it’s not that the message isn’t getting preached. It’s either we don’t understand it or we don’t quite yet want to understand it. But until we do understand it, we won’t win any championships here.’’

Good for Jim. Probably a little late to go public with these comments, but job security makes all us a little more vocal when it's our turn to speak.

Here's the thing: I'm not about to say Jim Tracy is 100% of the problem, 50% of the problem, or even 5% of the problem. I also have little doubt he understands more about baseball than you, I, and every fan or blogger out there. I really don't. But the fact he can't consistently get his message across, coupled with his inability to make decisions/adjustments on the fly, makes him an undeniable part of the problem.

In my opinion, the manager doesn't have to be a certain percentage of the problem to get run out of town, he just has to be a part of it.

The Rockies didn't have the crippling injuries they do now at the end of last season. That team still finished 1-13. It's not about injuries, folks. It's about the mindset, the lack of leadership, and again, that inability to keep the team moving forward when adversity strikes. Jim Tracy has proven time and time again in three different cities that he can't do that, and it's not likely he can learn how this offseason.

With the knowledge that Jim Tracy will be back next season, even before they suffer their injury or setback, the Colorado Rockies are behind the 8-ball.

This concludes another beating of a dead horse I promising I wouldn't partake in.

Final Thought

How do I follow that thought up?

Well, the Rockies do still have seven road games remaining, and I will be VERY interested to see if they can piece together something resembling a decent trip. There has to be some pride in there somewhere, even with these young guys gaining experience on the fly.

That, and we have four games with a Houston Astros team in the same position. If the Astros kids look hungrier than ours, I'll be seriously ready to panic.