Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Rockies 9, Phillies 2
2005-07-31 16:58
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The Rockies avoid the sweep thanks to a 9-run inning off of Jon Lieber and another solid home start by Jeff Francis. Omar Quintanilla was 1 for 3 in his first game with the big club. Ryan Shealy was 2 for 4. Dustan Mohr had a double and a homer but sadly was not traded. J.D. Closser responded to his near-demotion with a 2 for 4 day including a double.

The big news today is no news at all. The Rockies were unable to move Larry Bigbie, Mohr, or Desi Relaford. The official site has a bill of sale to present to you on this issue. Don't believe the hype. Colorado bungled this trade season badly and if there was any justice in the world heads would roll for it. Zach Day, J.J. Davis, Bigbie, and miscellaneous Yankee "prospects" are not building blocks for the future. Quintanilla is going to be a good one (and even right now, he's approximately a million billion times better than Aaron Miles), but whatever happened with Boston, the fact is the organization is now saddled with more singles-hitting tweener outfielders than they could possibly have any use for. They still don't have a catcher. And, extraordinarily, they've failed to add even a single acceptable starting pitcher candidate (Day doesn't count) even while sending off Shawn Chacon and Joe Kennedy.

I watched ESPNews all day today and not a mention was made of the shoddy handling Boston made of their "agreed-upon" deal with O'Dowd. The sad fact is nobody cares when a successful team with a national following reams one run by gibbering idiots. They expect it, actually. Still, would you rather be a fan of the Rockies, who gave up a roll call of popular players for basically nothing, or Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay, who refused to back down on their demands for solid returns and ended up doing not much at all?

Except for Mohr, whom I suppose is not too long of a shot for a waiver deal, the Rockies' lineup today reflected the youth movement that we've been promised since before spring training started. About time. With Shoppach off the board, there is no defensible reason for not giving J.D. Closser the bulk of the starts at catcher the rest of the year. Atkins-Luis Gonzalez-Q-Ryan Shealy isn't a bad little infield. Matt Holliday should stay a fixture in left. Bigbie, Jorge Piedra, and Cory Sullivan will have to work it out amongst themselves who will grab the other spot after Brad Hawpe returns. Still, and I can't emphasize this enough: We already had options for the infield. We already had a bunch of slap-hitting outfielders. We already have demonstrated that a decent to good Coors bullpen can be assembled using smoke, the Rule 5 draft, and mirrors. Where's our catcher? Where's our strikeout starting staff? For whom does the bell toll, Dan O'Dowd? It tolls for thee.

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