All things considered, the Rockies' Twitter Q&A session on Monday went pretty well.
It was, however, overshadowed by some vintage Dick Monfort posturing. Monfort, the beleaguered owner who, for good reason, is given more guff than credit for his candidness, discussed the team's culture and status as a contender amid a few pretty good answers from Rockies brass.
Monfort first rather bluntly responded to a silly question about the team's culture:
.@MileHighKyle27 We do not have a losing culture and I have never been okay with losing. -DM— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
This, in itself, isn't a bad answer. It's not like Monfort was, I don't know, suggesting he should move the team out of Denver or something. However, it was the answer to a follow-up question that should have been handled better. Here's Monfort more or less stumbling all over himself:
.@_YohoKa_ I think we have a great culture and it shows in the ballpark experience: the way our staff treats our customers...— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
.@_YohoKa_ ...the character of our players and winning is all that is left to do. -DM— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
So is Monfort saying the players' character isn't up to par or was that just an oddly structured sentence? Either way, it was a poor answer, and one that fans just don't want to hear. It's great that the Rockies provide a ballpark experience that is nearly unmatched, but at some point, the product on the field needs to start resembling the positive stuff around it. There was a much better way to handle this question. Courtesy of our friend and should-be Rockies consultant Chris Chrisman:
"We haven’t met our standard of excellence in the past few years, and we intend for that to change starting in 2015." How hard is that?— Chris Chrisman (@chrischrisman) March 2, 2015
Pretty hard, apparently. But at least Dick made up for it with this:
.@stmyers1 WHEN we are in contention we will use every resource we have to keep winning. -DM— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
Oh, no. Moving on ...
Jeff Bridich said some interesting things about the pitch count mandated by the previous GMs, where the Rockies hope to be at the trade deadline and the team's use of analytics:
.@5280shirtshop There is no pitch limit. It is all dependant on the game. -JB— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
.@seenote10 At the trade deadline, I hope we're looking to add to our team for our playoff push. -JB— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
.@TWPolhill We use advanced analytics and we are going to invest more resources moving forward. We will continue to grow in this area. -JB— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
And finally, Walt Weiss chimed in with a few things, one of which made me want to bang my head against the nearest wall:
.@Tweet20Q We always put an emphasis on base stealing and looking for opportunities to steal bases. -WW— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) March 2, 2015
Weiss certainly isn't blowing smoke with that answer, but in this case, that's unfortunate. There isn't anything wrong with stealing bases as a whole, but the Rockies weren't very good at it last year, a fact that should have -- but didn't -- force them to stop trying as often as they did. Between failed steal attempts and position player sacrifice bunts, the Rockies gave away more outs than just about any other team in baseball in 2014. That needs to change.
Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez start running bases in injury rehab - The Denver Post
The Rockies' star duo passed an early test on Monday. As RIRF said yesterday, who cares -- it's their contributions late in the season that will tell us if they're healthy (to the standard the team needs them to be) or not.
Rockies infielder Daniel Descalso's value not limited to versatility - The Denver Post
Despite already having 10 or so of them in the pipeline, a utility infielder was a high priority for Walt Weiss and the Rockies during the offseason. Daniel Descalso can't hit and isn't particularly great at any position, but dammit he's a winner and stuff. Welcome to Colorado, Dan.
LeMahieu made speed a focus during offseason | rockies.com
DJ LeMahieu, considered by many the best candidate for a breakout-like performance on the team, appears to be shelving power -- or the attempt to have it, anyway -- for speed. LeMahieu already possesses above-average contact skills and, of course, is a wizard in the field. Any sort of improvement on offense from him will be big for the Rockies, but even if he's the black hole type that he was the last couple of seasons on offense, it's not the worst thing for a team that needs capable fielders to support a contact-heavy rotation.
Baseball Prospectus | Baseball Therapy: The Thirty-Run Manager
More on "The Grind" and how big league managers, well, manage it. When defense is brought into the equation, Walt Weiss moves from one of the worst managers in the league to around the middle of the pack. Interesting stuff, and just one more reason why you should be paying for a BPro subscription.