Firstly, pardon my interrupting. I am a rare poster on Purple Row to say the least, but a reader none the less. It's not that I don't enjoy partaking in the conversation. It's just that I spend so much times over at Denver Stiffs that I rarely find the time to indulge here at Purple Row. So I do apologize if you yearn not for the musings of a man rarely heard in your parts. Furthermore I apologize if you expect to see some stats, really at all. While I enjoy a good factual number based argument as much as the next avid baseball enthusiasts, I simply don't have any groundbreaking statistical information that hasn't already been presented. So that being said let's jump to what I'm deeming: Zachm219's annual (this being the 2nd, go ahead, check the archives I'll wait.........see I told you) Why I Love the Rockies post.
I'm not sure how many of you out there are big video game players, but I find myself drawn to the sports games. Its not so much for the enjoyment of playing a simulated athletic event, but more for the enjoyment of being a simulated general manager. If you've ever played a franchise mode in any video game you know what I'm talking about. I always preferred to pick the worst team I could think of and see how long it would take until I could turn them into a winner and thats what I love about the Rockies, they're an absolute video game team.
The key to turning a terrible video game team into an amazing one is to dump every single bad contract for draft picks and do a complete overhaul. It works because the artificial intelligence programming for these games is limited so the computer controlled teams will gladly surrender first round picks for an aging former star pitcher coming off of rotator cuff surgery and a decent outfielder who is owed $17million for each of the next 5 seasons. Also you can just simulate through a few seasons, sign free agents with the loads of cap space you created by dumping all those contracts and then just deal off those free agents for more picks! Over time you have your hits and misses but with so many young players you can have a team with the majority being talented players under 30. Sprinkle in some veterans and voila! Championship baby!
Now in the real world its obviously much more difficult. Other teams have real human brain general managers calling the shots...well most anyways...and don't just give away draft picks for aging expensive players (unless of course you're a gm for the Nuggets in the past decade, but I digress...). Also you have a fan base to be concerned with, one which will most likely not be happy if you dump the hometown hero to the closest rival because you have your eye on this kid in eighth grade who could be a stud in 2017. No it takes a lot of skill and a lot of luck to build a team thats oozing with young talent like these Rockies.
Talkin Guys under Thirty-
Tulo, Cargo, Ubaldo, Dex...I'd say all four of those are solid mlb starters or more for a long time. Huston (well he's a closer but you know what I mean) if he can stay healthy. DLR is probably on this category too, I don'r know, there is still this tiny part me that doesn't trut him. I want to, I really do but I just can't be sure if you can get a good full season out of DLR, post all-star break he's money but those slow starts can be killer.
Stewart, Ianetta, EY, Chacin, Smith, Nelson, Herrera...All have the potential to to be solid starters or more. Some more than others but on some level or another each of these guys has a chance to be special. Though Ianetta, yeeeeesh, alright, fine Chris you can...sigh....oooooonce again have the starting job as yours to lose. Even though we all know that come June you're going to get benched because all you do is go up to the plate and swing as hard as you can at the ball and hope to hit something.
And who knows who else. Maybe Rogers has a nice year, Maybe Hammel goes from solid to pretty damn good, Maybe Mike Mckenry turns out to be the next great catcher, maybe Franklin Morales....nevermind...
Point is if I was building a franchise, this is how I would want it to be. I'm not saying its a finished product because its not. We need to continue to build through the farm system and make smart transactions. I know some out there are not the biggest fans of the Wiggington acquisition but honestly its a pretty low risk move and he already bats better than Clint Barmes and Clint had the benefit of playing at altitude.
Finally, the reason I think I love this team the most iis because my love is well placed. As a die hard nuggets fan this has been the most trying time as a fan of sport in my life. I'm also a very big football fan. Watching Josh McDaniels dismantle a great young team was hard to take, now watching the single greatest player to grace a Nuggets uniform in over 20 years drag us through the mud as he prepares for the lights and glamor of the big city is heart wrenching. In all of this the rockies are the beacon of hope. firt Tulo, then cargo, next offseason we'll lock down Ubaldo. These guys want to be here, they are loyal to us, and they love Denver just like we do.
When it comes down to it that's why I really love the Rockies, because they love me back.