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Thread: What's up with the Rockies?

  1. #1
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    What's up with the Rockies?

    Right before the halfway point in the season the Rockies had an 8-game losing streak, dropping them to 38-42 and I figured that was it for them. Surely more losing would follow.

    After all, Josh Fogg was one of their top starting pitchers. Yet Fogg held it together. Aaron Cook continues to have uncanny rope-a-dope success and Jeff Francis is nothing short of the best pitcher in franchise history. The starters have held it together and the bullpen has been one of the best in baseball (along with the Diamondbacks) in a season which has been one long bullpen narrative.

    The offense has been superb (2nd in the NL in runs) and not only do they score, they defend (.704 DER, good for 7th overall in MLB). Troy Tulowitzki would be a ROY lock most any year that didn't feature Ryan Braun. Matt Holliday might very well be the MVP.

    As I type this, they hold a 6-5 lead over the Dodgers in the 7th inning of a game in which a win would tie them for the Wild Card with the fading Padres (lost without Mike Cameron) and the erratic Phillies. They're easily the surprise team of the season and, if they can hold their current form, they're going to be in the playoff for only the second time in franchise history.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Meanwhile in LA. I guess all that chemistry stuff wasn't really askew... just the guy who got skewered for it.

    THEN:

    http://www.salon.com/news/sports/col...08/30/tuesday/

    Aug. 30, 2005 | The Los Angeles Dodgers are conducting another one of their chemistry experiments. Here we go again. If this one's anything like the last one, when they traded clubhouse leader Paul Lo Duca last year, it's going to convince you that team chemistry matters -- provided you already believed that.

    The Dodgers are a lousy team that's hanging around the race for the National League West because the division is so bad top to bottom that lousy might be good enough to win it. Last week outfielder Milton Bradley and second baseman Jeff Kent had words in the clubhouse and then sniped at each other in the press.

    This is all proof that Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta, a stats guy who used to assist Billy Beane in Oakland, doesn't understand anything about team chemistry, and erred when he ignored it as he constructed the roster. You can't build a team by looking at numbers on a computer, this argument goes. Chemistry matters.
    NOW:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...opinion-center

    Dodgers rift is a new-old story

    On-field troubles fuel rising tensions, as veterans perceive a lack of respect for them and the game by some of the younger players.
    By Kevin Baxter and Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
    September 25, 2007
    The turmoil that engulfed the Dodgers during last week's dismal 1-6 trip had been slowly building for weeks but erupted publicly only when the team's postseason hopes disappeared.

    Although second baseman Jeff Kent was the first player to speak on the record about the Dodgers' internal problems -- most notably a widening schism between some veterans and a group of first- and second-year players -- there was palpable tension in the clubhouse for much of the second half.

    The separation developed largely along generational lines, with the 39-year-old Kent and 40-year-old outfielder Luis Gonzalez among the players on one side and outfielder Matt Kemp, who turned 23 on Sunday, 25-year-old Andre Ethier and 23-year-old first baseman James Loney on the other.

    At issue wasn't performance. Heading into the opener of the Dodgers' final homestand of the season tonight, Kemp (.333) and Loney (.331) are the team's leading hitters. Another second-year player, 24-year-old catcher Russell Martin, who has remained above the fray, leads the Dodgers with 85 runs batted in.

    Instead, the veterans grew frustrated with their diminished playing roles at the same time that what might have been their last, best chance at the World Series was disappearing.

    In addition, they say, the young players haven't paid them or the game proper respect. It's an old-school notion -- that rookies should be seen and not heard.

    "Some of the guys that you see around that are young are a little cocky," said pitcher David Wells, at 44 the oldest Dodger, yet one of the few who has moved comfortably between both sides in a split clubhouse. "But you know what? They're going to get humbled. And when they do, they'll switch their attitude. It's not my place and time to tell people how to act. But I pay attention.

    "And if I feel the need maybe I'll say, 'Hey, maybe you want to try this approach.' Because I was told that."

    There are other veterans who share that approach, but still others who prefer to remain inside their own tight circle. And that's caused others to choose sides.

    Before a game on the last homestand, an attendant placed a trash can too close to Kemp's locker in the Dodgers' crowded clubhouse. But when the outfielder got up to move it, one veteran complained aloud -- but not to Kemp -- about how rookies today are different from those of the past.

    Some players have also wondered why Kemp continues to commit the same baserunning gaffes while other veterans have noted -- off the record -- that few young players hang around the clubhouse before or after games to talk baseball. That's a practice that hasn't limited itself to young players, though, since veterans such as Shea Hillenbrand and Brad Penny are typically the first to leave the clubhouse on the road. And, home and away, Kent is habitually the last to arrive, walking silently through the clubhouse to his corner locker without speaking to anyone.

    Emotions nearly boiled over in mid-August when the Dodgers struggled through a stretch in which they lost 10 times in 12 games. One veteran complained privately that management appeared so committed to its farm system it was unwillingly to trade any of its young players for a impact-type veteran who might turn things around while others, such as second-year outfielder Ethier, began to suggest teammates were pointing fingers and assigning blame for the slump.

    The team quickly rebounded to win six of its next eight games, though, and one veteran pitcher, approached about the clubhouse rift, said it had blown over.

    The respite was short-lived. Moments after the Dodgers were swept in a four-game series in Colorado, Kent, still looking for his first World Series ring in his 16th major league season, sounded off.

    "We're in a bad spot right now," he said. "Pretty soon we're going to give up the ghost. It's close to the end of the season. And a career for me too. I'm running out of time.

    "A lot of kids in here, they don't understand that. . . . You hate to waste an opportunity, even if it's one and even if it's your first time. It's hard to get them to understand that because they haven't been there. So there lies some frustration."

    Contributing to the tension is that some veterans haven't produced, which has led to more playing time for the youngsters. The Dodgers had 15 players 30 or older on their opening-day roster, but by June they had grown considerably younger with Loney and Kemp coming up from the minors to replace 34-year-old outfielder Brady Clark and 33-year-old utility player Marlon Anderson.

    Gonzalez, meanwhile, is batting 51 points lower in the second half than he did in the first, a slump that has resulted in more playing time for Ethier and Kemp. That's led to some grumbling from Gonzalez and this comment from Loney:

    "Somebody comes up behind you and tries to take your job, you have two choices: You're going to give it up, or you're going to bust your [rear] to be the best," said Loney, who said he wasn't talking about anyone in particular.

    Manager Grady Little added: "All I can tell you is this: If we could've operated the entire season with the lineup we came out of spring training with, I would've loved nothing better. There would have been time to work in the kids and get them playing time here and there."

    Instead, the Dodgers' regular second-half lineup has included four players with less than two full years of big-league experience. And the team appears committed to building around that talented sophomore class. For example, it's unlikely Gonzalez will be asked back, and Kent , if he accepts his $9-million option and returns for 2008, probably will split playing time with 22-year-old Tony Abreu.

    But before they get to next season, the Dodgers have six more games -- needing two wins to finish with a winning record.

    Kent and 34-year-old Nomar Garciaparra addressed the team after its sixth consecutive loss Friday, stressing the importance of finishing the season strong. Yet even that will be something of an empty achievement for Little.

    "What our record ends up being is not nearly as significant as not making it in the postseason," he said. "That's your objective, and if you don't accomplish that, you've lost."

  4. #3
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Ya I jumped on this badwagon a couple of weeks ago. I really like what Colorado has going on. It wasn't long ago that I was convinced that as long as Dan O'Dowd was at the helm that Colorado would never compete.

    But it looks like that Colorado's talented farm system has really chugged talent through the system as of late, and now O'Dowd's silly moves aren't hurting too much. Though I give him tons of credit for some of their recent draft choices.

    Anyways, nothing would please me more than to see them make the playoffs. it's long over due, and they are currently proving that you can win in huge run scoring parks. I think Troy Tulowitzki is quickly becoming one of my favorite non-Reds. He can field, he can hit, he is fast becoming one of the league's best shortstops.

  5. #4
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Hmmm... the veterans are the problem, are they?

    OPS, min 200 PA. Players age 29 and above in BOLD
    1. Loney, .923
    2. Kent, .875
    3. Kemp,.873
    4. Martin, .852
    5. Eithier, .811
    6. Gonzalez, .788 (.670 Post ASB)
    7. Garciaparra, .700
    8. Pierre, .688
    9. Furcal, .687


    Yup. That team is clearly struggling due to the attitude of their youth, rather than the craptastic offensive performance of their veterans not named Jeff Kent. Maybe they should stop worrying about who's staying late to talk baseball and look at who's actually playing it well on the field. And ask your wonderful new GM why he gave millions of dollars to Juan Pierre and Nomar Gariaparra, and then traded Wilson Betemit for a middle reliever.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  6. #5
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    I knew we should have never let Clint Hurdle go!

  7. #6
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    They should be glad that they ran Depodesta off, things are much better. They told you as much. Yep thats working out.....
    Last edited by LoganBuck; 09-26-2007 at 08:42 AM.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    There's something about the initials JF at elevation: Josh Fogg and Jeff Francis are brilliant, totally unheralded. Considering where he pitches, Francis should get a bunch of Cy Young votes.

    But the secret? Mashers. O'Dowd's probably not the dummy everyone thought he was: he figured out two simple principles--1. get mashers at elevation and 2. get starters.

    Wish the Reds understood such an important set of principles--instead we get tinkering with the pen and the defense, all the while suppressing the offense in the minors.

  9. #8
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    I was out in Denver a couple of weekends back, when they dropped two of three to the Marlins at home. Most folks seemed to be conceding at that point. Things sure can change fast.

    On an unrelated note, my buddies and I took in one of those games at Coors Field -- excellent ballpark. We were sitting right behind a dad and his daughter, who was somewhere around ten, I'd guess. She was wearing her jersey, had her glove, was doing all the cheers... just so excited to be at the ballgame with her dad. It made me miss my little girl, who is six and loves sports. That'll be us before long.

    Right behind us was a group of college kids. Including a few girls. Who were noticeably drunk and probably not old enough to legally be so.

    Enjoy it while you can, dad, I thought to myself.
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  10. #9
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    There's something about the initials JF at elevation: Josh Fogg and Jeff Francis are brilliant, totally unheralded. Considering where he pitches, Francis should get a bunch of Cy Young votes.

    But the secret? Mashers. O'Dowd's probably not the dummy everyone thought he was: he figured out two simple principles--1. get mashers at elevation and 2. get starters.
    Only 1 Rockie will have hit more than 30 HR and only 4 more than 15. Willy Tavarez, Kaz Matsui, Yorvit Torreabla, and 2007 Helton are mashers?

    Looks to me more like they've maximized defensive value up the middle and found more well rounded bats.

    BA: .279, 1st in NL
    OBP: .353, 2nd in NL
    SLG: .435, 6th in NL

    They've definitely scored a lot of runs but it's not because they stacked the lineup with "mashers".

    As for the starters, were Kile, Hampton, and Neagle not starters? Rather, they've found a type of starter that works better in Colorado and have invested their FA dollar more effectively.

    The Jennings for Hirsch, Tavarez, and Buchholz trade was a coup.

    Oh yeah, the bullpen with 6 guys with ERAs under 3.50 and more than 40 IP ain't too shabby either.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 09-26-2007 at 12:40 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  11. #10
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    There's something about the initials JF at elevation: Josh Fogg and Jeff Francis are brilliant, totally unheralded.
    Maybe you're on to something there. Here's a list of MLB players with those initials. The Rockies would come a little bit short of filling a lineup with these guys. But Coors Field might be the fountain of youth for Julio Franco.

    /r/reds

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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Only 1 Rockie will have hit more than 30 HR and only 4 more than 15. Willy Tavarez, Kaz Matsui, Yorvit Torreabla, and 2007 Helton are mashers?

    Looks to me more like they've maximized defensive value up the middle and found more well rounded bats.

    BA: .279, 1st in NL
    OBP: .353, 2nd in NL
    SLG: .435, 6th in NL

    They've definitely scored a lot of runs but it's not because they stacked the lineup with "mashers".

    As for the starters, were Kile, Hampton, and Neagle not starters? Rather, they've found a type of starter that works better in Colorado and have invested their FA dollar more effectively.

    The Jennings for Hirsch, Tavarez, and Buchholz trade was a coup.

    Oh yeah, the bullpen with 6 guys with ERAs under 3.50 and more than 40 IP ain't too shabby either.

    Mashers aren't necessarily home run hitters--they're SLG guys that don't sacrifice OB to achieve that SLG. The home run ball at Coors ain't what it used to be. Sure they have weak sticks in CF and at C, but their lineup (Atkins, Holliday, Tulowitzki, Hawpe, and Helton--good lord, RMR, that's not a bunch of mashers???) comprises mashing hitters; patient guys with good pop. Maybe I should have been more specific about what I meant when I said mashers, but I mean excellent offensive threats up and down the lineup.

    And yeah, the starters are the next most important thing: if the Reds had Francis, Fogg, and Cook (instead of Harang, a so-so Arroyo, and "stuff"), we'd be talking playoffs--even with this bullpen (well, maybe not--no one could save Wayne from going with Stanton over Salmon and throwing away potential payroll space on Cormier).
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 09-26-2007 at 02:44 PM.

  13. #12
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Are we really going to start pimping Fogg?

    The Rockies should be very pleased he hasn't fallen apart yet. It will happen eventually and he's just not that good of a pitcher.

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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Kearns View Post
    Are we really going to start pimping Fogg?

    The Rockies should be very pleased he hasn't fallen apart yet. It will happen eventually and he's just not that good of a pitcher.
    No doubt the Rockies have gotten some good fortune from Fogg and guys like Hawkins and Herges, and that fortune is likely to go sour at any point, but all three have contributed very nicely to this run. Let's put it this way: I'd MUCH rather have Fogg in the #3 spot than Belisle or the other crap they tried throwing up against the wall this season.

  15. #14
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    No doubt the Rockies have gotten some good fortune from Fogg and guys like Hawkins and Herges, and that fortune is likely to go sour at any point, but all three have contributed very nicely to this run. Let's put it this way: I'd MUCH rather have Fogg in the #3 spot than Belisle or the other crap they tried throwing up against the wall this season.
    I prefer Belisle. His peripherals still give some hope for an upside if he can ever get his act together. He's striking out 6.88/9 with a K/BB of almost 3 this year.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Re: What's up with the Rockies?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    I prefer Belisle. His peripherals still give some hope for an upside if he can ever get his act together. He's striking out 6.88/9 with a K/BB of almost 3 this year.
    I'd prefer Belisle if my team played 81 games at RFK. But not in Cincy. 26 HRs in 170 innings? Shades of 2005 Milton.

    Fogg would be a respectable fit in Cincy, IMO. Not that I'd trade for him, though. He's getting kind of old.


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