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Thursday Morning: Again with the whining...

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You know, I really really despise these columns. I think it goes back to that free ticket thing. These haters don't pay for their parking at the stadium. They might not even pay for their beer. What in this column or the one I linked yesterday makes us think that these journalists are earning this privilege? Nada. I'm not saying that the Rockies management and ownership are blameless in our long-suffering bout of losing. Quite the contrary, years of mistakes have needlessly prolonged our anguish. What I am saying is that they are finally on the right track, and then certain "pundits" come along and try to mess that up by assuming they speak for the everyday fan.

What's worse, the common theme in Krieger's column today and Kiszla's yesterday plays into a national misperception that the Rockies are a rag-tag bunch of nobodies not worth knowing. Even Renck the other day when he took a dig at this blog addressed this:

Show pride in the kids. Put them in a TV ad or on a radio commercial, for heaven's sake. As it stands, you could line up the Rockies shoulder to shoulder in Union Station and even the bloggers on purplerow.com would be challenged to identify them.

There is much to be excited about this team and word has to spread that these players are worth knowing. With breakout seasons from Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins some of that perception is starting to change, at least in regards to those two. However, when it comes to our pitchers, as strong as our top three starters have been this season, you wouldn't know it listening to mainstream outside voices. The good news is that the blogosphere is starting to change that. Take a look at this recent piece at Baseball Analysts by Padres blogger, Geoff Young (Ducksnorts). He ranks the top two at every position in the NL West and I think fairly comes up with four Rockies on that list. Atkins and Holliday are the top in the division at their respective positions, while Brad Hawpe and Jason Jennings are #2. That's right. He rates JJ as the second best starting pitcher in the NL West this season. For 2007, Iannetta, Kaz and/or Jamey, and Tulo should have good opportunity to prove their worth over the full season as well. The team is clearly on an incline, and rather than blindly re-hashing old and tired arguments, we need to start building the buzz for what's to come right now.

Today's notes column from Troy Renck and the Post has Dan O'Dowd's rebuttal to all this boohooing that columnists don't have more failed Hampton/Neagle type contracts to rip into anymore:

"I have no idea what the payroll will be, but I need to make us better with the parameters I have. There just needs to be more focus on winning," O'Dowd said. "We need to eliminate excuses.

"Talking about payroll, that would be an excuse."

That same Post article mentions a couple of candidates in our quest for centerfield help, and if true, then Kiszla and Krieger and any other whiny columnist that cares to join them might have another suitable scapegoat to target come next Spring. If the Rockies do choose to go with Finley or Erstad, there will be much reason for anguish in our camp. Coco Crisp, not nearly as much, in fact, I'd welcome that move given that Vernon Wells is out of the picture. Crisp's season wasn't impressive, but he was playing with a painful broken and dislocated left index finger for much of the year. Set to undergo surgery, I would expect a much improved version next year. The other two are just declining in age and while it's possible either may have a rebound season left, it's unlikely and would represent the type of risk the team does want to avoid.