The 2014 calendar year was a historic one for the Colorado Rockies in many ways. We saw a change in the club's general manager post for the first time in 15 years and the organization's first minor league affiliation changes in a decade.
We witnessed a public meltdown from the Rockies' widely criticized owner and came to the realization that things might not be getting better anytime soon.
We watched the hated Giants somehow win another World Series. Ugh.
Almost nothing good happened in 2014, if the page views are any indicator. Of course, we know that isn't really the case -- Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle, Todd Helton had his number retired, Troy Tulowitzki was the best player in baseball for about three months -- but people like to read bad news, and the Rockies had plenty of it.
We're glad you read it anyway, even though it wasn't really all that fun along the way.
10. The Giants are so, so, SO lucky
"Not only are the Giants the luckiest NL team in high-leverage situations this season offensively, but they've also been the luckiest in high-leverage situations in preventing runs. It's one thing when a team you don't like is just better than everyone else, but it's beyond infuriating to watch one of those teams win game after game because the ball bounces their way in the most important moments."
9. Trade deadline inaction
"While there was a scenario in which the Rockies would look like a contender going into 2015, in reality they face significant issues throughout the pitching staff, behind the plate, in the outfield and, if they trade Tulowitzki, at shortstop. That is the portrait of a team that is much closer to an all-out rebuild than contention. Unfortunately, the front office seems unable or unwilling to see that, a fact that has held them back from taking advantage of the sellers' market at the trade deadline and improving their team for the future."
8. Rockies at a crossroads
"The Rockies making minor improvements ... getting better health, and the influx of talent from the minors could be enough to give [them] a fighting chance at the Wild Card next season. More likely, it sets them up in a decent position for competing in 2016.
Whatever happens, can we start a petition to have Dick Monfort step away from baseball operations? Can't we all agree on that?"
7. Baby Bull, Morneau and others involved in trade rumors
The Rockies entered the Winter Meetings with Rosario as their most likely candidate to be dealt. Interest among American League teams has been ongoing ... Trading Rosario might mean the Rockies have a deal in the works to acquire another catcher via trade or free agency [they later signed Nick Hundley].
"So it seems the Marlins and Mariners have the biggest need for Morneau. What do those teams have to offer that would be of interest to the Rockies? That depends on what the trade market for the four-time All-Star truly looks like. Might one team be desperate enough to part with one of its good young pitchers, such as James Paxton, Henderson Alvarez or Nathan Eovaldi? It may take more than Morneau to get a deal like that done, but it's worth at least entertaining from Colorado's perspective. Or, perhaps the Rockies think they can win sooner than later, and ask for Hisashi Iwakuma in a deal with Seattle?"
"In addition to the darkhorse Morneau, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs could all be in play if/when trade talks heat up. Seattle has a slew of capable pitchers that should interest the Rockies. Taijuan Walker is a name mentioned by Morosi, though Gonzalez would likely need to be the player heading to the Pacific Northwest in a deal involving the highly touted 22-year-old righty."
6. Rockies draft Kyle Freeland
"Overall, this is a solid selection that probably has more injury risk than other picks, but provided he's healthy, Freeland could take a similar short trip to the majors a la Butler. He slots in just behind Gray and Butler on my Rockies pitching totem pole, edging Matzek with superior command despite lesser stuff, and Anderson with superior stuff even if not better command."
5. Troy Tulowitzki rumor mongering
"Tulowitzki is owed $118 million through 2020, but the steep price tag probably won't prevent the Rockies from seeking a massive haul for their Gold Glove shortstop. Colorado will likely want any deal for Tulowitzki to center around a team's top prospect -- in [the Mets'] case, hard-throwing right-hander Noah Syndergaard -- and multiple other young pieces."
"For the first time since he's been in Denver, Tulo is not confident this team is close to winning even if he's healthy. Coming into 2014, Tulo was very optimistic about the Rockies' chances, but a flood of injuries to the rotation has not only destroyed 2014, it's also started to put 2015 in jeopardy as well, as Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood are both in serious danger of no longer being positive assets to the Rockies going forward."
4. Rockies switch Triple-A affiliate
"It appears the Colorado Rockies' 21-year partnership with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox is over.
The Rockies reportedly haven't been happy with the stadium situation in Colorado Springs even though a humidor and new playing field were recently installed at 8,500-seat Security Service Field, which opened in 1988.
[The] Triple-A operation will move into 13,279-seat Isotopes Park, which emerged from the old Albuquerque Sports Stadium as a $25 million, almost completely brand new facility in 2003."
3. The Rockies are at a huge disadvantage
" ... the Rockies have never had a season in which they've been able to hit 90 wRC+ on the road. When they've come closest (89 in 2007 and 88 in 2009), they've reached the postseason.
This is a huge problem for a franchise that already has to deal with two behemoths in its division in the Dodgers and the Giants. The Rockies simply can't afford to deal with something that's going to rob them of a handful of wins every single season from here to eternity; and yet, that seems to be the hand they've been dealt."
2. Dick Monfort and his iPad cause a stir
"After the Rockies' owner attracted a whole bunch of negative attention with his recent interview with Patrick Saunders, and later, the surfacing of his "If product and environment that bad don't come!" message sent to a Grand Junction fan, things went from bad to worse with the most recent leak of a Monfort email exchange.
Monfort, in response to an email from a fan criticizing the failures of Rockies management, told the long-time season ticket holder 'By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn't deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home.'
This is ... not good."
"I won't mince words: this is a grim time indeed to be a Rockies fan. Despite a group of stars, this team seems like it has no concept of how to win with these players. It has a front office that doesn't appear to be held accountable for their lack of success by the owner. Finally, the Rockies have an owner who seems like he's completely unqualified for the role but who has no intention of selling the team.
It's a recipe for a team with no direction and a murky future."
1. Long overdue changes shake Rockies organization after players speak out
Rumors have been surfacing about Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd possibly leaving to take a job with the Braves, a development that might be welcome to some players:
The player shook his head and asked rhetorically, "Why don't we ever make changes in our front office? I don't get it."
We don't know if Rockies players have had this level of frustration before, but even if they have, this is the first time anyone actually spoke up about it. It appears the player who delivered the quote above isn't alone:
"I mean, this is the major leagues, not the minors. It's supposed to be about winning," another player said. "We change a few players, but we never have enough talent. Things never change upstairs. Other teams make changes, but we never will."
"There is much that we don't know about how Bridich will differ from O'Dowd. What we do know is that a change has been made, whether Monfort wanted it or not, and that for the first time in the 21st century the Rockies have a GM other than O'Dowd.
This is a step in the right direction, but there are enough negatives (lack of a comprehensive GM search, the presence of Monfort in the president role/owner's suite) that I have to temper my enthusiasm. Still though, I feel better about the direction of the Rockies today than I did at this time last week, and it's been a while since I've been able to say that."