Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
At Least They Play a Lot of Games
2008-07-01 15:18
by Mark T.R. Donohue

That's one good thing about baseball -- there's no chance your team could go winless, and if you go to more than two or three games a season, you'll see them win in person at least once. That's all we've got to hang on to now, the pleasant momentary tang of one win at a time. It would take nineteen straight wins at this point to return the Rockies to .500, so small victories are all we're likely to see for the rest of this season.

After I took such pains to write something hopeful about the series with San Diego, suggesting that at least the Padres were incapable of shelling Colorado pitching, they went out and laid 15 on the Rockies last evening. I don't know what to make of that. It does seem like my team has returned to the foggy murk with major league baseball's other unloved flyover teams, leaving us right back where we began. I don't think injuries alone can be blamed anymore for the team's poor performance, but rather poor planning and perhaps a dash of hubris. I sincerely hope they don't lose 100 games, but it's not the All-Star break yet and they're alread burning out their third string of retread starters and emergency callups. A more sincere effort to maintain and improve upon the degree of pitching continuity that the Rockies fell upon in the second half last season may or may not have prevented this rapid retreat.

Former Rockies not-so-great Shawn Chacon is in the news again as the player's union has filed a grievance claiming that the termination of his contract with the Astros was unlawful. Chacon, you may have heard, unloaded upon Houston GM Ed Wade in the clubhous last week. Colorado native Chacon had some good moments with the Rockies, but was also mentally tampered with to an unfair degree. Longer-tenured Colorado fans may recall with fond terror the 2004 season, in which Shawn was converted to closer following a mildly successful season in the rotation. The stats are memorable: 1-9 record, 7.11 ERA, 1.7 HR/9. The Rockies left him out there all season and even claimed that the fact that he had 35 saves showed he was hanging in there. After an injury-plagued start to the next year, Chacon was traded to New York and seemed to have found redemption as he put in a string of useful starts for the Yankees. He couldn't put it together the next year and has bounced around since, now apparently bruised to the degree that he takes his frustration out on defenseless old baseball men.

I can't help but wonder if Shawn Chacon's career might not have gone better if the Rockies hadn't decide to perform pschological experiments on him for a year instead of leaving him in the rotation where he belonged. Did his old club's misuse drive Shawn Chacon to Wade-pushing, or was he a bad seed from the start? When the Rockies shipped him out of Denver, they tried to send that impression through their puppets in the local papers. But a few years before that, before the closer thing and the injuries, he was the hero ascendent, the system-developed ace Jeff Francis was also supposed to be and Ubaldo Jimenez probably isn't. Greg Reynolds holds the torch now. Don't let us down, kid! Don't end up attacking Pat Gillick with a broken beer bottle in a couple of years.

2008-07-01 19:55:43
1.   thinkblue88
Wow, what a great game by Aaron Cook thus far.
69 pitches
2008-07-02 07:20:09
2.   Kels
I think it's time we went to the 3-man rotation and just let Cookie pitch every other day...but I have no idea who the other two starters should be...
2008-07-02 09:24:09
3.   Woden325
2 Why not wheel out Aaron every day?
Seriously, that was a brilliant game.

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