The Colorado Rockies are 37-65 this season. They sit 18 games back in the National League West.
They have lost five consecutive games and 11 of their last 13 contests. Opponents have outscored them by 101 runs. The Cardinals have won 11 of their last 13 against them.
Devoid of starting pitching talent, Colorado went to a silly four-man rotation featuring limited pitch counts and nightly relief parades.
How does a team get this bad this quickly? The Rockies won the NL pennant in 2007 and got back to the playoffs in 2009.
But poor management and wavering ownership commitment have doomed the Rockies to laughingstock status. Wednesday brought a major management shift, with player development director Bill Geivett becoming the new “senior vice president of major league operations.”
Owner Dick Monfort shuffled the deck chairs on his Titanic, moving Geivett into a position that strips general manager Dan O’Dowd of some powers and field manager Jim Tracy of others.
“I will be involved on a day-to-day basis with the team in every aspect,” Geivett told reporters. “I met with the players and told them I will be with them for every game. I have seen them play maybe a total of 18 games (this season). Now I will be with them at every game. I will be with them on the road . . . I will be involved in many different ways. “
Great, but this promotion begged two obvious questions:
If Geivett was such an awesome player development director, shouldn’t the Rockies be awash in great young players? And isn’t Colorado’s failure to build a sturdy, self-renewing talent base a major part of the current dilemma?
With Geivett holding Tracy’s hand at the major league level, O’Dowd will spend more time focusing on the player development side. And yet Geivett will report to O’Dowd, at least in theory.
Meanwhile former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle can only shake his head and chuckle while steering the long-suffering Pirates into playoff contention. Getting fired by Colorado was the best thing that ever happened to him.
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
Disgraced slugger Jose Canseco is having trouble making ends meet. He lists $21,000 in assets and $1.7 million in liabilities. He owes the IRS $500,000.
So it seems he had two choices: Write another book or file for bankruptcy. Since he has exhausted his juicy steroid revelations, he chose the latter option Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Tipsheet is pulling for him.
MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE
Questions to ponder while wondering if the Rockies are getting tired of their old friend Matt Holliday:
QUIPS ‘R US
Here is what some of America’s leading sports pundits have been writing:
David Whitley, FanHouse: “Allison Schmitt swam a sizzling final leg to lead the U.S. to a gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay Wednesday. Congratulations, Allison. You now owe the IRS $26,679. That’s what she gets for winning two golds, a silver and a bronze medal at the Olympics. It takes years of training and sacrifice to get to win one for your country, and this is how your country thanks you? Doesn’t exactly make you proud to be an American.”
Steve Rushin, SI.com: “Without NBA, without NHL, without real games in pro or college football and with six weeks left of baseball pennant 'races,' in which weaker teams 'chase' the second wildcard, and what an image that conjures: Picture a fat man jogging after a bus as it slowly pulls away from the curb, SECOND WILDCARD in the destination box above the windshield. The man stops, doubles over and waves a hand as if to say: Go ahead without me. It's just not worth the effort. Another one will come along next year.”
Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports: “Los Angeles Dodgers grabbing at everything that moves, like a cat with one of those string toys. It was as though GM Ned Colletti was scrolling through car magazines saying, 'Oooh, pretty,' and, 'Wow, I'd love that,' only with baseball players catching his attention. A shiny Hanley Ramirez? C'mon down. A beautiful Shane Victorino? Work it. A stunning Brandon League? Delightful. Since their great start, the Dodgers haven't been good enough to warrant such a spending spree. And yet … it's difficult to fault Colletti, because his team is better, and he really didn't give up all that much.”
Scott Miller, CBSSports.com: “Trader Jeff Luhnow is an absolute maniac on the telephone, we've sure learned that (and we mean it in the best way). Has to be, he did something the Astros of the past couple of years couldn't to, addressing a situation that had them paralyzed: He dealt Wandy Rodriguez . . . and Brett Myers . . . and Carlos Lee . . . and J.A. Happ . . . and Brandon Lyon. Not one of them, all of 'em. Then he dealt third baseman Chris Johnson. And he got 13 prospects in return, plus two players to be named later. The Astros are so awful you can barely look at them. But mark it down: The turnaround began in earnest in July, 2012.”
“It was a crazy game in Texas. I've seen a lot of them. A six-run lead is not safe.”
Angels reliever Jason Isringhausen, after the Rangers rallied for an 11-10 victory at his expense.