Welcome to Football Friday, a baseball column by 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.
In the 2000 film Memento, Christopher Nolan introduces us to Leonard, a man with extreme short term memory loss. Leonard can't form new memories and therefore his entire life is made up of reminders he has left for himself through Polaroids, notes, and tattoos on his body. The movie is structured like a loop, to give the audience a literal feeling of what Leonard's life is like. An eternal loop of forgetting, remembering, and forgetting again.
In 2016, Rockies fans may feel like the audience watching Memento. The young season is already feeling like an eternal loop. We're stuck watching disaster and failure through the eyes of our Leonard, Walt Weiss.
Walt Weiss hasn't learned a thing from the mistakes and failures of 2015, it seems. Through three games the Rockies have suffered a near catastrophic meltdown and an actual catastrophic meltdown. Though you can't pin the entire disaster on Tuesday on the manager, sometimes a plane crash is partially due to pilot error.
Without diving into the nine run tire fire that was Tuesday's bullpen experience, I want to talk about Monday's near breakdown and how this week could've been much worse.
It's the 7th inning, the Rockies are clinging to a 7-5 lead, and the Diamondbacks have Wellington Castillo, David Peralta, and Yasmany Tomas coming up. That's two right handed hitters with a lefty in between them. Walt calls on reliever Boone Logan for the first time this year. Boone is owed somewhere around 40 kajillion dollars this year so it's not shocking that the manager would want to use him in a high leverage situation.
Only... it is shocking. It's shocking because of who Boone is facing and because everyone in the world knows what Boone is now. That "everyone" includes Walt.
Boone Logan allowed right handed batters to hit .333 against him last year. One of every three right handed hitters hit at least a single. He allowed them to slug .514 and their OPS+ was 155. Of the 28 runs Boone allowed in 2015, 17 were to right handed hitters. He faced 82 righties in 2015, and 32 got on base. That's nearly 40% of the time. The point of this entire paragraph is that Boone Logan is not very good against people who were born with the affinity to hit from the right side. In fact, it's safe to say he sucks against them.
Yet, Walt goes to Boone in a close game, late inning situation against two right handed bats. Like I said above, I don't think it's that Walt doesn't know that Boone is bad against righties, it's that he's forgotten somehow. He's Leonard, needing Polaroids to remind him that Boone needs to only face left handed batters.
In the movie, Leonard wasn't born with this condition, it's part of the way his brain is reasoning with the traumatic murder of his wife. The brain is shutting down Leonard's ability to create new memories to protect Leonard from this tragedy.
With Walt, I'm not sure what the traumatic event was that happened over the course of his managerial career that made his brain do the same thing. Maybe it was when he found out that the Wendy's Bacon Gouda Burger was for a limited time only. Maybe it was when Robb Stark died on Game of Thrones. Whatever the reason, Walt's brain has locked the ability for him to learn from his mistakes so he's stuck in an endless loop of action and reaction without anything changing.
What's that old cliche about the definition of insanity? Repeating the same thing expecting different results?
Well, he's certainly going to drive me insane.
★ ★ ★
Five Bold Predictions
Each week, I will make five bold claims about the coming week as well as going back and looking at last week's predictions to see how I did.
Last week, my predictions were:
-CarGo struggles in April. He hit a home run on Opening Day and he's hitting .333 but this could all go to hell.
-Madison Bumgarner pisses me off. The guy didn't pitch well on Monday, but because the Giants may have the best lineup in the division, he still got the win. I was angered by this development.
-I tick off that Ralfy guy on Twitter. Not yet!
-The Rockies will stick around longer than we think. Well, so long as they glue together a half decent rotation, I think they should be OK.
This week, my five bold predictions are:
- Trevor Story hits 20 HR and .260 this year.
I know the hype train around Trevor is moving at 100 MPH and it's extremely risky to even mention that maybe he won't be the greatest player of all time. But, Trevor's going to take some lumps. The Major Leagues aren't so easily conquered by players not named Mike Trout or Barry Bonds. Kris Bryant struck out 199 times last year and he won Rookie of the Year with every first place vote. It's going to be fun to watch Trevor and I don't think he'll be so bad we'll be worried about him but I don't see a 150 OPS+ MVP caliber season from the kid. But .260 with 20 dongers is still very good and we should all be happy.
- Jake McGee has 22 saves at the All-Star Break
Jake McGee is good. Even though he served up a tee shot to glorious 9 hole hitter Nick Ahmed on Wednesday, I'm confident the guy is going to be one of the better relievers in the NL this season. That could work well in two ways for the Rockies (if they aren't idiots), the first is if by some grace of Zeus they are good this year, McGee will be a key part of that. The second is if they are bad (more likely) they can flip McGee for a hefty fee at the deadline and the Dickerson trade starts to make more sense.
- Bobby DeMuro is an idiot
Not really a prediction more just want to put this down on paper.
[Editor's note: We will be firing Connor after this column runs. It's time.]
- Tyler Chatwood is good
I'm not saying he's going to win a Cy Young or be the staff ace the Rockies have dreamed of, but Chatwood is a solid back end rotation piece and I think he's going to be a solid high three, low four ERA guy for a few years. The Rockies can choose how they want to handle that but I think, at least, he could be a stable guy that a young rotation will need.
- Eddie Butler is Luke Hochevar
Long before the Royals were THE ROYALS, they were an organization that missed on draft picks, couldn't develop pitching, and were perpetually bad. That sounds familiar. Luke Hochevar was the number one overall pick in 2006. In 2007, he was the #32 rated prospect on Baseball America. But, as a starter, he never could handle the higher minor leagues or the Majors. He has a career 5.44 ERA as a starter and looked to be another failed prospect for the Royals in a long string of them.
But, the Royals didn't give up. They eventually moved Luke Hochevar to the bullpen where he's thrived as a middle reliever in arguably the best bullpen we've seen in years.
I see this for Eddie Butler. Some people make the jump to Wade Davis and I don't think he'll be that elite, he just doesn't strike out enough people. But give Eddie one inning to work and no second time through the lineup and hey, I think the kid could excel. I really, really want the kid to make it but I don't see it as a starter and I hope the Rockies don't give up on him and DFA him if he fails there. Stay patient, he could be the 7th inning guy on a World Series team.
★ ★ ★
The Good Opinion of the Week
Each week, I will personally scour Rockies-related Twitter feeds for good opinions 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 prospect (and friend of the Brand) Dillon Thomas who tweets:
This is my new life motto, you guys.
Not everyone is destined to be great at something. That's the folly of our generation, I think. That we all got told we could be great at something, so now we feel like failures when we're not great at everything.
But you don't have to be great at anything. Sometimes the best thing you can do is exist as someone that doesn't suck ass. Just be good enough that nobody hates you. I know that sounds like settling or telling you not to better yourself, but trust me it's not. Finding yourself can be as easy as saying "I'm not great at anything but I'm a pretty chill person."
Good opinion, Dillon.
★ ★ ★
Has Connor Been Owned (by someone other than Thomas Wilson)?
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 not named Thomas Wilson.
Here is what the committee brought forth as evidence this week:
This week, it's not a tweet but a podcast that has been brought forward. The Purple Dinosaur Podcast, in fact. The PDP is the now three year old podcast that is 69 (nice) episodes deep and is the only Rockies centric podcast in the entire Universe.
This week, on the show was Cam Goeldner, who used his first few minutes of time on the show to attempt to own me. I won't type out exactly what he said, you'll have to listen, but I'm going to tell you it's very dangerously close to an own.
Fortunately, the committee ruled I was not owned in this instance. Any dissemination of information to the contrary will be met with swift legal justice.