Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Mostly Harmless
2006-08-14 17:42
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The Rockies really should have swept the weekend series against the Cubs. On Sunday, Chicago pitchers offered up ten walks to Colorado batters, including eight by starter Carlos Marmol, but the Rockies' underused bullpen (that still seems weird to write) couldn't convert the lead that was handed it. The Rockies haven't had a win streak longer than four games all season. There's not enough season left to be satisfied winning two out of three at home against bad teams (and the Cubs are a bad team this year), especially against schmoes like Marmol. I was stretching out my fingers to write a real triumphant sweep post late in the game yesterday and my team couldn't seal the deal. The series against the Cubs makes for 3 of the 4 games all season when Coors Field is full. A sweep would have sent some sort of message to all of the many vague baseball fans in the Denver area who just show up for the annual Kubby Karavan Travelling Medicine Show and Base Ball Exhibition. A message has been sent, but it's the wrong one: we're still not ready for prime time. Please resume hyperventilating about Jay Cutler.

Here's a move that sends all the wrong signals: the Rockies have signed Vinny Castilla to a minor-league deal. Castilla was released by the Padres, a team even more offensively challenged than Colorado, after hitting worse than many pitchers all season long. Vinny is done. Vinny was done when he left Colorado the first time. Unless the Rockies are attempting to start some sort of mutant Reputation! team in the Springs with Castilla and Kaz Matsui, this move makes zero sense. Garrett Atkins (who hit a four-run home run on Sunday) should be playing every day. Vinny doesn't hit well enough to sub at first and playing him in the outfield would be disastrous. The only possible reason for giving Castilla, who by the way is done, a contract is sentiment, and there is no place for sentiment in big business. I thought the Rockies were over the era of misdirected loyalty to mediocre veterans. I thought they were running a baseball club here, not a Purple Pride theme park. Castilla is done. Disco done. And he wasn't even that good for Colorado in the first place. If Castilla plays in even a single game when the Rockies are still mathematically in playoff contention, I'll...well, I don't know what I'll do. I'll write another, even longer paragraph where I'll call him done eight or nine more times. Because he is. Done. Castilla is.

Next up, Arizona, who like the rest of the division have beguiled Colorado this season. They're certainly not the only team that can make this complaint, but the Rockies would be in great shape if they just didn't have to play the NL West so much. They're 22-28 in the division and and 35-32 otherwise, anchored by a bizarre 11-4 interleague mark. Bizarre because this was the season the AL opened an absolute can of Carnation Instant Whoop-Ass on the NL in interleague play. I don't want the Rockies in the AL however. It would be nice to even out the leagues, and get rid of the gimmicky "pod" system for interleague they have now, but the Astros are the natural choice to move and besides you know if Colorado played full-time in the junior circuit, Vinny Castilla would be the everyday DH. The dude is done.

2006-08-14 20:18:26
1.   Kels
Wow. I'm not a big fan of Jose Mesa.

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