The weekend is a great time to kick back and reflect. This Week in Purple is the place to catch up on the news from our team at Purple Row. You’ll find links to Rockpiles and other content below as well as a platform for community discussion in the comments.
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It’s finally here. The Colorado Rockies’ 2023 season comes to its merciful ending this weekend against the Minnesota Twins. It’s been a season of ups (three potential Gold Glove finalists and two potential Rookie of the Year finalists anyone?) and more downs (see: 100+ losses), but we made it!
With all that said, here’s what our writers were up to during this final week!
For the Monday Rockpile, Evan wrote about the then-inevitability of a 100-loss season for the Rockies. At the time of his writing, they had only lost 99 games (still a franchise record). Evan took a look back at the season and how the Rockies got to this point. He identified the likely excuses the front office would roll out should they lose 100 games (namely injuries and underperformance on offense) and looking ahead to some changes that the team should make (more on that later). Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets will hoist their NBA Championship banner at the end of the month at Ball Arena, one year after the Colorado Avalanche hoisted their Stanley Cup banner.
While there have been plenty of shadows this season, Renee identified three bright spots for her Tuesday Rockpile — Brenton Doyle, Ryan McMahon and Ezequiel Tovar. All three of them should at least be Gold Glove finalists, but all three could also be winners. In an offensively-challenged season, it’s nice to know that the Rox will have some excellent defenders for years to come!
On Tuesday night, it happened. The Rockies lost their 100th game of the season for the first time in franchise history. Rather than dwell on the loss, Skyler looked at the rest of the NL West division and their history of 100-loss seasons for his Wednesday Rockpile. In the end, all four other teams have had at least one 100-loss season. It happens to everyone. But what matters for the Rockies is how they respond to this low water mark.
For the Thursday Rockpile, Evan offered some suggestions on how the Rockies should respond. Namely, the coaching staff should be re-evaluated. Perhaps the time has come for the Rockies to move on from manager Bud Black, who has been with the team since 2017 and led them to a 475-554 record. But it seems the team has outgrown him as they have shifted from a veteran-heavy team in a contention window to a young, ‘not rebuilding’ team. Black has been a good manager for this team over the last six year, but it might be time for the Rockies to move on, especially after the 100-loss season. What do you think?
On Friday morning, the Denver Post published a four-part introspective series on the Colorado Rockies entitled “The Rockie Way: Inside Colorado’s three decades of mediocre baseball,” compiled by beat writers Patrick Saunders, Kyle Newman and Matt Schubert. Joelle read all four parts (as should you) and talked about the importance of local journalism for her Friday Rockpile. Journalism is under threat all over the country, and for a small-market team like the Rockies, it is important to have local people spending time with the team and writing about them. The Athletic cut its Rockies coverage a while ago, the Post and MLB.com have severely scaled back their coverage (as have we at Purple Row), and AT&T SportsNet is even slated to be in purgatory starting October 6th. Since the Rockies are severely overlooked by the national media, who will cover them on a day-to-day basis? Thank you, local journalists, for all that you do!
On Friday night, the Colorado Rockies announced that they have signed 37-year-old outfielder Charlie Blackmon to a one-year extension worth $13 million with $2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. This follows on Blackmon’s 2018 extension for five years, $94 million. This is not surprising, and perhaps this is a way for Blackmon to ride off into the sunset in a Rockies uniform on his own terms while mentoring this very young team.
It’s a tough episode this week as Evan and Skyler discuss the inevitability of a 100 loss season and just how crummy that feels. The Rockies are on a collision course with by far their worst finish in franchise history to celebrate 30 years of Colorado Rockies baseball, and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. There’s a lot to unpack. Kyle Freeland, Peter Lambert, and Austin Gomber are all done for the season with injuries but thankfully Ryan Feltner has completed his comeback. The Arizona Fall League is also on the horizon and will have plenty of Rockies representation.
In this new episode, Dustin pulls out his 1993 Inaugural Team set of baseball cards he received at Mile High Stadium when he was a kid. The brothers quickly go through the deck (be sure to check out the video version on YouTube!) briefly touching on some of the Rockies that had just that first-year stint with the Rockies, played a little bit, or prospects who were just available for a picture during spring training. They also do plenty of setting up to identify players worthy of their own episodes in the future, and find a couple of Almost Every Rockie Evers in the deck of cards!
Weekend Discussion Topics
It was a bad year, but what was your favorite moment? Sound off below!
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