Football season is upon us again in Colorado, which means that for all intents and purposes baseball season is over. The Rockies were more than halfway into their run last season before it occurred to most Denver-area sports fans that it was happening, and with no run forthcoming this season they might as well preempt the rest of the Rockies telecasts on FSRM in favor of further ultimate fighting reruns.
The Dodgers are in first place. Didn't we just finish throwing the last handful of dirt on those guys? They're kind of like this year's Rockies, only last year's Rockies were a genuine Cinderella. This year's Dodgers really had no business floundering around behind the Diamondbacks for as long as they did, given their resource advantages. (Then again the Diamondbacks had no right to be as poor offensively as they have been given all the super awesome prospects they are supposed to have.)
The footnote to this battle of the bumblers for the '08 NL West crown is the Rockies, who really have no excuse for not showing up to what amounts to a knife fight contested with sporks. The Rockies are defending NL champions, and as we've gone over a million times before, they did absolutely nothing to bolster their roster to keep that crown, unless you count re-signing the impactless Yorvit Torrealba and dredging up a bunch of execrable starting pitchers who were injured most of the time and hurt the team even more when they actually were well enough to pitch.
I hate to keep pounding it into the ground, but as Rockies hats keep disappearing off heads to be replaced -- probably permanently -- with those of the Avs and Broncos, it's hard to control my anger. This disappointing season didn't have to happen, especially given how low the bar was set by the Rockies' in-division "competition." All management had to do was lay out a little bit of money on two or three replacement-level starters, money they clearly have with the huge surge in ticket and merchandise sales. But nope.
Blaming Troy Tulowitzki's injury, or Jeff Francis's, misses the point. Teams lose their stars all the time, and sometimes it happens at the beginning of the season. The thing that keeps season-destroying slides from continuing is pitching depth. Both Arizona and Los Angeles have demonstrated that in their own ways.
The good thing, I suppose, is that little to no damage has been done for next year. Willy Taveras is still on the roster, and that definitely is a big handicap we'd like to see excised before spring training '09 begins. But Ubaldo Jimenez has shown a lot of improvement in the second half, Aaron Cook is the man, and the low-key Francis seems like a good bet to recover next year and pitch effectively. However -- after those three, it can't be Kip Wells, Livan Hernandez, or anybody with "de" in their last names. It shouldn't be Franklin Morales, either, at least until the kid demonstrates an ability to throw strikes on a regular basis in the minor leagues. That means management is responsible for acquiring two -- three would be better -- starters who don't completely suck. That will cost twenty to twenty-five million dollars. If they say they don't have it, they're lying.
Random unrelated bit: This fad with leaving the size and price stickers on baseball caps has got to stop. You kids look like idiots. Apparently knowing the correct way to prepare and wear a cap went out for rappers at the same time actually being able to rap did.