Dick Monfort must have the Rocky Mountain oysters to fire himself and Jeff Bridich.
And the controlling owner of the Rockies must have the strength of character to hire Josh Byrnes as club president and Logan White as executive vice president/general manager.
The crucible changes are necessary for a franchise stuck in a Hard Rox Life.
The Rockies finished their 28th consecutive season – every year in team history – without winning the National League West and ended up fourth, fifth or sixth for the 16th season.
The Rockies are the only current franchise in Major League Baseball that has not won a division championship or a World Series.
They play baseless ball.
Enough already of Dick & Jeff.
Oh, sure, the Roxheads possessed the best record in the most bizarre season for the first 14 games (11-3), but in the final 46 games, they returned to normalcy with the game’s worst record (15-31) and went out on their bellies.
They smelled like the old Monfort meatpacking company in Greeley. In fact, nine games transformed Coors Field into Slaughterhouse 13 – with the Rockies allowing 12, 13, 13, 10, 10, 13, 9, 15 and, ye gads, 23 runs.
Local television viewership of the Rockies, according to Forbes.com, dropped 18 percent in 2019 and another whopping 24 percent this season, despite nobody being able to attend games and everyone sitting at home. Yet the local broadcasting network that switches its name regularly signed a new, multiyear contract.
After the Rockies compiled a horrendous 71-91 record a season ago, Monfort got up on his soapbox at an event in Greeley in February and predicted that his club, based on an analytical analysis by his staff, would win 94 games in 2020. The owner-CEO-chairman-hands-on-head-cheerleader of the Rox was so bold even after he and Bridich admitted they would be spending no funds on star free agents or in trades for quality starting and relief pitching.
I thought Monfort was joking because the Rockies looked to be a joke.
Then the coronavirus threw a curveball at the National Pastime in spring training shortly after I visited and watched a team lacking in talent and potential.
The game’s commissioner and owners handled the dire pandemic situation poorly, posturing and postponing and pretending that Astros and Red Sox cheating didn’t stain baseball’s reputation.
Finally, the season was scheduled.
My column in mid-July for The Gazette stated: “I’ve got the Rox at 26-34, with the same winning percentage (.438) as a season ago.’’ Bootlickers believed the Rox would win 30-plus games and be included in the bonus, eight-team playoff setup.
Monfort did not refine his asinine extrapolation, instead shutting up and shutting down, and Bridich, of course, was too busy refusing to talk to the public and the press and proving that just because he was an Ivy Leaguer doesn’t make him a Major Leaguer. “The Brain" was mindless in his relationship with future Hall of Fame Nolan Arenado, who, if Bridich stays, will be gone before or after next season, along with shortstop Trevor Story, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at 2021’s conclusion.
With Arenado trying to play through a serious shoulder injury and Story attempting to carry the impotent offense, and with only a legitimate three-man rotation and a bullpen that belonged in a bullring with the barber of Seville, the Rockies became overmatched 15 games into the shortened season.
Bridich dumped his $100 million veteran relievers, whose acquisitions now must make Monfort mad.
However, Monfort seemed more concerned this season about promoting his downtown office-hotel-entertainment complex, which costs more than lousy relievers, a defenseless first baseman and a passel of common players. The project’s name was virtually projected shoddily on the mound, behind home plate and down the baseline on the telecast of every home game.
The Rockies tanked, but not by design.
According to MLB Pipeline and other websites, the Rockies have baseball’s 28th to 29th worst minor league player system.
Monfort and Bridich should be humiliated and humbled enough to resign from their executive roles. But they won’t.
Byrnes and White have proven to be accomplished baseball administrators, particularly lately with the Dodgers and the Padres.
Monfort has to be a hands-off owner, and Bridich should be a send-off GM.
Dick, please let professionals take over the pile of Rox.