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Old 02-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Ringolsby: Rockies completely incapable of mistakes!

I'm so glad I read this column - SO GLAD! I was feeling kind of down about the Rockies. I had been embarrassed about the motivation regarding the Jason Jennings trade. I felt even more embarrassment when Chuckie Monfort basically admitted the other day that we were going to be Expos West when he said, "...you keep them while you can go through arbitration and hope that you have somebody coming behind them to take their place because, quite frankly, in this market we can't afford that. If people want to say that we are a minor-league team for the Yankees and somebody is going to pick Matt off for $14 (million) a year (as a free agent), so be it." I was feeling down in the dumps as a fan when I was thinking about how many winning seasons (one - barely) the Rockies have had this decade.

Well, it turns out that things are, in fact, pretty rosy! I just needed a dose of Tracy Ringolsby. I failed to realize that Rockies ownership were puppet masters for the rest of baseball; that there should be no concern with being in Year 14 of the Five-Year-Plan.

It's good to know that regardless of how many games we lose this year, the future will be bright!
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http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...323306,00.html

Ringolsby: Rockies on need-to-owe basis

February 2, 2007
Too much has been made of the Rockies' payroll. It's projected to be $54 million in 2007.

It will be among the lowest in the big leagues.

So?

Question: Which player who might have made the Rockies a markedly better team did they miss out on because they didn't have the money to sign him?

Answer: none.

The payroll budget isn't the issue. The issue is whether ownership will blow the budget if such a need were to arise.

For three years, the Rockies have had low-priced needs. There was the year of transition, 2004, when they signed veteran free agents to one-year deals to give prospects another year to develop in the minors.

Two years ago, the Rockies were showing patience and allowing their rookies to get their feet on the ground.

Last year, it was a matter of assessing how the inexperienced players adjusted.


This year, the Rockies face expectations, having been built on the nucleus in place. The only area in which they had hoped to make an offseason adjustment was center field, and the truth is, an impact center fielder was not on the market. And the center fielders who were available signed contracts that have the makings of long-term headaches.

The question isn't whether the Rockies can stretch the budget to overpay Dave Roberts, Gary Matthews Jr. or Juan Pierre - or to take Coco Crisp off Boston's hands. The question is whether the Rockies will step up if a player such as Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter or Vernon Wells becomes available.

"What we saw out there (this offseason), there were no game changers," managing general partner Charlie Monfort said. "We felt the players who were available would make a marginal difference and we are better off to save money and wait for that impact player to surface. If you have a chance to sign a game changer, you re-evaluate the budget.

"The appearance is the free agent market will be stronger the next year or two, and in another, year we're going to know more about our team. We're going to have another year to evaluate. We're going to have another year to develop."

Too often, teams get in a financial trap. The Pittsburgh Pirates want to show fans that money is being put into the budget, so the payroll gets bumped $10 million. The front office decides it needs to spend the money to prove to fans an effort is being made. And so a player such as Jeromy Burnitz gets $6 million and spends the final part of the season sitting on the bench.

Overheard

San Diego has put on hold a proposed trade of right- handed reliever Scott Linebrink to Philadelphia for outfielder Aaron Rowand. The Padres want to check out outfielder Terrmel Sledge and see how the bullpen fits together before making the move.

Right-hander Curt Schilling has told Boston he wants to continue pitching in 2008, but he also had told the Red Sox he wants a contract before the season starts. Schilling is looking for something similar to the $13 million he will make this year.

Cubs right- hander Carlos Zambrano is looking for a multiyear deal that will carry a salary similar to the $18 million-a-year average of the Giants' Barry Zito.

Readers' turn

Kelly Barton writes: "The Rockies traded Jason Jennings because both sides couldn't agree on an extension. The Astros now face the risk faced by the Rockies before the trade - Jennings tests his value in free agency. Did the trade with Houston improve the Rockies' rotation? Second, the Astros lost Andy Pettitte and maybe Roger Clemens, but they're willing to accept the risk of a short-term rental with Jennings because they think Jennings will help their rotation more this year than the two guys they traded to the Rockies. It seems the Astros made the trade for baseball reasons and the Rox made the trade for financial reasons. Do you agree?"

Kelly, I don't. From talking with scouts and general managers from other organizations, they are amazed the Rockies were able to not only get Jason Hirsh, but Willy Taveras and Taylor Buchholz in the deal with Houston.

Hirsh is the one being counted on to pick up Jennings' load. The Astros, meanwhile, were very much in need of a veteran presence in light of the Pettitte-Clemens situation. The Astros also believe Jennings' ties to Texas and Baylor University, alma mater of Astros owner Drayton McLane, will make him interested in a long- term deal.

Whether it was a negotiating ploy or he was serious, Jennings made it known in Colorado he was eager to test the free-agent market rather than sign an extension.

For Tracy Ringolsby's response and to ask questions of your own, check out the Rockies blog at www.RockyMountain News.com/ rockies.

Two cents' worth

Why is it that the players become the villains when they sign oversized contracts?

Teams set the value by what they are willing to shell out to sign a player. Once the deal is done, however, it's the player who is held accountable for earning the seemingly outrageous salary.

MILE HIGH WATCH

Jamey Wright continues to wander down his career path.

After making good on a minor league invitation from San Francisco last year, Wright has accepted a similar challenge from Texas this year. This time, though, the odds are against Wright - unless he finally accepts a move to the bullpen.

For now, Wright, the Rockies' first-round draft pick in 1993, is one of six candidates for the fifth spot in the Rangers' rotation.

John Koronka, Kameron Loe, Edinson Volquez and John Rheinecker are all back after getting a shot at the job last year. Josh Rupe, who was supposed to have the job a year ago but injured his elbow, has rehabilitated and is ready to go.

In addition to the regular- season schedule, FSN Rocky Mountain will televise 15 of the Rockies' spring training games, including a March 30 game at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Five of the Rockies' eight weekend games are in the cable/satellite- TV package, along with the spring training opener March 1 against the Chicago White Sox.

Eduardo Villacis will replace Mark Thompson as pitching coach for the Rockies' Rookie Casper affiliate. Villacis, 27, originally signed with the Rockies in 1999 out of his native Venezuela. The right-handed pitcher made his only major league appearance in a 2004 game with Kansas City. He pitched for Bridgeport (Conn.) in the independent Atlantic League last year.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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I was actually just coming here to put up the article in which Monfort admits that the Rockies are going to be a farm team for the rest of the league. I'll do so anyway.

http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_5131597

As Rockies fans braced for Todd Helton's potential exit this week, there was a bit of good news. ESPN.com ranked Colorado's farm system the second best in baseball. The reality, according to owner Charlie Monfort, is that the Rockies have no choice but to continue to develop young talent because they are not going to be able to keep it.

Failing to move a large chunk of Helton's contract to Boston - as unpopular as it may have been - leaves the Rockies in a difficult position as they try to retain young talent such as pitcher Aaron Cook, closer Brian Fuentes and, most notably, all-star outfielder Matt Holliday beyond this year.

Unless, that is, ownership greatly expands payroll, which it has shown no desire to do.

"It makes it tough. But who knows what's going to happen?" Monfort said. "People are already saying that we are not staying with homegrown guys (because of the Jason Jennings trade). But when we say we are going to stick with them, that doesn't mean through thick and thin for 12 to 14 years.

"That means you keep them while you can go through arbitration and hope that you have somebody coming behind them to take their place because, quite frankly, in this market we can't afford that. If people want to say that we are a minor-league team for the Yankees and somebody is going to pick Matt off for $14 (million) a year (as a free agent), so be it."


Holliday, 27, isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season. Until then, the team can go year-to-year in salary arbitration, as they did this season, but his salary could be expected to take huge swings upward, as it did this winter. Holliday will make $4.4 million this year, and with Helton ($16.6 million), pitcher Rodrigo Lopez ($4.325 million), Fuentes ($3.5 million) and Cook ($3.05 million) will constitute $31.8 million of the projected $55 million payroll, or 58 percent.

Allocating a high percentage of payroll to 20 percent of the roster is not conducive to producing a championship team. The Rockies were motivated to explore trading Helton to create more financial flexibility and address multiple needs. Helton, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has squashed trade talks after they died this week.

With the Rockies' payroll in the bottom third of baseball, it's going to get more difficult to keep young players as they hit arbitration and free agency.

Fuentes, Holliday, third baseman Garrett Atkins, outfielder Brad Hawpe and possibly Cook - the team can exercise a buyout if he doesn't reach 187 1/3 innings - will be eligible for arbitration after this season, and pitcher Jeff Francis will earn $3 million next year as part of a new four-year contract.

As a result, the Rockies could be forced to make hard decisions, similar to the one faced when they traded Jennings, their No. 1 starter, this offseason to Houston for three young players, after failing to agree on a long-term contract.

"They have made a pretty strong statement with their payroll," Holliday said. "If the payroll remains status quo, it's clear that logistically some of us aren't going to be around."

The Rockies were burned by their monster contracts to Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle and Larry Walker years ago. Starting in 2004, the Rockies tried to reinvent themselves, adopting a small-payroll model perfected by the Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins, teams that frown on long-term deals. Those teams have advanced to the playoffs seven times in the past five years with average payrolls since 2000 that ranked 23rd (Minnesota) and 24th (Oakland), respectively.

Most teams with consistently similar payrolls and financial resources have failed. Tampa Bay has never been to the playoffs. Colorado last appeared in 1995, while Pittsburgh (1992), Kansas City (1985) and Milwaukee (1982) have suffered droughts. All have tried to rebuild through youth.

"If you don't have a lot of money, you might be able to put it together with some real good young players and mix in free agents here or there," said Tony La Russa, manager of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. "But it's pretty hard to sustain it because as soon as those young guys start making money you can't afford to keep them."

That's the growing concern among Rockies fans regarding Holliday, who hit .326 with 34 home runs and 114 RBIs last season. If the Rockies want to talk about a multiyear contract, Holliday said he'll listen, but the Rockies don't have to do anything. There have been no discussions about a multiyear contract since Holliday hired agent Scott Boras 14 months ago. Holliday takes umbrage with those who say his exit is inevitable because of Boras.

"It's ridiculous. They look at Scott and say he's bad for baseball. But he's great at what he does and he works for me," Holliday said. "It will ultimately be my decision."

Holliday's situation will be watched closely because there's never been a Rockies player like him - an all-star, homegrown outfielder who hits for average and power.

"I am happy because I know my swing now," Holliday said. "I am not guessing if I will be productive again."

Holliday has worked out extensively this winter - he weighs 235 pounds, down 5 pounds from last season - vows to be better defensively and believes the Rockies will be competitive. With whom and for how long is out of his control.

"I think a winning record is a fair goal," Holliday said. "They ultimately have to make the decisions regarding players. Until I am a free agent, I am not going to worry about it."
---------------------------

Just in case any of us were holding out any hope for the future, this should officially put an end to it. They've admitted that they're going to be in a never ending rebuilding mode, that they have no intention of paying anyone they actually develop and that they're fine with the idea of being a farm team for the large market franchises. It's a ****ing travesty, but that's life with the Monforts running the show.

They'll always have shills like good ol' boy Tracy Ringolsby to put their company spin on every move they make and don't make. I remember him ripping the Blue Jays fairly regularly last season for spending money in an attempt to make the Rockies penny pinching ways look good by comparison. Hey Tracy, at least the Blue Jays are trying to improve.

Well, the Rockies won't get any of my money for yet another season. I won't put a cent in their pockets until they show something resembling a commitment to winning, which doesn't appear to be anywhere on the horizon.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange View Post
I was actually just coming here to put up the article in which Monfort admits that the Rockies are going to be a farm team for the rest of the league. I'll do so anyway.

http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_5131597

As Rockies fans braced for Todd Helton's potential exit this week, there was a bit of good news. ESPN.com ranked Colorado's farm system the second best in baseball. The reality, according to owner Charlie Monfort, is that the Rockies have no choice but to continue to develop young talent because they are not going to be able to keep it.

Failing to move a large chunk of Helton's contract to Boston - as unpopular as it may have been - leaves the Rockies in a difficult position as they try to retain young talent such as pitcher Aaron Cook, closer Brian Fuentes and, most notably, all-star outfielder Matt Holliday beyond this year.

Unless, that is, ownership greatly expands payroll, which it has shown no desire to do.

"It makes it tough. But who knows what's going to happen?" Monfort said. "People are already saying that we are not staying with homegrown guys (because of the Jason Jennings trade). But when we say we are going to stick with them, that doesn't mean through thick and thin for 12 to 14 years.

"That means you keep them while you can go through arbitration and hope that you have somebody coming behind them to take their place because, quite frankly, in this market we can't afford that. If people want to say that we are a minor-league team for the Yankees and somebody is going to pick Matt off for $14 (million) a year (as a free agent), so be it."


Holliday, 27, isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season. Until then, the team can go year-to-year in salary arbitration, as they did this season, but his salary could be expected to take huge swings upward, as it did this winter. Holliday will make $4.4 million this year, and with Helton ($16.6 million), pitcher Rodrigo Lopez ($4.325 million), Fuentes ($3.5 million) and Cook ($3.05 million) will constitute $31.8 million of the projected $55 million payroll, or 58 percent.

Allocating a high percentage of payroll to 20 percent of the roster is not conducive to producing a championship team. The Rockies were motivated to explore trading Helton to create more financial flexibility and address multiple needs. Helton, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has squashed trade talks after they died this week.

With the Rockies' payroll in the bottom third of baseball, it's going to get more difficult to keep young players as they hit arbitration and free agency.

Fuentes, Holliday, third baseman Garrett Atkins, outfielder Brad Hawpe and possibly Cook - the team can exercise a buyout if he doesn't reach 187 1/3 innings - will be eligible for arbitration after this season, and pitcher Jeff Francis will earn $3 million next year as part of a new four-year contract.

As a result, the Rockies could be forced to make hard decisions, similar to the one faced when they traded Jennings, their No. 1 starter, this offseason to Houston for three young players, after failing to agree on a long-term contract.

"They have made a pretty strong statement with their payroll," Holliday said. "If the payroll remains status quo, it's clear that logistically some of us aren't going to be around."

The Rockies were burned by their monster contracts to Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle and Larry Walker years ago. Starting in 2004, the Rockies tried to reinvent themselves, adopting a small-payroll model perfected by the Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins, teams that frown on long-term deals. Those teams have advanced to the playoffs seven times in the past five years with average payrolls since 2000 that ranked 23rd (Minnesota) and 24th (Oakland), respectively.

Most teams with consistently similar payrolls and financial resources have failed. Tampa Bay has never been to the playoffs. Colorado last appeared in 1995, while Pittsburgh (1992), Kansas City (1985) and Milwaukee (1982) have suffered droughts. All have tried to rebuild through youth.

"If you don't have a lot of money, you might be able to put it together with some real good young players and mix in free agents here or there," said Tony La Russa, manager of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. "But it's pretty hard to sustain it because as soon as those young guys start making money you can't afford to keep them."

That's the growing concern among Rockies fans regarding Holliday, who hit .326 with 34 home runs and 114 RBIs last season. If the Rockies want to talk about a multiyear contract, Holliday said he'll listen, but the Rockies don't have to do anything. There have been no discussions about a multiyear contract since Holliday hired agent Scott Boras 14 months ago. Holliday takes umbrage with those who say his exit is inevitable because of Boras.

"It's ridiculous. They look at Scott and say he's bad for baseball. But he's great at what he does and he works for me," Holliday said. "It will ultimately be my decision."

Holliday's situation will be watched closely because there's never been a Rockies player like him - an all-star, homegrown outfielder who hits for average and power.

"I am happy because I know my swing now," Holliday said. "I am not guessing if I will be productive again."

Holliday has worked out extensively this winter - he weighs 235 pounds, down 5 pounds from last season - vows to be better defensively and believes the Rockies will be competitive. With whom and for how long is out of his control.

"I think a winning record is a fair goal," Holliday said. "They ultimately have to make the decisions regarding players. Until I am a free agent, I am not going to worry about it."
---------------------------

Just in case any of us were holding out any hope for the future, this should officially put an end to it. They've admitted that they're going to be in a never ending rebuilding mode, that they have no intention of paying anyone they actually develop and that they're fine with the idea of being a farm team for the large market franchises. It's a ****ing travesty, but that's life with the Monforts running the show.

They'll always have shills like good ol' boy Tracy Ringolsby to put their company spin on every move they make and don't make. I remember him ripping the Blue Jays fairly regularly last season for spending money in an attempt to make the Rockies penny pinching ways look good by comparison. Hey Tracy, at least the Blue Jays are trying to improve.

Well, the Rockies won't get any of my money for yet another season. I won't put a cent in their pockets until they show something resembling a commitment to winning, which doesn't appear to be anywhere on the horizon.
Couldn't agree more. It's absolutely disgusting what they are doing, but they don't care as long as they are lining up their pockets. I haven't been to a game in four years...looks like it will be five.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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Couldn't agree more. It's absolutely disgusting what they are doing, but they don't care as long as they are lining up their pockets. I haven't been to a game in four years...looks like it will be five.
I've got a pretty similar streak going, looks like it'll continue indefinitely.

I like that Holliday called them on their built in "We can't sign him because Scott Boras is his agent" excuse. I'll be sad to see him go in a year or less. Best player the Rockies have drafted and developed since Helton and he'll be spending his prime in another uniform. I guess Garrett Atkins had better be renting and not buying, too.

Just downright depressing.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:19 PM   #5
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I agree with a lot of what Tracy Ringolsby had to say. The Rockies did the wise thing by not getting caught up in the wreckless spending that was going on this offseason. Off the top of my head, I can't think of more than 2 or 3 reasonable, long-term deals that were handed out this winter.

I agree with the sentiment here for the most part, the organization eventually needs to take some risks. You can't win a championship sitting on your hands. The Detroit Tigers took a lot of heat by the "Moneyball" nerds for signing Ivan Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez a few years back, but both ended up being key veteran cogs on an American League championship team mixed with quite a bit of young talent. GM Dave Dombrowski had no choice at the time but generate some interest in the team after their historic season of futility.

When it becomes a buyers market or there's a lucrative opportunity via trade, I hope the Rockies eventually take a chance. The fans came out in droves in the 90s when the franchise put on a show. The Monforts need to invest some money into the team, excite people and they will get a nice return on it by selling more tickets, drawing higher TV ratings and slinging more merchandise.

Why haven't the Rockies ever signed a real bopper to play in Denver? I'm talking about somebody like Adam Dunn or Andruw Jones, bring in somebody who go after the tainted 73* in the thin air and generate some excitement for once.

The small market Oakland-Minnesota excuse is a bunch of baloney. Denver has a more advantageous market than half of baseball. The entire Rocky Mountain region is theirs. This isn't Milwaukee, Miami or San Diego. I remember my relatives up in the Black Hills of South Dakota always watched Rockies games because they were part of their home market and they were on TV every evening. Portland, Oregon is a huge revenue maker for the Seattle Mariners. I see no reason why the Rockies can't untap the potential of Salt Lake City or Albuquerque.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:16 AM   #6
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I agree with a lot of what Tracy Ringolsby had to say. The Rockies did the wise thing by not getting caught up in the wreckless spending that was going on this offseason. Off the top of my head, I can't think of more than 2 or 3 reasonable, long-term deals that were handed out this winter.

I agree with the sentiment here for the most part, the organization eventually needs to take some risks. You can't win a championship sitting on your hands. The Detroit Tigers took a lot of heat by the "Moneyball" nerds for signing Ivan Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez a few years back, but both ended up being key veteran cogs on an American League championship team mixed with quite a bit of young talent. GM Dave Dombrowski had no choice at the time but generate some interest in the team after their historic season of futility.

When it becomes a buyers market or there's a lucrative opportunity via trade, I hope the Rockies eventually take a chance. The fans came out in droves in the 90s when the franchise put on a show. The Monforts need to invest some money into the team, excite people and they will get a nice return on it by selling more tickets, drawing higher TV ratings and slinging more merchandise.

Why haven't the Rockies ever signed a real bopper to play in Denver? I'm talking about somebody like Adam Dunn or Andruw Jones, bring in somebody who go after the tainted 73* in the thin air and generate some excitement for once.

The small market Oakland-Minnesota excuse is a bunch of baloney. Denver has a more advantageous market than half of baseball. The entire Rocky Mountain region is theirs. This isn't Milwaukee, Miami or San Diego. I remember my relatives up in the Black Hills of South Dakota always watched Rockies games because they were part of their home market and they were on TV every evening. Portland, Oregon is a huge revenue maker for the Seattle Mariners. I see no reason why the Rockies can't untap the potential of Salt Lake City or Albuquerque.
No one wants them to go out and throw crazy money at average players, people just want ownership to show a commitment to winning. It doesn't help matters when they collect $16 million from revenue sharing and immediatly announce that none of it will be used to improve the team. It really doesn't help matters any when one of the owners comes out and makes statements like the ones above. Fans here are disgruntled as it is and hearing things like this directly from the top is just soul-crushingly depressing.

As for getting a big bopper, I'll always contend that one of the Rockies biggest mistakes (and there have been many) was not going after Mike Piazza when Florida was looking to dump him. He absolutely murdered the ball whenever he played at Coors Field and he'd have been a perfect fit for this team. Alas, much like their chance to land Pedro Martinez, they let it slip away.

This region wants so badly to support this team, but they don't give anyone a reason to. It makes it worse when you can't even get attatched to the homegrown players because ownership doesn't want to pay them either.

The Monforts no longer seem to be interested in generating any excitement. They're content to sell 20,000 tickets (drawing closer to 10,000) per game and collect welfare checks from MLB. They treat this team like a business and nothing more.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:01 AM   #7
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This region wants so badly to support this team, but they don't give anyone a reason to. It makes it worse when you can't even get attatched to the homegrown players because ownership doesn't want to pay them either.

The Monforts no longer seem to be interested in generating any excitement. They're content to sell 20,000 tickets (drawing closer to 10,000) per game and collect welfare checks from MLB. They treat this team like a business and nothing more.
On the money
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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This region wants so badly to support this team, but they don't give anyone a reason to. It makes it worse when you can't even get attatched to the homegrown players because ownership doesn't want to pay them either.

The Monforts no longer seem to be interested in generating any excitement. They're content to sell 20,000 tickets (drawing closer to 10,000) per game and collect welfare checks from MLB. They treat this team like a business and nothing more.
Pretty much yep. The big problem with the rockies isn't even that they're cheap, its that they have no clue how the business of baseball works.

The "big market v. small market" excuse that teams like the Rockies pander to is all hot air with no substance. Many teams that don't have a limitless vault from a major media market still find a way to fund a very good team. Toronto isn't exactly a hot bed of sports love, but the team has kept themselves competitive and built a warchest through the lean years that can help them get back on their feet. San Francisco, one of two bay area teams, aren't afraid to spend money on veterans either. But then we're told that Pittsburgh isn't a big baseball market. PITTSBURGH! Its a sports city to its bone. Or that the entire Rocky Mt. region can't support the Rockies, that Minnesota can't get by and should be contracted, etc..

The only financial problems these teams have is ownership issues. They aren't baseball people, just businessmen looking to cash a check.

I'd be a better GM than the Rockies current management, and they could keep payroll locked at the same percentage of income its at now. Within five years they'd be hosting sell outs, be on national TV weekly, and have a payroll around $90-$100M, while still making the same percent profit. They have a great foundation to be a dominant team. The NL West is weak, they have a launching pad for a home field (people dig the long ball) and can build around it.

What the Rockies should do is invest money in pitchers with high G/F ratios and low WHIPs, a guy like Derrek Lowe would have been an excellent signing, getting Kameron Loe from the Rangers would be another smart move. Then build a starting unit that has plus defenders at SS and 2B, a very rangy CF, and fill the corners with power bats. People are going to hit homeruns in Coors, embrace it and make sure the opposition is hitting solo shots while the Rockies are hitting two and three run bombs.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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Great post Drek

However, I take exception to your statement the NL West is weak. I don't think there's a bad organization outside of Colorado in the division.

The Dodgers are coming off a wild card season, they have an influx of top notch young talent coming up from their farm system and Ned Colletti has the financial backing to fill holes with veterans. San Francisco has been competitive for the last decade and even though Brian Sabean has taken an unconventional approach with veterans, his strategy has worked time after time. San Diego has a weak farm system, but they have an All-Star front office with Kevin Towers, Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, Grady Fuson, etc. The Padres have enjoyed three straight successful seasons since moving into their new ballpark. Arizona has a bright future with a bright GM in Josh Byrnes and possibly the best collection of youth in baseball. They may make a run at the NL West this year.

This is the third toughest division outside of the AL Central and East and easily the NL's strongest.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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How can an owner of a team that drew three million in one year b**** about not being able to play players?

A: because guys like Ringlesby let them.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:24 PM   #11
Drek
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Originally Posted by Bronco LB 52 View Post
Great post Drek

However, I take exception to your statement the NL West is weak. I don't think there's a bad organization outside of Colorado in the division.

The Dodgers are coming off a wild card season, they have an influx of top notch young talent coming up from their farm system and Ned Colletti has the financial backing to fill holes with veterans. San Francisco has been competitive for the last decade and even though Brian Sabean has taken an unconventional approach with veterans, his strategy has worked time after time. San Diego has a weak farm system, but they have an All-Star front office with Kevin Towers, Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, Grady Fuson, etc. The Padres have enjoyed three straight successful seasons since moving into their new ballpark. Arizona has a bright future with a bright GM in Josh Byrnes and possibly the best collection of youth in baseball. They may make a run at the NL West this year.

This is the third toughest division outside of the AL Central and East and easily the NL's strongest.
I don't think the NL West's weakness has anything to do with the organizations not being capable (except the Rockies) but that they're in various stages of transition and there isn't an elite team in the bunch. It makes for a very competitive division, which is good for the Rox.

LA has a very bright future. Their pitching is getting long in the tooth but they have some amazing positional prospects in the pipe. They'll be one of the best every day lineups for years to come.

The Padres have a great front office that make smart moves and find diamonds in the rough. Their farm is a little bare and I think the Barfield trade was a bad move but they have young talent at 1B, SS, 3B, and C, a host of capable MLB level OFs, and good pitching especially in the 'pen. They don't need a lot of young guys stepping up and so can restock the farm while the current roster competes.

I expect Arizona to improve significantly with Byrnes running the show. He's a savvy guy and they have great positional prospects through every level of the farm but particularly at the higher levels ready to give them a ROY candidate season after season in the near future. If Byrnes can add some pitching around Webb they'll be well on their way to being a serious threat for the pennant.

I don't have similar faith in SF though. Outside of Matt Cain they have nothing down on the farm, largely because Sabean gave away 1st round picks to sign veterans so many years in a row now. They got Zito, but at a crazy price, and are going to overpay Bonds as well. They'll semi-compete for another year or two but soon they'll lose much of their current positional players to retirement and simply don't have the farm guys to replace anyone. They'll have Sabean go through another FA shopping spree, but again on a budget and he'll bring in more mediocre veterans. With the current setup they'll never elevate themselves beyond a slightly above or below .500 team.

The Rockies, if managed right, could exert the biggest home field advantage in sports to take control of the division, as the same style of defense and pitching that prevents extra men on base in Colorado would lead to amazing success in the bigger parks that SD and LA play in, their two biggest challenges if they were to become a legit competitor.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #12
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Nice roundup, Drek.
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