For once, a Kiszla column with which I agree.
By Mark Kiszla
Denver Post Staff Columnist
Article Last Updated: 04/22/2007 12:10:48 AM MDT
There are Coloradans hopelessly in love with baseball who hate how lame ownership has allowed the Rockies to crumble.
Something must be done.
Boycott the Rockies.
Send owners Charlie and Dick Monfort a message.
We won't pay for bad baseball.
Beg them to do the right thing and sell this going-nowhere franchise to ownership that can afford more than dreams of mediocrity.
Isn't it about time the people of this state demand victories, rather than excuses?
After listening carefully in recent days to successful businessmen, advocates who worked to bring major-league baseball to town and alienated fans of the game, the frustration comes through loud and clear.
"These Rockies are a sham. We deserve more and we'll support more. I once owned seats 12 rows directly behind home plate. I couldn't take it anymore. Heck, I couldn't give my tickets away," former season-ticket holder Steve Morgan declared in an e-mail that passionately suggested a boycott of the Rockies.
"I have been a hardcore baseball fan, a bit of a baseball historian and a fan who will live and die with his team. But these Rockies are too hard to take. The management doesn't try. I will not attend another game until ownership changes."
How many Coloradans feel the same pain? We built Coors Field, then filled it with all the enthusiasm and revenue streams necessary for a winning franchise.
What have the Monforts given us in return? The emptiness of too many wasted summers.
This is not a knee-jerk reaction to 18 games on the 2007 schedule, but the result of many years of hollow promises and playoff-drought ineptitude.
What can you do to end the reign of hopelessness? Plenty. In this Internet age, more power has never been given to the people.
Launch a website dedicated to finding new ownership for the Rockies. "Why don't you get someone to start an online petition?" asked savvy fan Michael Harrison of Fort Collins, a man far smarter than me.
Protest in front of the ballpark on the first day of every homestand, urging patrons not to enter the gates and support lousy baseball by purchasing overpriced beer and hot dogs.
Refuse to buy tickets, unless you absolutely, positively need to see Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter start a double play or watch Cubs star Alfonso Soriano crunch a homer.
Pat Bowlen and Stan Kroenke make their money, but those two sports magnates have been good friends to Colorado, investing to bring us Super Bowl parades, sips from the Stanley Cup and even a comfy new home for soccer fans to kick back in.
The going rate for a roster stocked with hitters and pitchers who have a realistic shot at a championship is $75 million. Charlie and Dick Monfort are nice guys. But they are either unwilling or unable to ante up for winning baseball in the 21st century. On opening day, the Rockies' payroll was approximately $55 million.
Owning a baseball club in Denver must be more than an excuse to sit in the sun and enjoy a cold drink. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle and front-office executive Dan O'Dowd try hard, but rewarding their failed tenures with contract extensions on Day One of what rightly deserved to be a make-or-break season struck me as ownership blind to its civic responsibility.
"I gasped the day I heard that Hurdle and O'Dowd had received two-year extensions. Baseball will never be successful in Denver at the rate we are going," said former Rockies die-hard Cecilia Kelsey, who tells a tale of broken dreams.
"My father took me to see the Denver Bears when I was young, and I really looked forward to a major-league team. We had high hopes; now we have no hope."
We the people of Colorado built the Rockies the finest home in baseball.
And the Monforts have provided us a team that gives nobody any real sense of pride.
Coors Field is a place too many Coloradans who truly love the game now refuse to enter. A civic treasure that should be filled with laughter now collects way too much dust.
We deserve better than to be played for fools.
"Until the baseball lemmings in this town - the 'Gee whiz, I'm just glad we have a team' crowd - stop financing this farce, we will continue to see dwindling payrolls, last-place finishes and the inevitable small-market excuses," disgruntled fan Dave Eck of Highlands Ranch wrote me, pleading for somebody to take action. "How many more years of this tired Gen R campaign until people recognize it for the cheap fraud that is has always been?"
Trade Todd Helton? Wait around to lose Matt Holliday as a free agent? Grow old while the Rockies never get a sniff of the World Series?
You, the great sports fans in Colorado, are tired of the wrong answers.
Raise your voices and be heard.
Charlie and Dick must go.