Welcome to Purple Row. You are indeed in the correct place - you did not inadvertently travel to Sports Illustrated or some other website. If you have missed the signposts, SBNation has undergone a makeover. "SBNation United" makes it easier to shuffle between blogs within SBNation for fans, and helps us work together to provide varied and excellent coverage.
I know, change is always bad. In my opinion, I had always found the previous layout clunky, inefficient and a little bit confusing. Now, we have a more mobile-friendly, magazine-like layout which we can use to feature the best content, instead of letting it slip down the page chronologically. It will take a lot of getting used to - the colors, the serif fonts, the completely new orientation. I think you will find it is a significant improvement soon enough. Just allow us some time to learn how to optimize the new tools in practice. On with the Rockpile...
As you might have heard, read, felt and seen, this Rockies season is a disaster. As fans and people, we tend to overstate the extremes of situations we currently find ourselves in. As bad as this year has been, maybe it isn't the worst Rockies season ever. We can take an objective look, using statistics and narratives, and I have done just that.
In 19 Rockies seasons, only four clubs have lost more than 90 games, each failing to win at least 94 contests. That gap between #4 and #5 provides a clear delineation to pick the worst four clubs. There may be others that were more difficult to watch or root for, but for this purpose, we will go with the losingest clubs. Without further ado:
4. 1993 - (67-95)
Top Hitter - Andres Gallaraga (3.3 rWAR)
Top Pitcher - Armando Reynoso (3.0 rWAR)
Expectations - There were none, except for baseball would be played
Synopsis - Finally, Colorado had a Major League Baseball team, and it didn't much matter how competitive the expansion roster would become. There was plenty of foreshadowing, as what remains the youngest pitching staff by average age in franchise history would finish last in the NL in rWAR at -0.2. Still, the memories...
3. 2005 - (67-95)
Top Hitter - Todd Helton (4.4)
Top Pitcher - Brian Fuentes (2.6)
Expectations - This team was expected to be bad, as the youth movement was finally installed in full force. The average age of Rockies hitters in 2005 was the youngest in franchise history, and the pitchers were older only than the 1993 club.
Synopsis - Jeff Francis, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins, and Clint Barmes were all gaining invaluable experience and big league time that would help them win the NL Pennant just two years later. Aaron Cook returned from life threatening pulmonary elbolism he suffered in 2004 to go 7-3, 3.67 ERA (131 ERA+) late in the year. It was not a good team, but many of us watching had reason to be excited at the pieces being put together. The most important one, Troy Tulowitzki, was drafted in June.
2. 2004 - (68-94)
Top Hitter - Todd Helton (8.1)
Top Pitcher - Joe Kennedy (5.4)
Expectations - Since making the big splash with Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle prior to the 2001 season, Colorado managed to win just 73, 73 and 74 games in the three years that followed. Expectations were not high, but this club was not in full youth movement mode yet and was not an expansion team.
Synopsis - At least this club offered some incredible offense. Todd Helton hit .347/.469/.620 and we got to see Vinny Castilla mash 35 home runs and drive in 131 runs at the age of 36. Jeromy Burnitz showed up for one season and mashed 37 homers himself. We saw our last of Larry Walker in a Rockies uniform, and we saw the first of Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins at 20th and Blake. Shawn Estes was the Opening Day starter after coming into camp as a non-roster invitee, and he won 15 games despite having a 5.84 ERA. Joe Kennedy, whom the Rockies acquired for Justin Speier in the off-season, set the franchise record for ERA by a starter at 3.66. The total product was not fun to watch, but at least they had some big storylines to pay attention to.
1. 2012 - (59-94...and counting)
Top Hitter - Dexter Fowler (2.7)
Top Pitcher - Rafael Betancourt (2.9)
Expectations - The Rockies nearly made the playoffs in 2010 after doing so in 2009, then faltered in 2011 after starting 11-2. We were told it was due to a few clubhouse cancers, and injuries didn't help. 2012 was unlikely to be a playoff year, but it was on the table if the young pitching developed quicker than expected.
Synopsis - It has been a train wreck in almost every way. Injuries have taken significant time from Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, Todd Helton, Jason Giambi, Ramon Hernandez, Jorge de la Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio and Jeremy Guthrie, though the last one was solely an injury of the mind. With a week left in the season, only one pitcher has more than 100 innings pitched, that being Jeff Francis, who was signed out of the minor leagues in June. The two prizes in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade are a combined 3-18 with a 5.43 ERA, though that record is heavily skewed by a 4-man rotation with piggybacking system that resulted in echoed guffaws around the league. The rotation's 14 members has been historically bad, as they have managed to average just 4.6 innings pitched per start. Six relievers have thrown more than 57 innings with a 100 or better ERA+, so the bullpen has helped prevent what otherwise could be an Astros situation. After snapping a losing streak yesterday, they still need finish 8-1 to avoid setting the franchise's worst record.
Okay, so fans have a legitimate beef. This season is the worst in franchise history any way you slice it, and it isn't even close. I even enjoyed 2004 and 2005.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy has respect regardless of what happens - The Denver Post Troy Renck really does not blame Jim Tracy but seems to be setting the table for Tracy's last meal.
Rockies' Dexter Fowler deals with tendinitis in his left wrist - The Denver Post Of course. Shut em all down.
Tracy likes Rutledge at No. 2 in Rockies lineup | ColoradoRockies.com: News Hey me too!
The Rockies' Wilin Rosario may be the best rookie you're not hearing enough about - CBSSports.com - Jon Heyman talked to Dan O'Dowd and wrote a very complimentary piece on the Rockies' catcher.