Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Links and Things: Dan O'Dowd speaks!

After a busy week that included trading for Marco Scutaro, the Rockies fell mostly silent over the past seven days. Well, at least from an on field transaction standpoint. We did hear a few words from general manager Dan O'Dowd, who spoke to 850 KOA's Dave Krieger about the Rockies offseason game plan and team chemistry things. 

That article leads off the links this week. Hopefully it doesn't swing at the first pitch. 

1. Dan O'Dowd: Rockies got rid of players who didn't "get it". 850 KOA

A lot of silly and pointless debates went on over Twitter over one specific comment O'Dowd made during this column.

"Quite honestly, I just feel like we needed to address our culture more than anything. We certainly need to address our talent, but I think talent becomes secondary if your culture is not where it needs to be. I think we had too many players, not naming anybody, that were more worried about collecting service time than actually worried about winning and playing the game the right way."

Actually, it was more over three little words: "talent becomes secondary".

Listen, folks, it's not difficult to understand what he's saying when you think about it in the proper context. He's not saying talent isn't among the most important factors in evaluating baseball players and putting the best roster together. What he is saying is that you have to also account for wasted and underachieving talent weighing the entire team down, which is exactly what the Rockies have been dealing with for the past two seasons.

What leads to wasted talent? Players the don't "get it". Simple. Players that don't put in the extra work to maximize their abilities. Players that, as he worded, are more worried about collecting service time. O'Dowd knows who's putting in the work, and he's absolutely correct when he says talent comes secondary when individuals aren't working to improve themselves, to improve the team, and when they're surrounded by too many people who approach the game the same way they do.

I get it. I have no problem with a word he said there. I understand the Rockies parted with a lot of "talent" (much of it wasted or unrealized) this offseason, and I agree they could have exercised more patience with certain players. But you can't wait forever. Sometimes you have to evaluate players beyond the raw talent and move on. Sometimes you're going to be wrong making that assessment. Sometimes that assessment is what finally motivates the player to work harder. But you can't be afraid to do it.

After last year's disaster, now was the time to make those decisions. Dan O'Dowd will have to live with the results, and I'm more than he's comfortable with that.

2. MLB.com brings us a few bloopers from Rockies fantasy camp. .

They could have labeled that "2011 Colorado Rockies highlights" and we probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. Hence the reason for our #1 item this week.

3. 49-year-old Rogers Clemens made headlines this weekend by throwing a perfect inning - with two strikeouts - against the current Texas Longhorns in the school's annual alumni game. I'm starting to think the Rockies may have signed the wrong 49-year-old. Big League Stew

4. For those who get excited about uniform numbers, Troy Renck has the rundown for 2012. Denver Post

5. Dusty Saunders writes a nice piece on Alanna Rizzo, who left Roots Sports this week for a new gig with the MLB Network. Congrats and best wishes go out to Alanna. Denver Post

6. Travis Lay - apparently a Cubs fan writing for a Rockies blog - reviewed 100 Things Rockies Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die. Blake Street Bulletin

By the way, I was a bit of a Cubs and White Sox fan before the Rockies existed. I had absolutely no trouble making the switch when the opportunity presented itself in 1990.

7. Michelle Hoag takes us back to May 30, 1993 with her Rockies Retread. The game profiled really stunk, but the write-up is a really fun read. RoxPile