Loyalty is hardly ever a detriment in modern society. Rockies owner Dick Monfort is one of the few that can actively make it detrimental.
Author Nate Lundy pulls out different sports parallels in his article about the state of Denver sports ownership, one such parallel referencing the New England Patriots and their executive operations. Patriots owner Robert Kraft actualizes the prowess of his head coach Bill Belichick, and the two have reached tremendous heights. Much of it gets attributed to their cohesiveness. Nolan Arenado draws parallels to the elitism, but without the cohesiveness from team executives. That has plagued the Rockies while it has fueled the Patriots. Monfort can’t side with everybody, or else he’ll just be the pushover middleman; it cycles stagnation when loyalty engulfs direction.
A great point from this article: Former GM Dan O’Dowd resigned. On his own. Dick Monfort wanted to extend his contract. Four winning seasons in 15 years.
Colorado isn’t in a particularly impressionable market. A day stuck on Interstate 25 proves it is growing, but the Denver market still gets buried behind a Los Angeles market and their successful organization in blue that steals national coverage. When you mix winning, expensive players and the largest market west of the Mississippi, of course the national media talks about the Dodgers.
This would suggest other markets would have to ‘fight’ for notoriety, rather than simply succumb to Los Angeles. Four winning seasons in 15 years… and an extension?
We don’t know the full specifics behind O’Dowd’s resignation a few years ago. We can reason one such specific was that Monfort kept O’Dowd’s hands tied with team payroll, and the former general manager later saw a lower-stress position at MLB Network as the desirable move. Talking with Greg Amsinger and Harold Reynolds on MLB Tonight seems easier and more desirable than answering to Dick Monfort mystique where his loyalty tries to appease everyone.
Jeff Bridich was given more money than O’Dowd; does that magnify his faults? Both had to work for Monfort; does that diminish their mistakes?
Bridich does not have his hands tied like O’Dowd did. Colorado has ventured into territories of higher payroll. It deserves applause that Monfort has opened the team wallet in recent years, but ever since Mile High Stadium set the attendance bar in the stratosphere, it should have essentially been that way. Attendance proved that masses would financially support the franchise.
We don’t even know if it’s possible for Monfort to find the Belichick to his Kraft.
This article from Mile High Sports features information on each owner for Denver’s pro teams. Even for the surging Nuggets, over half the reported market can’t even watch them on their own televisions. The Nuggets are currently second in the NBA’s Western Conference between the Lakers and Clippers. Denver again fights for recognition from the same media backseat to Los Angeles, but the inability to showcase basketball in their own market is even worse than the baseball backseat.
And, how ironic, Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke also owns the Los Angeles Rams.
At least the Rockies are on television. Unless you use MLB.TV in Denver.
Modern statistics have done a great job showing just how significant the Coors Field effect is. Kevin Larson of RoxPile details ‘Park Adjusted Stats’ and analyzes how to track the effect through ex-Rockies and free agent signees.
FanGraphs presents park factors of each ballpark. Coors Field is generally at, or near, the top of the offensive categories, so there definitely is an impact to a degree. There may be stats that do adjust for it, but these park factors show the impact isn’t completely negated.
For some, throwing a statistic like ‘wRC+’ around might give them a negative flashback of their worst math class in school. Baseball is a statistical paradise for those that like to interpret them; 162 games a year gives the largest sample size of all U.S. professional sports. Plenty of new stats can be given without context, and even the slightest misinterpretation can label the ‘new school’ in a poor light, to where even a huge revelation could have some degree of dismissal from statistical purists.
We see ‘old school’ vs. ‘new school’ thrown around perhaps more than ever, almost as if people need to be labeled. Bill Ripken, currently of MLB Network, recently released a new book titled State of Play: The Old School Guide to New School Baseball. Within the book he talks at length about importance of traditional methods even with modernized approaches. He talks about how his father, Cal Ripken Sr., observed so many players through the Orioles minor league ranks, and how invaluable those reports were. If it’s simply recognized that attentiveness and application is paramount, both ‘old’ and ‘new’ sides can work to justify themselves.
Justifying a stance on the Coors Field effect pertains to both the old and new school views. If RoxPile’s Kevin Larson’s stats acknowledge that altitude isn’t a huge deal, the new school audience sees things clearly. An old school approach to Coors Field might simply say that both teams have the luxury of hitting at altitude when a game is played there, which could be the only observation one might deem necessary. Altitude might skew the traditional statistics, but it’s no audible trash can of an advantage when both teams are playing each other in the same environment.
The Cubs managed to score eight runs in the first two innings on Monday, so the Rockies pitching staff looks to be facing a hot lineup from the Cubs’ everyday guys today.
Thomas Harding was kind enough to tweet out the pitching plan for today’s game: it looks like Wes Parsons, Ryan Rolison, Antonio Santos, Tommy Doyle, Alexander Guillen and Phillip Diehl will throw today. The same tweet showed the pitchers for yesterday and all entered the game, plus Zac Rosscup for the ninth. Nice work, Thomas Harding.
The Rockies take a short trip south today, on Arizona Loop 101 to Sloan Park. The travel time will amount to a basic morning commute. Sloan Park resembles an intimate Wrigley Field without the ivy and a little more modernized. It has also featured some of the most expensive seats in the Cactus League. Tickets on the west side of Phoenix are generally cheaper (pending the Dodger presence at Camelback Ranch), so be advised if you’re a money-saving Spring Training visitor.
Left-hander Jon Lester toes the rubber for the Cubs this afternoon.
This is just awesome. He hasn’t seen his family in the stands since 2012, and now his wife and son will join him. They remind us all how fortunate we are for the time we have with family.