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Klee: On bright side, Colorado Rockies ownership has excuses ready

By: PAUL KLEE The Gazette
June 9, 2014 Updated: June 9, 2014 at 10:22 pm
Caption +
Colorado Rockies Troy Tulowitzki is brushed back by a pitch in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, June 9, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

DENVER — At this rate, it's fair to assume Troy Tulowitzki will trip over a dog in the driveway. Jorge De La Rosa will tumble over a bag of deer meat.

What's another one? Oh, yeah. Walt Weiss, don't dream about spiders. That once happened to Sky Sox manager Glenallen Hill, and he sliced his foot on a glass table.

These injuries are getting to be a real pain.

Are the Rockies jinxed?

"I think you've got to stay away from that type of feeling, like we're jinxed," said Weiss, the Rockies manager, in the home team's dugout/infirmary at Coors Field.

Better yet, stay away from shattered mirrors.

I had a good conversation with Nolan Arenado on Monday. We talked about his dad's influence on his baseball career. "He told me to keep working hard while I've got this," Arenado said, raising the broken finger on his left hand. It's the middle one.

Can Fernando Arenado have the same chat with the other Rockies? Because many are injured, dropping like fly balls, their record (1-10 in the past 11) following suit.

Their disabled list could help you win a fantasy league: Carlos Gonzalez (a two-time All-Star who will undergo finger surgery), Michael Cuddyer (NL batting champ placed on the DL Monday), Arenado (who will be voted into, but can't play in, his first All-Star game this season). Their disabled list could fill three-fifths of a starting rotation (at least with the Rockies): Tyler Chatwood (elbow), Brett Anderson (finger) and Jordan Lyles (on a purple couch in the clubhouse, he text messsaged with his non-broken hand).

The kicker, to the gut, arrived Monday: Eddie Butler, the righty who would be king, has an inflamed right shoulder. Butler made one start for the Rockies. Now he's on the DL. Other than that, skip, how's the season going?

"Hopefully it's not anything serious," Weiss said of Butler. "We don't think it is right now."

The Rockies are really unlucky, really fragile or really soft.

Breaking down the fantasy heavyweights, CarGo played through injury for a solid month, Cuddyer runs through walls for fun and Arenado was soaring through a career year in just his second year. Lyles cried the night of his injury. They're not soft. They feel bad.

The Rockies front office should feel worse — about the baseball it brings to Coors Field.

At this rate, Tulo will trip over the dog, and the Rockies won't win 74 games, like they did last year. Including Monday's 3-1 loss to the Braves, they had 100 games left. If they go .500, they reach 79 wins. At this rate, of injury and play, they won't.

Hill, the Sky Sox manager, once had nightmares about spiders. As a player, it led to a foot injury and put him on the DL. Perhaps his injury history comes in handy.

This season 10 players have been called up from the Sky Sox. It's June 10.

"It's good that we feel like we have guys that we can call up and pitch in a major league game. It's probably never good when you're doing it often," Weiss said. "Having to go down and bring guys up, that's just where we're at right now."

Blame the players, or Weiss, if you prefer. But I see only one constant in the past 14-plus seasons (with two playoff appearances) at Coors Field: the same ol' front office.

At this rate, the Rockies' brass can roll out its annual, aggravating line of excuses for why they are out of playoff contention long before Broncos training camp.

At this rate, with these injuries, the Rockies are playing right into their ownership's firing line. What about the pitching depth that Dick Monfort lauded from the vast Rooftop over right field? The bullpen hasn't been injured. It just stinks.

At this rate, the Rockies will have another banner season of attendance, multiple All-Stars and the grooviest party deck in baseball.

The front office will have one more thing: a long, limp list of excuses.

At this rate, that's a guarantee.


Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

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