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Sunday Rockpile: Is Jim Tracy to be held blameless for Rockies woes?

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September 18, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy (4) returns to the dugout against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
September 18, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy (4) returns to the dugout against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Troy Renck thinks so, as the Denver Post columnist suggests the buck for the stink that is the 2012 Rockies team stops higher up the ladder from the Rockies manager. Renck uses the Rockies injury depleted Thursday lineup as an example of Tracy being given little to work with, but I don't necessarily believe that' a fair representation of the talent he's had on hand over his nearly four seasons worth of managing at Colorado. The second issue I would have is that he hasn't seemed to be bringing the best, or even remotely close to it, out of that talent.

Across the diamond on Thursday, the Giants played Marco Scutaro at second base, a player batting .361 with San Fran after batting just .271 with Colorado. The same day, Esmil Rogers won an extra innings game at Cleveland and improved to 3-1 on the year with the Indians with a 2.42 ERA. He had a 8.06 ERA with the Rockies. Also that day, Seth Smith hit his 14th home run of the season for the A's, and is batting .249/.345/.439 with the Athletics, and while that might not seem like much if any improvement with his work for Colorado, park adjusted he's having his best season since 2009. Jason Hammel, Jeremy Guthrie, Franklin Morales and Felipe Paulino, all pitchers, but even after park adjustments are included they're all still performing much better on non-Jim Tracy teams than they were with Tracy. The only player that's taken a notable step backward since leaving Colorado in the last couple of seasons is Chris Iannetta (I'd argue that Ubaldo Jimenez's step backward took place before leaving.)

Yeah, Jim Tracy hasn't been given much to work with, but his record with what he has been given has been pretty dismal when you look at it closely. The best managers should be capable of making lemonade out of the lemons they're given, see what Buck Showalter's done with what should be a mediocre team in Baltimore, but so far Tracy seems only capable of making a stack of lemons. I think there's plenty of blame to go around for the Rockies failures, and it doesn't stop with the front office, or the players themselves.

Chris Nelson's making a strong case for being the Rockies starting third baseman, writes Patrick Saunders.

Michael Cuddyer's close to returning from his oblique injury.

Has this Chris Ballard SI piece on Jason Giambi's nearing the end of his career been linked yet? Either way, it has been interesting reading some of the responding sentiments behind a player that I wouldn't expect much sentiment behind.

And that will do.