This week was the official halfway point of the 2012 season and the Rockies (31-51) are neck and neck with the Cubs for the dubious distinction of the worst team in baseball. Before the season began, 2012 was designated “The Year of the Fan” by Rockies management and the team has responded by putting forth a record setting campaign. The Rockies’ current winning percentage of .378 is on pace for a whopping 101 losses, which would surpass the futility of the inaugural 1993 club (67-95) as the worst team in franchise history. Year of the Fan, indeed.
- Will the Rockies lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history?
Brendan: Yes. I still cannot believe that the talent on this team is of the 100 loss variety, but the results don’t lie. 20 games under .500 before the All Star break is brutal and it is not going to suddenly turn around. The pitching has been terrible and the defense has been even worse. Although the Rockies rank in the MLB top 10 in several offensive categories (including runs scored), the inability to prevent runs is killing this team every night. The only hope to avoid joining the century club is actually the trade season. Shipping out veterans (Scutaro, Guthrie, Betancourt, Giambi) will free up playing time for the younger players, who have shown some potential when given a chance. Everyone associated with this team should be embarrassed (I know I am as a fan), and the one good thing about such record setting futility is the hope that it will force changes in management.
Ned: A 100 loss season is easily within this team’s reach. Remember that at the end of April, their record was 11-11. In both May and June, they lost 18 games per month, which equates to losing at a rate of 66% during this period. With 81 games left, if they continue at the May-June pace of losing two out of three, they will drop another 53 games. Hence, a 100+ loss season is not just within reach, it is probable. The good news: the Rockies would need to dog it well beyond their current low standards to surpass the Mets’ 1962 record of 120 losses.
Logan: Sadly, yes, especially if Tulo doesn’t come back soon. We’ll have more about this in the coming week on BSB, but there are those that are actually rooting for this team to lose 100 games. Let’s get one thing straight, losing 100 will be no good for anyone. I just don’t see changes being made regardless of win/loss record. In the end, those that rooted for this to happen are just going to look like morons.
2. What is the best-case scenario for the second half of the season?
Brendan: The young pitchers become more consistent (in a good way), the Rockies play .500 baseball for the final three months, and finish with 70 wins. Tulo and DLR come back for September, everything comes together, and the Rockies have something to build on for 2013. Not buying it? Me neither. How about this: the Rockies continue to be terrible, the bad press from the 4 man rotation finally alerts Dick Monfort to the fact that O’Dowd may not actually be the best GM in baseball, and the Rockies hire a president of baseball operations to clean house. Picture the “Bob’s” from Office Space: “So Dan, what is it that you actually do here?” O’Dowd: “IT’S CALLED PAIRED STARTERS, NOT A 4 MAN ROTATION! That wasn’t the question? Oh, umm, well, I built the team to be good in the clubhouse, not in the field, but don’t blame me for all the losses because, you know, Coors Field sucks.”
Ned: The best case scenario for the team for the second half is to develop the young pitchers and position players. With the 2012 season blown, the coaches and management should be putting together the 2013 team. It is fairly safe to assume that at least Betancourt, Guthrie, Scutaro, Giambi and probably Cuddyer will soon be sold to the highest bidders. We can and should look forward to the continued development of Friedrich, Pomeranz and White at the major league level. One or more of these three pitchers will be needed in the 2012 rotation. While it looks like Friedrich and Pomeranz have the most potential, it is way too early to give-up on White. Brothers should get the closer role. Let’s see right now if he has the stuff and the mind-set to close games. The promising young minor leaguers should be given a ML shot. Nolan Arenado at third base, Josh Rutledge at short, and Edwar Cabrera on the mound (again) are prime candidates. Helton should be limited to pinch hitting, with an occasional relief start at first. Colvin should play every day in right field with Pacheco at first if Cuddyer is traded. Forget the 2012 season. The team needs to use the remainder of this year to re-build once again.
Logan: To sniff a .500 record in the second half. Admittedly, there is very little chance that will happen, but it would be nice if they went on a run. In the alternative, I’ll settle for a departure from this absolutely ridiculous rotation scheme. It’s stunting development.
3. Are you satisfied with the Rockies’ broadcast team (radio and/or TV)?
Brendan: Yes. Are they the best? No, but neither is the product on the field. Imagine if you had to watch every inning of every game and discuss it in a positive light the entire time. I know I could not do it. In general, I find their insights to be interesting and the play by play to be adequate. Of course, I do not always agree with everything that gets thrown out there, but it is good enough for me. What I cannot stand is the Toyota text line. I don’t know why, but my eyes are always drawn to that scroll at the bottom of the screen and I cannot help myself from reading the inane comments (and, by the way, my inane comments are not force fed onto your TV screen). I guess they are better than watching the actual game most of the time, but it is still annoying.
Ned: The TV team does a nice job. Drew Goodman calls an accurate game without interfering with the visuals. George Frazier and Jeff Huson both provide insight that comes from having played and been students of the game. On the radio side, Jerry Schemmel has made the transition to baseball very well. He is prepared, accurate and crisp in his call of the game. However, while Jack Corrigan is a knowledgeable baseball fan, he fails as a play-by-play announcer. Gently put, he is ponderously slow. It seems as though Jack’s mind cannot react to the game quickly enough to call the action either timely or accurately during his verbal wanderings and ruminations throughout the game. If you spend any time at all listening to the radio broadcasts, you undoubtedly share my frustration. Jack was a long term TV announcer for the Cleveland Indians, and apparently never learned how to do radio play-by-play. In Corrigan’s defense, he knows the game well, is prepared, and occasionally has a valuable observation. In other words, he makes a nice color man—which is where he should be. For those who have not been frustrated in trying to follow Jack’s play-by-play on the radio, let me give you an example of his confused and delayed play calling. Rather than watching the action, I suggest closing your eyes while listening to his call and see if you can tell what happened.
Logan: Toyota Talk has got to go, but other than that, I’m generally okay with the team’s broadcast. It’s not great – Frazier and Huson can wear me out at times — but I try to listen to the opposing team’s broadcast at least once a series and for the most part, it’s not really that different. Obviously, when they play the Dodgers, I always tune into the great Vin Scully, but comparing others to him is pretty unfair. Could they be better? Absolutely, but out of the things about this team that make me miserable, the broadcasting is pretty low on a long list.
Have a different take? Let us know in the comments below.
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