Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Rockies’

Unfortunate Reality Hits the Rockies

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 10, 2008

So apparently the Rockies have traded Matt Holliday.¬† I can’t really say I’m surprised frankly considering Holliday is represented by Scott Boras, who to put it kindly is extremely greedy.¬† Boras is notorious for getting monster deals for his clients (see Alex Rodriguez, he of the 10 year $275 million deal).¬† I’m sure Holliday has his reasons for not wanting to re-sign with the Rockies.¬† He says he wants to be somewhere where he has a consistent chance to make the World Series every year, and frankly it’s hard to argue that Colorado fits with that ideal.¬† There are reports of a rift with ownership considering the teams willingness to win and upgrade the roster, which is very possible considering the Monforts weren’t exactly active in the free agent market even after making the World Series.¬† If those are Holiday’s reasons for not accepting an extension with the Rockies and essentially forcing a trade, that’s one thing.¬† Of course it’s frustrating, but you can’t blame a player for not wanting to be somewhere where winning is a top priority.¬†

Now, if this is indeed about nothing other than money, than it impossible to keep any respect for either side.¬† If it is true that Holliday turned down an $85 million extension before last season, than I say good riddance.¬† Seriously, what can you do with $160 million that you can’t do with $85 million, short of buying a hundred cars and three extra mansions and who knows what else?¬† Maybe I just don’t understand it because I’ve never known what it’s like to have that kind of money, but I say if $100 million isn’t enough for you, perhaps you ought to work a real job for a year to better learn to appreciate the opportunity you have.¬† Maybe it’s just me.¬†¬† I obviously can’t say for sure what Holliday’s motives are for not wanting to stay in Colorado, and I don’t want to throw him under the bus based on speculation, but it seems like it is with most Boras clients that it really is a money issue regardless of what else comes out of the player’s mouth.

I personally believe that the unsettled nature of the Holliday contract negotiations had¬†to have an adverse effect on the team’s performance last season.¬† The ownership and players alike may say otherwise, but how could it not have had an effect?¬†¬† If nothing else, there was a notable decline in Holliday’s numbers last season (.321 average down from .340 the previous year, home run decline to 25 from 36, and RBIs were down from 137 to 88).¬† To be fair, Holliday did miss two weeks in May due to injury, but even factoring that in, that’s a noticeable decrease in production.¬† Even considering his two week injury, that type of decline in production doesn’t seem to merit the $20 million offer he is seeking.¬† Even given all that, it is a shame that the relationship between Holliday and the Rockies went south so quickly that the Rockies felt forced to deal him even with a year to go before he hit free agency.¬†

It seems clear that Rockies ownership is in a pickle here because they seem to have made Holliday the best offer they could afford.¬† His unwillingness to accept their offer means they are now getting roughly 30 cents on the dollar in the deal.¬† While reports vary on what exactly the Rockies will get in return, the one consistent piece seems to be pitcher Greg Smith, he of a 7-16 record last season and a 4.16 ERA.¬† Smith finished third in the AL in walks allowed with 87, which is not a good stat.¬† The 16 losses may not be a good indicator of his ability¬†because the A’s weren’t a good team last year, but walking guys is never a good thing.¬† If this is the best the Rockies can hope for in return for Holliday, than there is no way they can make a legitimate argument they are a better team for trading Holliday.¬† Whoever’s fault it is, it is still frustrating to know that already the Rockies are behind the eight ball in the NL West race and spring training is still three months away.

Advertisements

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Random Thoughts

Posted by mizzou1028 on May 12, 2008

Sometimes I wonder if the national networks realize there are other baseball teams we might want to watch besides the Red Sox and the Yankees.¬† ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball game last night featured the Red Sox and the Twins, which is fine, it’s a good matchup.¬† Thing is, ESPN is showing that matchup AGAIN this evening, despite several other good games on the schedule.¬† It is not in any way a shock that next week’s Sunday night game will feature the Yankees and Mets.¬† The TBS Sunday afternoon¬†schedule has been similar so far.¬† Of the first eight games on their schedule in April and May, five involve either Boston or the Yankees.¬† It is fairly obvious why the networks like big market teams, among the chief reasons being that a game involving two large market clubs is likely to garner a larger audience and therefore more advertising dollars.¬† Still, it seems appalling to me that my Colorado Rockies have been shown on national TV exactly ZERO times so far this year the season following a World Series appearance.¬† Now, clearly their start this season hasn’t been worthy of much national air time, but a World Series appearance should guarantee at least some national exposure during the first month of the following season.¬† With the exception of one Saturday regional broadcast on Fox that was shown to less than a third of the country, the Rockies have not been shown any respect by the national MLB broadcast partners, while they continue to shove the same teams down our throat every week.¬† I realize that some teams have more sex appeal than others, and it goes without saying that certain teams will receive more exposure than others.¬† That being said, as a true fan of the game I want to see the best teams, not the ones with the most tradition or star power.¬† It might surprise you who has the best record in the National League right now.¬† I’ll give you a hint, it’s a franchise that’s won two World Series since 1997, but they’ve also had exactly zero national tv appearances this year and aren’t scheduled for any in the future.¬† Go ahead and guess, I’ll wait.

The answer would be the Florida Marlins, who are 23-14 and have a three game lead in the NL East, better than the mighty Mets, Phillies and Braves, all of whom are loaded with national TV appearances this year.¬† Now, as a fan of the game, I just might want to actually watch a Marlins game once in awhile if they really are that good.¬† Thing is, I have no idea because I haven’t had a chance to see them.¬† Yet I’ve been saddled with a number of games involving the Detroit Tigers, who made a big splash in terms of offseason spending and currently sit in last place in the AL Central, behind the mighty Kansas City Royals.¬† It might also surprise you to learn that Tampa Bay is 21-16, only a game and a half behind Boston in the AL East.¬† Or how about the Oakland A’s, pretty much coming out of nowhere to lead the AL West at 23-16?¬† Again, I don’t know much about¬†either team¬†except for the stats that I see because they’re never on TV either.¬† It was quite amusing actually¬†to watch the national announcers embarrass themselves last October trying to announce the Rockies’ games as they made their run to the World Series.¬† It was clear some of them weren’t at all prepared and¬†hadn’t watched the team play all year, even though they proved to be a legit playoff team.¬† It will be amusing if the networks find themselves in the same position again this year.¬† I just wish the networks would vary the teams they show on occasion.¬† I would imagine most fans would agree they don’t always want to be stuck watching the same teams every night.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

ESPN.com has released it’s NFL power rankings¬†based on where they feel the teams currently stand after the draft and other acquisitions.¬† I find it inexcusable that the Giants are down to number six after they won the Super Bowl.¬† To me, they should be number one at least until they play a real game in September, unless they were to completely blow up the roster, which they haven’t.¬† It also interesting they have the Colts at number two, ahead of the Chargers at three, even though the Chargers beat the Colts on the road in the playoffs last year.¬† Strangely enough, I’m not that surprised they have my Broncos at 23, because on paper it does seem like there are questions regarding multiple parts of the roster.¬† Many national folks don’t seem to be big fans of the team’s draft, although i think they did a good job filling roster needs, even if it’s impossible to actually evaluate the draft until these guys have played multiple seasons.¬† Frankly, the power rankings are fun to talk about, particularly for someone like me who is constantly in football withdrawal during the offseason, but they really mean nothing.¬† There will be several teams that will end up better than advertised and there will be several that will be worse than advertised.¬† Still, it does provide for some interesting discussion, nothing more.¬†

Posted in baseball, football | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UGH!

Posted by mizzou1028 on April 28, 2008

This has been as bad a sports weekend for the teams that I follow as I can remember.¬† This does not take into account the Broncos draft, which I am actually fairly pleased with (more on that later – but it might have to be in a future post).¬† The events in the Denver sports landscape this¬†weekend might not really stand out on an individual basis (think the Broncos’ loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs in January ’97 – none of these single events, or even as a group, come close to comparing to THAT debacle).¬† That being said, it cannot be argued that anything went even remotely right this weekend for the Rockies, the Nuggets or the Avalanche.¬†

The Rockies have not had a great April.¬† Of course, they had an awful April last season and made the World Series, so it’s way too early to hit the panic button.¬† However, this team has now lost 7 of 8 after getting swept by the Dodgers in LA this weekend.¬† On Friday night starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t even make it out of the third inning in a game where the Rockies’ offense had given him four runs of support in that time frame.¬† The Rockies eventually lost the game in 13 innings after many failed opportunities offensively (including Matt Holliday hitting into an inning ending double play with two runners in scoring position in the 9th).¬† On Saturday Mark Redman got lit up for TEN runs in the first inning!¬† Imagine walking into a bowling alley, thinking to yourself that it’s a¬† nice bonus that TVs everywhere you look are showing¬†the game while you’re going to bowl, then seeing a Dodger¬†grand slam sail into the night sky the first time you look at the screen.¬† That’s a glimpse of my Saturday night.¬† The second time I looked at the screen I saw it was still the bottom of the 1st and the Dodgers had already put up a 10 spot.¬† Needless to say I wanted to throw up.¬† Then there was today’s game.¬†¬† Jeff Francis pitched extremely well, surrendering just two runs in seven innings while striking out six, and the Rockies had chances to win.¬† Thing is, the offense never capitalized.¬† In a 2-2 game, Troy Tulowitzki continued his struggles (batting a whopping .157 – OUCH) by grounding into a double play with the bases loaded in the 8th, and then the Rockies left runners at 2nd at 3rd in the 10th.¬† Enter Manny Corpas, who was given a contract extension in the offseason after doing a great job in the closer role last year.¬† He has lost it this season after blowing four saves already.¬† Corpas actually pitched a scoreless ninth today after giving up two singles, so it wasn’t entirely unreasonable for Clint Hurdle to leave him in there for the 10th.¬† This proved to be a bad idea: a four pitch walk to Rafael Furcal, a walk to Mark Sweeney (who has exactly 0 RBIs and is batting a horrid .063 this season), then runners at 2nd and 3rd after a sac bunt.¬† After Hurdle elected to intentionally walk the red hot hitting Russell Martin to load the bases, Corpas could have redeemed himself with a double play groundout.¬† Nope, he gave up a sharp single to James Loney, and the Rockies got swept.¬† Now, a 10-15 record is certainly no reason to hit the panic button especially after last year, but right now they can’t even see the taillights of the division leading Diamondbacks.¬† It’s no coincidence Arizona made a big offseason splash in adding elite starter Dan Haren, while the Rockies made no big moves to the roster.¬† Granted, the Rockies did spend some money to keep their own players, including Tulowitzki (who will rebound).¬† Still, it seems like maybe they stood and watched while other teams around them got better.¬† To be fair, they’ve been on the road much more often than they’ve been at Coors Field, and that 22 inning marathon in San Diego can’t have helped.¬† Maybe a friendlier May schedule will be the catalyst for a turnaround.

As for the Nuggets, I feel bad saying this but I really don’t care to watch Monday night.¬† There were times this season where this team had really re-awakened by NBA interest.¬† They have the ability to compete with anyone in the league, and a 50 win season is an impressive accomplishment.¬† As tough and competitive as the Western Conference is, I really thought it didn’t matter where anyone was seeded because all eight teams¬†were good.¬† It is clear though that this team will never win when it counts unless major changes are made.¬† The Nuggets have given three lackluster performances against the¬†Lakers in this playoff series.¬† Check that, lackluster may be a kind way to describe¬†game three at the Pepsi Center.¬† There is no reason for Carmelo¬†Anthony and Allen Iverson to go 10 for¬†38 from the¬†floor in a playoff game, many of the shots from point blank range.¬† The players’ body language¬†says this series has been long over, right from the technical fouls¬† Iverson took in game one due to frustration.¬† From what I have seen, there are only three players who have consistently played hard in this series: Linas Kleiza, Eduardo Najera and J.R. Smith.¬† It is¬†not a coincidence that Nuggets have held up best when these guys have been on the floor, even if that’s not saying much.¬† Anthony has given absolutely no effort whatsoever on the defensive end, and while Iverson has shown up offensively for the most part, his defense hasn’t been much better than Anthony’s.¬† There is a reason why Anthony’s draft class mates LeBron James and Dwayne Wade have both reached the NBA Finals while Anthony has never made it out of the first round.¬† They are leaders, and he is not, pure and simple.¬† Anthony has never understood that being a complete player means giving full effort in all areas, including the defensive end.¬† I’m wondering if it’s time to chuck out Anthony, let Iverson finish his career with a true contender, and try to put the team’s resources into building a true winner.¬† For the Nuggets to have the kind of payroll invested that they do, they need more results than an annual first round exit.¬† The Nuggets are missing a true veteran leader who can bring the talent together, a guy who does not constantly need the ball in his hands to succeed, someone who can lead by example.¬† It is clear that the Anthony-Iverson experiment isn’t working.¬† Both guys continually need the ball, and while they both get their points, their presence together has not led to the same results as other top duos in the league.¬† Or better yet, think of the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili trio in San Antonio.¬† The Spurs have stockpiled championships because these stars can all play together and each understands his role.¬† Maybe it’s time for the Nuggets to blow up the roster with the exception of Kleiza, Najera and Smith and start over.¬† They have way too much money tied up¬†in Anthony, Iverson, Kenyon Martin and Marcus¬†Camby to settle for these kind of results.¬† Maybe George Karl isn’t blameless either, but I’m never one to think a new coach will solve anything, especially in the NBA, where the players run the show anyway.¬† I remember when the Nuggets were 11-71 and a complete embarrassment, so I do appreciate a 50 win season and a playoff appearance.¬† I also expect some semblance of progress, and this will be the fifth consecutive first round playoff exit, with the Nuggets never winning more than one game in any series.¬† I know there’s another game left, but it’s clear the chance of the Nuggets winning this series is zero percent.¬† Let’s just say if I was a season ticket holder, there would be zero percent chance of me renewing my seats for next season unless major changes are made this offseason.

Now, surely Avalanche-Red Wings should be fun right?¬† For years this was the premiere rivalry in sports.¬† Not just the NHL, but in sports.¬† Every playoff series these teams squared off in during the late 90s and early 2000s was extremely intense.¬† The rivalry had everything: bloody fights, close games, great players on both sides, nasty trash talk and a true hatred among the fans.¬† In recent years as the Avalanche have faded into relative mediocrity and the NHL has faded into complete obscurity, the rivalry has died.¬† Despite the fact the Avalanche don’t stack up well with the Wings as a six seed this year, I still couldn’t contain my excitement for this rivalry to be renewed with another playoff meeting.¬† Surely an intense Avs-Wings series could at least be some small help in getting the NHL back on the mainstream sports landscape right?¬† How could you not get excited about Sakic, Forsberg and several of the old names squaring off against their nemesis?¬† Well, that too is short lived.¬† Forsberg has missed the first two games of the series with an apparent groin injury, and the Avs have been outscored 9-4 in losing the first two games of the series.¬† Jose Theodore has proved he is no Patrick Roy, having been angrily yanked from the first two games after giving up four goals in each one (all in a total of less than four periods of playing time in the two games).¬† The Avs look hopelessly outmanned, and while I was not at all familiar with the Wings’ Johan Franzen, I now despise him as much as I despised Darren McCarty in the old days after¬†Franzen has lit the Avs up for five goals in the first two games.¬† Maybe a return to the Pepsi Center Tuesday will help the Avs, after all this is still a seven game series and the Avs have a chance to even things with a couple of wins at home.¬† It’s not quite like the Nuggets where the chance is zero percent.¬† Still, goaltending is what wins playoff series, and Theodore is shaky at best right now.¬† As great as he was in the first round against Minnesota (and he basically won the series for them) he has been awful in round two.¬† Will Peter Budaj be in net for game three?¬† The fact that this is even a question does not bode well for the Avalanche.¬† One thing in hockey though is that a playoff series can turn on a dime.¬† It actually happened for the Avs against Detroit in the 1999 second round.¬† Detroit blasted the Avs in the first two games at old McNichols Sports Arena, only to see Colorado win four straight, including three at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.¬† The Avalanche can only hope that history will repeat itself this week, and that they don’t end up following the Nuggets by getting unceremoniously broomed out of the playoffs.¬†

At least the Broncos had what appears to be a good draft.¬† That discussion will be saved for another time, because it doesn’t seem quite fair to lump that with a depressing weekend of bad sports all the way around.¬† That is, unless the rest of the weekend is an omen and these guys all prove to be busts in three years.¬† Hopefully that won’t prove to be the case.¬†

Posted in baseball, basketball, hockey | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An exciting sports time

Posted by mizzou1028 on April 9, 2008

Big game Thursday night for the Nuggets, as they play on the road at the Golden State Warriors.¬† The Nuggets find themselves in what amounts to a play-in game for the playoffs, tied with Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the west, with four games to play for each team.¬† After Thursday’s head to head meeting, the Nuggets are at Utah and finish with Houston and Memphis at home, certainly not an easy schedule.¬† The Warriors host the Clippers and Seattle and have a road game at Phoenix.¬† Connecting the dots leads to the clear conclusion the Nuggets are pretty much toast if they won’t win at Oracle Arena on Thursday.¬† The Nuggets find themselves in this position because they blew two games they¬†should¬†have won over the weekend to Sacramento and¬†Seattle.¬†¬†¬† I still maintain they can do some damage if they do manage to get in the playoffs, but they are going to have to shore up their defense, and they can’t take any more nights off.¬† Ownership has invested too much in this team to see them crumble this way.¬† Thursday’s game could even go a long way toward determining the future of coach George Karl as well as some members of the team.¬† There is simply too much talent for them to miss the playoffs, but it’s looking like that could end up happening.¬†

………….

For those of you who claim not to be fans of hockey, I recommend you start watching tonight.¬† The Stanley Cup Playoffs are one of the best experiences in sports.¬†¬†In hockey, more so than any other sport, there is a tremendous difference between the regular season and the playoffs.¬† Not to say that the regular season isn’t important, because it is, but the playoffs take on a whole new intensity.¬† Guys have to practically be on their death bed not to play.¬† Players are willing to sacrifice everything for their teammates.¬† I certainly realize that it’s hard to find the channel that carries the games, and it’s hard to find coverage with ESPN shoving highlights way behind the NBA and whatever else they carry on their network.¬† Just do yourself a favor and watch a game involving Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin.¬† I for one am very excited to see my Avalanche back in the playoffs after a year absence, which could be a good thing as the Nuggets may miss the NBA playoffs.¬† Seriously though, take a look in at some of the NHL playoff action this year, for it is as exciting as any other time in sports.¬† I’d like to see any sports fan who actually gives the Stanley Cup Playoffs a chance and still tries to pretend they don’t enjoy watching hockey.¬† Anyone who would claim that is simply not a fan of sports, period.¬†

………………………

I am definitely excited for the start of baseball season, especially after the amazing run the Rockies made to reach the World Series last season.¬† I do find everyone’s expectations for the team amusing however.¬† Just because they made the World Series last year doesn’t mean they’ll get there every year, or even be assured to be in the mix.¬† There are a lot of other good teams out there that improved themselves this offseason, including the other contenders in the NL West (Arizona adding Dan Haren, the Dodgers adding Andruw Jones).¬† That being said, the Rockies do have a lot of talent and should field another competitive team.¬† It¬†was certainly encouraging to see them invest some payroll to keep guys like Tulowitzki and Corpas this past offseason.¬† I just hope that when Matt Holliday becomes a free agent in 2009, that the Rockies will make sure they keep him.¬† Unfortunately with MLB’s economic structure, the odds are Holliday will cash in big with the Yankees or some other big market team.¬† Here’s hoping that the Rockies will stay committed to keeping this team together and can figure out a way to keep Holliday for the long haul.¬† He’s already delivered a pair of clutch home runs in this opening homestand alone, and appears to be on track for another great year.¬† Regardless whether the Rockies make another run at the playoffs or not, this will (hopefully)¬†be a fun team to watch for a number of years, and that makes it much more fun to follow baseball season during the summer.

Posted in baseball, basketball, hockey | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »