If you've been a Rockies fan for longer than a year, you know the drill this time of the season. It's all about waiting for the trades. The other day on "Around the Horn," Woody Paige started frothing randomly about Brian Fuentes in response to a question about the Tampa Bay Rays. I'm with Woody: I can't wait for all of the non-fan midsummer nonsense to get over with so we can start picking apart the Rockies' roster for worthy trade bait.
Matt Holliday probably isn't going anywhere. It makes me sort of uncomfortable to share it with anyone, but I feel pretty strongly that if the current regime remains in power Holliday is going to end up walking at the end of next year with the Rockies receiving nothing. It just seems like the sort of series of mistakes that Dan O'Dowd and the Monforts are likely to compound. They'll have a vague notion of re-signing him, but no understanding of what it will actually cost, and then when other teams start bidding in the winter of '09 they'll be utterly shocked that anyone would value one of the best hitters in the National League so highly. And then he'll go.
That's depressing to think about, right? I don't know if it makes me any happier that O'Dowd is certain to pull the trigger on a Fuentes trader and Garrett Atkins may go as well. The Rockies are in a strange position. Their pitching clearly needs to get a lot better, but this season has demonstrated that their offense is terribly fragile as well. The loss of one or two of their few consistent contributors like Holliday and Atkins might sink them utterly. That puts O'Dowd in the somewhat difficult position of needing to get both major-league ready position players and medium-range pitching prospects in trade. If the Rockies trade what's left of their lineup and their bullpen they're going to sink like a stone this season, and they were already kind of approaching the bottom.
Will Clint Hurdle make any hilarious managerial mistakes in the fake game tonight? Will anyone viewing or announcing notice if he does? Man, I hate the All-Star Game so much. Maybe if I had been alive back when it meant something, I might not, but now it's just another night with no actual baseball on, something I can't support. Also the level to which ESPN and MLB's marketing department have misinterpreted what makes the sport unique and lovable hurts my brain.
I suppose after the break is over I'm going to have to start paying closer attention to what's going on in the various division races. I've been watching Rockies games, or checking the box scores when a work conflict causes me to miss them, and going one day at a time. They won? Oh good. They lost? Oh, not again. But now that I have more or less accepted that the Rockies won't be exploring the larger world of competitive baseball this season I guess it's time that I acknowledge the teams that are.