Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: This. Team. Can't. Focus.

Angels 10, Rockies 3

They can focus and play out of their minds in front of a packed house against Boston in June.

They can focus and play out of their minds in August and September when their season depends on every result.

They can focus and play out of their minds when the manager gets fired.

The rest of the time it's just another ordinary Rockies team that makes all the mistakes you'd expect from a 4th or 5th place squad.

Strange and inconsistent plate appearances.

Sloppy defense.

Mind-numbingly stupid baserunning mistakes.

Pitchers that are always victimized by the error, because they make a horrible pitch to the next batter.

A manager that doesn't understand his bullpen. Seriously, Drew Goodman should lose one of his Colorado Sportscaster of the Year trophies every time he says Jim Tracy is a master of mixing and matching. Yeah? He's mixing and matching his way into a dead bullpen by July.

I know the grind of 162 games makes it virtually impossible to play at top form day in and day out. I understand that, accept that, and I think most other fans do as well. But this team just can't maintain the focus unless the atmosphere in the ballpark is at a fever pitch or their backs are against the wall... which they are dangerously close to being right this moment.

Also, this team absolutely can never blame injuries for their problems. Even though they've had a ton of them, they've never been physically outmanned on the field in 2010. Not one game.  Not one series.

Mentally, however, is a different story. Mentally they are almost always at a disadvantage.

Teams like the Angels and Twins, the reason they always contend is because they're the opposite of that. They rarely lose that focus or intensity. They rarely beat themselves because their minds drift away. In their minds, they can view each opponent and each game as equally important.

Until the Rockies can get that point, which might be a longshot to happen given how long some of these have been around now, this team will always frustrate us and leaving us wondering how good they could be.

That's all I really want to say about the team today. If you saw the game, you know the situation and how ugly it was. If you didn't see the game, consider yourself lucky.

Lineup Card -- Rockies @ Angels

Rockies Lineup (39-35)

  • 2B Herrera
  • 1B Helton
  • CF Gonzalez
  • DH Giambi
  • LF  Smith
  • C   Iannetta
  • 3B Stewart
  • RF Spilborghs
  • SS Barmes
Jhoulys Chacin on the mound.  

Iannetta gets the nod behind the plate.  He and Chacin have not worked well together in the past.  Hopefully that's something that'll be cleaned up today.  I'm not opposed to Iannetta getting more ABs.  Olivo is clearly slumping and tiring.  The playing time will need to be divided up a little more evenly in the coming weeks.  

Angels Lineup (42-35)
  • SS Aybar
  • 2B Kendrick
  • RF Abreu
  • CF Hunter
  • DH Matsui
  • LF Rivera
  • 1B Napoli
  • C   Mathis
  • 3B Wood
Ervin Santana on the mound.  Won't be an easy day again for the Rockies bats.  

Baylor's Mind In Other Places?

Interesting article penned by Nick Cafardo at

The article centers around Don Baylor's desire to manage again in the big leagues and his frustration with being disregarded by a number of teams with managerial openings and/or likely future managerial openings.

Baylor says...

“It’s not lack of experience,’’ said Baylor. “I have experience. I have the same desire to be on the field and to help an organization put together a winning strategy and work with a GM that has the same goal and philosophy.’’

“When you’ve managed for nine years or so and when you’ve been the Manager of the Year in the National League, there are no other issues whatsoever. None.’’

I suppose it's only natural a guy at Baylor's age who has managed in the past and desires to do so again would be frustrated by the lack on interest. That said, he has a job to do with the Colorado Rockies, and as far as I'm concerned and most Rockies fans are concerned, he's not doing his job worth a damn.

To have the gull to make public comments on wanting to manage again, while he's clearly underperforming in the role he has with the Rockies, kinda makes me sick to my stomach. Do the fricking job you have, then worry about moving on. Don't sit there and bitch about not getting promoted when you're lucky to even have the job you do have.

I'm holding my frustrations back pretty good right now, but to read this.

"I have the same desire to be on the field and to help an organization put together a winning strategy.."

Then put together a winning strategy for Rockies hitters! My God this team looks so freaking clueless at the plate sometimes and you desire to help a team put together a winning strategy? Isn't that your job now?

The Rockies really need to do everybody involved here a favor and can this guy right now. I don't want a guy coaching my team in any shape or form when his mind is 1,000 miles away. Then he can go on that wild goose chase for that job offer that isn't coming again in his lifetime.

Hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the heads up.

Garrett Atkins DFAed by Baltimore

Not surprising news out of Baltimore this morning.

The Orioles have designated former Rockie Garrett Atkins for assignment after he hit a dismal .219 with 1 home run.

I don't know how or why it went so bad for Garrett so quickly, but it's sad to see it happen.  Obviously he wasn't going to be in the Rockies plans beyond last season even if he hadn't nose-dived, but he's still a guy that was easy to root for and easy to like.

It's likely Atkins will clear waivers due to his $4.5 million salary.  Whether or not he reports to Baltimore's Triple A squad sometime this week is another story.  I can't see any teams itching to sign him at this point, so I hope he accepts the assignment to AAA and gets his game figured out.

And just to answer that inevitable question... the Rockies will have 0 interest in giving him another shot.  That ship sailed and it's not one I would expect them to revisit under any circumstances.

Now watch them trade a minor leaguer for him tomorrow.