• Rockie Way To Play Baseball

    Posted by on February 2nd, 2013 · Comments (8)

    Via Baseball America -

    [Rockies General Manager Dan] O’Dowd said studies of payroll models show a club like the Rockies will win 2.7 times in 10 years. Since O’Dowd became general manager in September 1999, the Rockies have reached the postseason twice—in 2007 when they began an improbable surge in mid-September that carried them to the World Series, and in 2009 when the climb was steadier after Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle as manager in late May. In addition to those years, the Rockies also finished above .500 in 2000 and 2010.

    But in their 20 years of existence, the Rockies are the only NL West club to have never won a division title. They have finished 20 or more games behind eight times, including each of the past two seasons with a combined record of 137-187. O’Dowd has been frustrated by the franchise’s wide swings and would like to even out the vast peaks and valleys that result from playing at Coors Field. He’s convinced it’s not a ballpark conducive to traditional thinking, and any model for success there is going to require creativity and adaptability.

    They’ve tried so many things to normalize play in Colorado now. At some point, do they just have to pull up stakes and move the franchise to another state? I know that it’s a beautiful part of the country. And, Mike Hampton says the schools are really nice.

    Of course, the catch here is that they draw 2,600,000 fans a season even in a year where the team stinks. And, that’s why they will never move…as long as attendance is that good.

    But, the fact of the matter is that they have played 20 seasons there now and only twice have they had more than 83 wins in a season. And, a lot of that has to do with their ballpark. At some point, you have to give up trying to make that work, no?

    Comments on Rockie Way To Play Baseball

    1. 77yankees
      February 2nd, 2013 | 12:09 pm

      I went to a game at Coors Field for the first time last summer on a trip to Colorado, and team name & tradition aside, Coors puts the new Yankee Stadium to shame. Beautiful place to watch a game. If you sit in the upper deck the scenery is spectacular.

      Furthermore, there are no moats, no ear splitting music over the loudspeaker, no lame “traditions” (cough, Cotton Eyed Joe, YMCA, Sweet Caroline)& even some of their between inning contests for fans (held on the field, btw) are entertaining. So it’s easy to understand why they can draw…..even in a football town where the Broncos get 80% of the year round sports coverage.

      As for their competitive aspect, a lot of it has to do with the division that they’re in. The Dodgers, Giants, & Padres are either built on pitching or play in pitcher friendly parks. So while the Rockies can out slug their opponents at home and win 50 games at home, time has proven their disadvantage on the road has outweighed their success at home.

    2. Raf
      February 2nd, 2013 | 12:45 pm

      Someday, I’ll attend a game in Colorado.

      I think the Rockies can make it work in Colorado, they just need to do a better job of building a team out there. Despite never winning a division title, they have won 90+ games before. They just have to do a better job of sustaining that. Let them consistently finish over .500, then worry about contending.

    3. February 2nd, 2013 | 8:12 pm

      @ 77yankees:
      Now I know why they draw 2.6! Hey, maybe they can be the Cubs-West? Crappy team but a fun park experience. So, they make money and that’s all that matters…

    4. Corey
      February 3rd, 2013 | 10:12 am

      This team isn;t going to win anytime soon. Not with their rediculous 4 man pitching staff plan.

    5. February 3rd, 2013 | 11:12 am

      @ Corey:
      FWIW, IIRC, they scrapped that idea.

    6. Corey
      February 3rd, 2013 | 12:02 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Oh really, last I read they had hired the new skip with the idea that they would go with whatever crazy plans they had cooked up in the lab. I don’t follow the Rockies daily though so you very well may be right.

    7. February 3rd, 2013 | 1:57 pm
    8. MJ Recanati
      February 4th, 2013 | 9:40 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Hey, maybe they can be the Cubs-West? Crappy team but a fun park experience.

      I don’t think the two ballpark experiences could be any further apart. Wrigley — especially during a day game — is like Mardi Gras, all beer-soaked fun in the sun.

      For all of the beauty of Denver and Coors Field, it’s nevertheless a placid environment. Some people may prefer that, others not. But it’s certainly not going to draw fans for the spectacle and party atmosphere that Wrigley does. People travel to Chicago to see Wrigley, no one goes to Denver to see Coors Field or the Rockies.

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