Thursday Rockpile: The writing's on the wall after Hurdle uses Tulowitzki as whipping boy

"Everybody thinks that today is the day that it will turn around," Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. "But when you can't even keep it close, it's frustrating."

The good news for the Rockies organization and its fans is that, as Troy E. Renck implies in the article the above Atkins quote was taken from, days like yesterday, weeks like this one, make it more likely that real significant change takes place. As of last night, the Rockies are 5-18 in May road games over the last two seasons after going 9-5 on the road in May in 2007. For those still suggesting patience, that was one of the many signs that was evident with that team that suggested a comeback was feasible that seem to be absent this year.

Clint Hurdle's latest ploy to get the team to show life actually could turn out to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. By using Troy Tulowitzki as an example, benching his shortstop to prove a point about patience, the move was more William Bligh than Thomas Cochrane, and while Tulo was a good soldier and accepted his fate, the message that the team received probably wasn't the one intended. This seems desperate and somewhat despotic to me, and apparently Tulo:

"It just feels like I am the guy who has to wear it for everybody. Which is fine. I will do that," Tulowitzki said. "I keep saying he's the manager. And we have to do what he says if we want to play."

The issue here: Hurdle's correct that Tulo's got to be a leader on the team in this and all things, but the punishment puts the shortstop in a submissive role as a model transgressor. It's not a healthy situation as the message winds up being that there is no on field leader, just one man on the bench whose rule is law.

At this point, letting Hurdle continue as bench manager no longer appears feasible. The players will say what they feel they have to, but the separation from management is evident.

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