“The Monforts won’t sell, but you don’t have to buy.”
The Rockies 2014 season ground to a sparking, screeching, halt two Sundays ago in a, you guessed it, loss to the Dodgers. And despite the horrific nature of the sad, yet expected tumble into the trash heap that was this season, fans have just shrugged their shoulders and quietly moved on.
But not this fan.
Despite decades of miscues, and years of dreadful performances, this season was truly an atrocity. But the torturous losing streaks and ineptitude aside, fans were treated to the owner of the Colorado Rockies, Dick Monfort, telling them they didn’t deserve a team and maybe he should move the Rockies somewhere else. Please do Dick. You won’t be missed. And I’ll bet my life there will be a line around the block of billionaires willing to pony up for the cash cow that is Denver baseball.
We all lived through the 2014 season so I won’t recount its horrors here.
I’m more concerned with the organization’s astounding lack of vision and its inability to fire incompetent front office personnel. The Atlanta Braves fired its GM after a disappointing season. The Arizona Diamondbacks, hot on the heels of hiring Tony La Russa to be its Chief Baseball Officer, fired its GM and manager because it knew it needed to go in another direction. The Rockies? The team’s GM has been with the club since Bill Clinton has been President. Bill Clinton. Some teams will fire a GM if there’s even a hint of getting into a rut. The Rockies will use contact cement to put its GM’s name on his office door and give him his own bed down in the humidor.
This is unacceptable in so many ways but the Rockies can’t see what the rest of us have witnessed for a long time. Why can’t they? Because they don’t want to. The Monforts make so much money trotting out the same sorry product, driven by the same incompetent dullards there’s no reason to change. But they also don’t know how to change and this is key. After Keli McGregor died unexpectedly, Dick Monfort assumed command of the team’s daily operations and it was a disastrous mistake on several crucial levels. Give a rich egomaniac the ultimate power in a business that he really doesn’t understand and it will go down the toilet in quick fashion. But since Coors Field is clean, well run and the booze is flowing in the beautiful Colorado sun, people continue to show up. The baseball may be a constant catastrophe but even a moron like Monfort couldn’t screw that up.
But the baseball side of the business is always such a bitter debacle, the Rockies make the Raiders look like the Denver Broncos. Dick can’t understand this because he doesn’t understand baseball. He wouldn’t know the first thing about looking for a new GM because his little world doesn’t extend past the Party Deck on one side and the Helton burger on the other. A decent GM candidate would have to come knocking and ask for a job for Dick to hire anyone outside the organization and this just isn’t happening. He is content to play baseball owner like a low rent Joffrey Baratheon and load his cash into his vault with a bulldozer.
Pat Bowlen made this mistake after he fired Mike Shanahan. When he and his buddy Joe Ellis assumed control of the team, they hired Josh McDaniels and sat back expecting more of the same from a franchise that has always experienced excellence. Well the McDaniels era went south quickly and Bowlen and Ellis realized just as fast that they had made a mistake. But instead of twiddling their thumbs and spiraling deeper down the hole, the Broncos made the swift and decisive decision to fire McDummy and look to someone competent to run the team. If they hadn’t, it would have done irreparable damage to a well-respected franchise because they would have deeply alienated the fan base that put them where they are.
The Rockies have never been a well-respected franchise, but fans still love them and they will endure one losing season after another and insults from the owner just to sit in the sun at Coors Field. Denver is a sports town through and through and sports fans want to enjoy one of our nation’s best sports. But the Monforts will never do anything improve the team because they simply don’t know how. And due to their arrogance, they won’t hire anyone to do this heavy lifting for them.
But even the dumbest, most apologetic of Rockies fans know that the current front office needs to be fired and some new blood needs to be brought in. It should have already happened two years ago so we can’t reasonably expect it to happen anytime soon. So what does a Denver sports fan do about it?
Stop going to the games. I know Coors Field is lovely, but it’s time to stop supporting this madness. I’ve professed all along that it’s unfair to ask people not to go. No more. Even though television rights are where the Monforts make their money, liquor and concessions are probably next on that list and if there aren’t 20K people sucking down expensive beers every night, Dick will notice. And if you do have to go to the games, don’t spend a dime while you’re in there. Bring in your own snacks and water, and enjoy the game without putting any money in their pockets because they are currently laughing their asses off looking at their bank statements from this year.
Now is the time to finally stop going until something, anything is done to change the backward culture of losing down on Blake street. As a fan, it’s the only thing left to do and as unpleasant as it sounds, if you keep going, they’ll keep going. The Rockies could be a great team with the greatest ball park and fans in the majors. But it will never happen with the current front office. The Monforts won’t sell, but you don’t have to buy. You’ll get that itch again in March but don’t scratch it and make 2015 the year you boycott the Rockies and maybe, just maybe there will be a change.