After being visited by ghosts who point out his horrendous life choices in Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge changes his life, centering his attitude and deeds on charity and kindness in order to avoid a chained and tortured afterlife. After reading this article and thinking about Decembers of the Rockies’ past, you are more likely to turn into a bah-humbug-yelling Scrooge who hates the holiday season and spends the winter meetings and offseason hibernating in grumpiness.
In this very fitting analogy, Kevin Henry writes about how the Rockies, as an organization, are unable to learn their lessons because they can’t awake from the bad dream and move on like Scrooge does. The ghosts of bad decisions — namely Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy, Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, and Jake McGee — are still on the roster, and more depressingly, the payroll.
That doomed quintet all signed around Christmases over the last three years. Bah-humbug indeed.
So, in trying to be filled with the holiday spirit, we’ll try to look at the bright side.
The good news is that we aren’t stuck in this bad dream forever. Davis, Shaw, McGee, and Murphy become free agents after 2020. Desmond will join the free agent ranks after 2021. In 2021, there should be more money available due to the new TV deal with AT&T Sports. This could give you the belief that the future could be more merry and bright.
The bad news is that we are stuck in it for a while. It doesn’t look like any of those five are vacating the roster in 2020. It seems like Desmond might have finally lost his starting spot. The team should stop moving him around like fielding musical chairs and refuse to let his .252 batting average occupy a place in the starting lineup.
I am hoping Ryan McMahon and Brendon Rodgers can take over the right side of the infield and push Murphy out of a starting spot as well. Then maybe Kyle Freeland and company can regain their forms and pitch more innings in their starts, allowing Jairo Diaz, Carlos Estevez, and Scott Oberg to handle the majority of the bullpen duties without being overworked? (If you could hear the tone there, you would notice that my voice got higher and higher as the statement became a far-fetched question.)
In summary, the Rockies’ past is mistake-riddled. The present is bah-humbug, but at least no more bad deals were handed out this December. (Hopefully I didn’t just jinx that with less than a week to go in the month.) The future could still yet see lessons learned, changes made, and a return to Rocktober.
I have reached a point where I am refusing to acknowledge or read anything else about trading you-know-who. Therefore, I will only mention this for its lack of mentioning you-know-who. As most everyone knows, one commonly discussed rumor of a landing team is the Texas Rangers. Will Leitch writes that the Rangers need a third baseman, but doesn’t list Colorado’s all-star as a possibility. Instead, Texas should focus on Josh Donaldson or convince Adrian Beltre to unretire.
For the Rockies, Leitch echoed PurpleRow’s sentiments of the Rockies’ gift being “some peace of mind for Nolan Arenado.” Unfortunately, Leitch also writes, “But can you blame him for looking around and saying … is this all there is?” Considering that Nolan signed a long-term contract before the 2019 season and no one was talking about all this nonsense until Jeff Bridich announced he suggested the opt-out clause in that contract and that the organization would listen to any offers at winter meetings this year, it wasn’t Nolan who started this.
Tracy Ringolsby caught up with Jim Leyland who added some great quotes for Larry Walker’s case for the Hall of Fame. The former Rockies manager who has been in the game so long (48 years) that he smoked cigarettes in the dugout well before (and after) it was made illegal, advocates for two players not in the HOF.
Leyland says Barry Bonds is the best player ever. But is quick to add, “Larry Walker was best five-tool player I ever had. There was nobody more impactful in a game than Larry Walker. He beat you every way he could. There were five ways he could beat you. There was defense, with his throwing, with his baserunning, with his hitting and with his power. I can’t even believe it’s a question myself.”
The rest of the article has even more praise from Leyland, as well as good arguments against the “but it was Coors Field” debate when you look at Walker’s numbers outside of the Mile High City and compare it to pitchers who spent their careers in pitcher-friendly confines.
This is just a little highlight reel treat hung by the chimney with care. It’s 10 minutes of happy 2019 memories and worth a watch.