Welcome to Football Friday, a baseball column by Connor. I am Connor. Each week I will dive into the previous seven days of baseball news, shout my opinion into the void, discuss some things about the Colorado Rockies, and answer your emails. Some of them. Send them to email@example.com and we'll see what happens, OK?
Sound the dang alarm, you guys.
This week at the Winter Meetings the Arizona Diamondbacks set the world ablaze by signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $10 billion contract. Then, they traded Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair, Ender Inciarte, and three of Phoenix's next five Super Bowl bids to Atlanta for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier. Arizona announced their intentions to win in 2016 with authority this past week and the world answered softly, "ok."
Yes, the Win-Now Diamondbacks as they will henceforth be called are going for a division title out west as Los Angeles gets older and San Francisco's pitching dynasty starts to slowly crumble. All of this winning that Arizona seems to plan on doing got media members around Denver thinking, "what should the Rockies do to keep up?"
You guys, they shouldn't try to keep up. I'm here to tell you that the Rockies already have their assets for a competitive window and that window does not begin in 2016. That window sits in the future. Maybe it's next year, but it's likely in 2018; the window already exists, and it's a good one, and the Rockies shouldn't be doing a dang thing to compromise that window.
There's a quote in Moneyball where Billy Beane says, "if we try to play like the Yankees in here we will lose to the Yankees out there."
The Rockies shouldn't try to play like the Diamondbacks this winter, because they're going to lose to the Diamondbacks in spring, regardless of the moves they make. Trade for Jose Fernandez, go ahead. Move Nolan Arenado, David Dahl, Brendan Rodgers, Jeff Hoffman, and Kyle Freeland to acquire a guy who will only be around until he hits free agency in 2018. So you're trading a bunch of guys who will be part of a theoretically long competitive window for a guy who probably won't be. Not smart.
I understand that it's difficult to be patient. The Rockies had five horrible drafts in a row from 2007-2011 and it crushed the current roster; we don't have assets at the MLB level and for that we can blame regime failures and a misunderstanding of the development system for half of a decade. That's really bad, but that's not the case anymore.
As Bobby DeMuro said this week, we're in a different place than Arizona, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Their windows are NOW. They are competitive NOW. Their assets are at the Major League level NOW.
The Rockies window is not now. It won't be now even if they sign Chris Davis and trade for Fernandez. A 68-94 baseball team doesn't happen by just missing out on one or two key players, it's created by not having 90% of what makes a good baseball team. The Rockies' rotation is bad — horrible — and the lineup is overly aggressive, impatient, and awful on the road. The bullpen blew so many dang leads last year that it made me want to buy a Pink Floyd album, several Lars Von Trier films, and move to the mountains to live the rest of my days like Jake Plummer. This team isn't some "nearly there" club like some say. They just flat out aren't good.
So why rush to play a game they can't win right now? The Rockies pretending they can be competitive right now is like skipping every gym in Pokemon to go play the Elite Four with a LVL 3 Charmander and a LVL 8 Diglet. We just don't have the assets yet. But they're growing, and the team is building. Let them grow, be patient about it, and we will soon see greater dividends than Chris Davis and Jose Fernandez can supply in the short-term.
Or I could be wrong, the team's prospects could fall apart and the Rockies could continue this sad period of losing. If that's the case, find me in 2018 and laugh at me. Pour beer down my shirt and slap hot dogs out of my hand. I deserve it for giving you hope.
But if I'm right... oh, if I'm right, you guys...you're going to wonder why you ever listened to yourself.
★ ★ ★
The Good Opinion of the Week™
Each week, I will personally scour Rockies-related Twitter feeds for good opinions that they have on food, music, movies, or even bottled water. I will feature anything that I look at and think "that is a good opinion." This week, the good opinion comes from Rockies top prospect Jon Gray:
Oh heck yeah, Jon! I definitely feel the same way; 90s movies are golden idols of an era that was one of the most ridiculous in American history.
Remember how bad-ass the 90s were? Economy booming, Nickelodeon dumping slime on everyone's head, Mario Lopez charming his way into our hearts every week. That decade was the BEES KNEES, man. The fads were outrageous, from pogs to Shaquille O'Neal movies to yo-yos to fake earrings. From '90 to '99, America lived in some kind wacky bubble where nothing could hurt us and Bill Clinton could kiss whomever he dang well pleased.
The movies were blatant representations of this cockiness America had in the 90s. They represented this outrageous idea that everything was good and nothing would ever go wrong; we made movies starring basketball players, we made George Clooney and Val Kilmer play Batman, and we accidentally made Pauly Shore a comedy star!
Sure, the 90s had their fair share of classics like Pulp Fiction, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Braveheart, and Heat. But they also had movies that, outside of that ten-year span, would have no business being made. Movies like Can't Hardly Wait and She's All That. Movies like Scream and American Pie.
These movies were so blatantly 90s, they date themselves within the first five minutes by playing something off Enema of the State or any song by 3 Doors Down. They're so blatantly 90s that it's not even a shock to see Chris O'Donnell or Freddie Prinze, Jr. in a starring role. I love 90s movies like that. They remind me of being a kid and feeling like I could punch the whole world in its stupid face and it wouldn't even swing back.
Good opinion, Jon.
★ ★ ★
Rockies Club Status
Each week, this column will dive into the Rockies' Club Status. I will be judging the Rockies' prior performance by comparing them to what type of song they would be at the club. The worst is a country song; the best is a BANGER. This week the Rockies are:
SONG THAT WHITE PEOPLE LOVE
Every club, wedding, frat party, and small get together of white folks has one of these songs ready to play. They're geared up for when the dance floor gets a little light and we need to kick it into high gear. Songs like Outkast's Hey Ya, Dave Matthews' Ants Marching or Walk the Moon's Shut Up And Dance. No matter when you play them, a drunk white person will move their legs in a weird fashion and shout the lyrics to these songs.
Jason Motte? Chad Qualls? Mark Reynolds' home-run hitting ways?! The Rockies are that song right now. They're doing just enough to keep the dance floor going and reminding us that this iPod has the power to make you groove. Maybe one week soon they'll even do more!
Welcome to the mailbag, every week I'll read what you degenerate jerks have to say to me. Better make it good.
Having this past week watched Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice in its entirety (wait, that was just the trailer?!) it occurred to me this movie is completely analogous to the Rockies. I have thought it out and recast my analogy, Fans vs. Monforts: Dawn of Victory. In this film the media (Lex Luthor) has stirred greater distrust between the fans (mere mortal Batman) and the mighty Monforts (all-powerful Superman).
As the fans and Monforts wage war a monster arises in secret, a toxic losing environment (ain't nobody wanna sign here!). Just as the fans and Monforts reach their breaking point, Wonder Woman (aka Jeff Bridich) comes to their aid and helps face this losing environment through the actualization of prospects into a winning baseball team, dawning victory in 2017, 2018.
So Connor, I, in need of a good opinion, want to know if this analogy works? Have I made any miscasts or is it okay to start referring to Jeff Bridich as Wonder Woman?
P.S.: As a fellow CSU alum, should Ram fans boycott the Arizona Bowl? Talk about getting screwed, having to play a conference opponent in a non-nationally televised game."
David, this is a good question. I love pop culture metaphors and would love to break this down. I think you're absolutely correct that Doomsday is this losing culture and horrible fan mentality that I see on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone's just attacking each other and people are telling sweet old ladies that they shouldn't be fans because horrible fans feel entitled to a winning ball club or something.
Woody Paige is a good Lex Luthor, in my opinion. He's eccentric and wacky, and older people seem to like him but I have no idea why. The Monforts as Superman is also good on another level, in that Superman has caused this struggle by destroying Metropolis and opening Batman's eyes to villains that even he cannot defeat.
Let us hope this is truly the dawn of victory. Godspeed.
P.S.: Yes, boycott this bowl game. This Arizona Bowl needs to go bankrupt within a year. What a freakin' scam. Colorado State athletics have gotten the short end of the stick in 2015, with basketball being the first top 30 RPI to miss the tourney and now football.
★ ★ ★
Has Connor Been Owned?
Each week, our team of investigators and officials here at Connor, Inc. will look into whether or not Connor was the victim of an "own". For the uneducated, an own is often a comeback or put down that renders the person speechless and unable to turn the conversation around. It's also described as a "serve" or "savage." I'm a medical miracle in that at no point in my life have I been owned by anyone online or in real life.
Here is what is being brought forth to the Committee of Owns this week as alleged evidence of my owning:
This week's own attempt comes from a person I regret to admit is my best friend. Erin and I met in college where we both worked for a radio station and discovered we have a penchant for a lot of the same things. (These things being a love for ridiculous reality shows, weirdly stumbling through adult life without any idea what's going on, and pop music.)
Erin often tries to own me because she thinks that knowing me better than 99% of people counts for something in this world. Well guess what? It doesn't! The committee took an embarrassingly long amount of time on this attempt as Erin's quick-witted response garnered a chuckle out of a few members.
But they eventually returned with the judgement that I was not owned in this instance. Any spreading of information to the contrary of this decision will be met with swift retribution by the legal team here at Connor, Inc. As always, here's the scoreboard if you'd like to keep up:
|Has @rockiesVSconnor been owned?||Owned||Not owned|
|December 4, 2015||-||X|
|December 11, 2015||-||X|
[Editor's note: If you want to be included on next week's fun, email questions about sports, pop culture, or (almost) anything else besides recipes for chicken salad to firstname.lastname@example.org, or try to own him on Twitter.]