I hadn't intercepted any Carlos Gonzolez trade talk until Troy Renck wrote about it for today's paper.
Renck reports that outlets in the East have speculated that the Colorado Rockies might make Carlos Gonzolez available to be traded for pitching, pitching and more pitching.
I think Renck wrote the article more for the strength of the headline that for the evidence he has gathered that anything genuine is in the works.
Perusing the web I was unable to find any credible writers putting forth the proposition, but I did stumble across the usual pop-up-laden, "slide show"-having, crappy National Sports Blogs breaking down potential deals that could be made. Two sites referenced a New York Post story in which the author, Joel Sherman, said that having Cargo in the trade rumor mix would make things more interesting heading towards to deadline. No shit.
In only makes sense, of course, with the miserable season the Rox are having that people would start eying them for parts. It happens to bad teams in every sport as trade deadlines near. Colorado is potentially in "rebuilding mode" and certainly needs arms desperately. But not even the Monforts and Dan O'Dowd are dumb enough to ship out the face of the Rockies franchise.
They know that, for many fans, trading Cargo would be the last straw.
They count heavily on casual fans - more so than any other sports franchise in the state. Rockies brass understands that the people filling Coors Field to watch a sub-par team struggle in 90 degree heat don't necessarily listen to sports radio or read blogs. They aren't following angry Rockies fans on Twitter. They aren't in tune to every gripe and every story line. They just enjoy going to baseball games - and chanting "Cargo".
Kids wear Gonzolez jerseys purchased by their parents for the percieved longevity of their value. Gonzolez signed a seven-year deal just last season. Folks are expecting to continue sharing his easy smile, framed in purple and black, with their children each summer for many summers to come. It's a promise the Rockies made that fans expect them to keep.
Trading Cargo would be a disaster.
Dick and Charlie Monfort and their bumbling General Manager have somehow managed not to completely alienate Rockies fans yet. But if they shipped out their best player (who happens to have a team-friendly salary) the air would be sucked out of Coors Field. It would be the last straw.
Attendance would nose-dive.
The move would be perceived as a complete and total "screw you" to a fan base that has remained head-scratchingly loyal. Nobody trusts the guys in charge to make any deal work out. Even if a trade that included Cargo was overwhelmingly one-sided in Colorado's favor it would be a huge mistake to make it.
He is an inspirational leader and a natural Rockie who's patience and willingness to help the team grow is well documented. Troy Renck captured it in this quote:
"We are going to go through hard times and learning to win together as a young team. I went through the same things a lot of these guys are going through. Some of them will be twice as good as they are now. I know people don't see it, but we have some players. These bad moments will make us better."
Cargo believes this - and that gives Rockies fans a reason to believe. Without him there's nothing left to cheer for.
I believe that the Monforts know which side their bread is buttered on. They won't trade Carlos Gonzolez. Any speculation that they might is born of the need to find discussion topics surrounding a baseball team that has become irrelevant. Irrelevant - but stunningly still beloved by its #clueless fans - even the thickest of whom would realize that the wool had been pulled over his eyes just as soon as Cargo was no longer there to distract him.