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Wednesday Rockpile: Monforts embarrass the Rockies again

With his second DUI arrest, co-owner Charlie Monfort has once again recklessly endangered the lives of drivers. No wonder he's been phased out of decision-making for the Rockies.

I know that's not Charlie, but Dick isn't exactly covering himself in glory as the Rockies owner lately.
I know that's not Charlie, but Dick isn't exactly covering himself in glory as the Rockies owner lately.
Doug Pensinger

Co-owner Charlie Monfort was arrested for a DUI and speeding on Monday in Windsor. It was his second DUI arrest, the first having come in Greeley in 1999 when he blew a dangerously high .209 BAC.

UPDATE: Holy cow, Charlie's BAC this time around was .284! That's not just reckless, that's suicidal.

Here was the statement he released yesterday afternoon:

"I'm extremely disappointed in myself for the decision I made to drink and drive and the potential risk I caused to other innocent people. I want to apologize to my family, the Colorado Rockies staff, players, Major League Baseball and, of course, our fans for the embarrassment I have caused by my actions. I do understand the seriousness of my behavior and the issues that I am facing and I'm committed to do what's necessary to deal with my problem."

Monfort made a terrible choice last night, driving drunk and recklessly endangering the lives of drivers and pedestrians alike. That's the most important thing to emphasize - there's never an excuse for driving drunk, period. It's good that Monfort is owning his mistake and appears genuinely contrite about his actions - and I hope he gets the help he needs to avoid making such a reckless mistake again. As Monfort mentions in his statement, beyond the danger he caused to others, it's a huge embarrassment to everyone he mentions - unfortunately just the latest, most dangerous one in a long string of embarrassing moments.

As a repeat offender, Monfort is likely in line for significant punishment. This includes financial punishment by way of a large fine and potential jail time. The punishment that will be more severe for a public figure like Monfort than a normal repeat DUI offender though is a severe hit to his standing in the community that could prove costly in terms of brand equity and revenue to the Rockies.

After all, the Rockies - and by extension the Monforts - have famously represented themselves in their statements as being family-friendly and an organization grounded on strong Christian values. The image that a repeat DUI provides is diametrically opposed to these values. While forgiveness is a core belief in Christianity, the inability to forgive is a trait that's heavily entrenched in humanity. If I'm a corporate sponsor, I'm trying to distance my image from that of the Monforts - and I can't help but think that Monforts are being counseled to distance themselves from the image of the Rockies too.

I don't believe that this event will significantly affect attendance to Rockies games, but let's just say that this represents the nadir of public opinion in the Monforts. Unlike Todd Helton, who made the same reckless mistake last year, Charlie Monfort isn't a beloved athlete who had been spending the past 16 years building up a ton of public goodwill. No, the Monforts have been convenient punching bags for the media and fans for a long time.

Some of this negative attention is inherent to being an owner of a professional sports franchise. After all, while most fans understand that they can't play on the level of the athletes on their favorite team, they sure as heck believe that they could do a better job acquiring the right players and running the business end of a sports franchise that will increase in value rapidly just through inertia.

While there is some truth to this belief (I'm sure there are plenty of fans with the business and baseball acumen, if not the money, to be an effective baseball owner), the Monforts have proven themselves to be relatively competent at running the business - specifically in maintaining Coors Field as one of the best parks in baseball. When I hear complaints about the owners (this happens often), I habitually discount the complaints that deal with how the business is run.

The complaints about the baseball team are better founded. After all, under the stewardship of the Monforts the team has yet to win a division title and has made the playoffs just twice. Mediocrity has become the norm, if not the expectation for the Rockies. The Monforts have repeatedly shown themselves to be out of their depth in terms of baseball decision making. For some great examples of that, see the below:

Rockies Stricken by Lake Wobegon Effect

The Rockies's Self-Evaluation Problem

What is the Rockies's Plan?

There's a plethora of evidence given all of these failings - not to mention the embarrassing public statements both men have made or the drunken attacks on Mark Kiszla - that the Monforts have no business taking a decision-making role in the baseball operations of the Rockies.

Charlie's not involved with the day-to-day of the team anymore, which is a positive step, but Dick absolutely needs another layer in between him and Dan O'Dowd (or better yet, a whole new set of front office decision-makers) to help bring accountability and a long-term plan to success back to the baseball operations of the Rockies.

Los Links!

Positive news! Outfielder Raimel Tapia was named the Rookie level Pioneer League MVP yesterday.


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