The Blake Street Worm Turners can’t twist and twirl in the wind beyond the All-Star break interlude.
They must win 60 percent of their final 73 games to become a six-time wild-card club. They’ll have to rock the rest of July and August and September to reach October.
The manager, who has the same name as the Budworm, can’t continue to allow his team to play at the .500 clip of the past 30-plus games. Bud Black’s confidence in the Colorado Rockies hasn’t waned, however, as he stated recently: “The worm will turn. I know that.’’
Black will require more leadership skills from Jeff “The Brain’’ Bridich, who has assured us, through one of the Rox lackeys, that he knows considerably more about baseball than beat writers and, I assume, sports columnists and tool-and-die makers and those of you who pay for tickets to get into the ballpark. But, then, The Brain graduated from Harvard.
After all, Jeff spent $94 million for a couple of 30something middle infielders, former All-Stars, and forced them to transform into mediocre first basemen. Neither has gotten a sniff of being an All-Star in Colorado.
Can’t anybody around here play first base or center field?
“Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’’ couldn’t compare to Ian and Daniel Go On Defense.
After moving again, from first to center field, Ian Desmond remains quite adventurous. Every fly ball is a mishap waiting to occur. Willie Mays’ glove is where triples would go to die. Desmond’s vast wasteland is where doubles go to live. Lately he dropped a ball, already in his glove, a T-ball player catches, and he drifted like a kite in missing another that cost the Rockies a chance at victory against the Astros. Desi, who plays more like Lucy, is tied for most errors (4) among National League center fielders — because official scorers feel pity for the first man so out of position since Dan Quayle — with an “e’’.
The 33-year-old Desmond is the oldest starting center fielder in the world’s largest home center field. Willie Mays Hayes would be an upgrade.
Daniel Murphy has eight errors because, at 34, he has the limited range of a basset hound on a leash and the scoop of a clam digger. He should use an oven mitt.
The two have elevated their batting averages to the high .200s, but both own negative WARs on offense and defense. Of course, backup Mark Reynolds, another botched Bridich signing, is batting .169.
They contribute to the Rockies being tied for eighth in defense instead of their usual first or second ranking. The loss of a starting second baseman, a Gold Glove winner, the second hitter in the lineup and an ex-NL batting champion certainly damaged the Rox.
During The Brain drain, Bridich forgot to even call or text DJ LeMahieu, who has become the latest pride of the Yankees and an AL MVP front-runner. He could be the only player to win batting titles in both leagues. He got Murphy money from New York.
Then, there’s the testy trouble of the pitching staff, which has the highest earned-run average (5.21) and opponents’ batting average (.270) and the fewest saves (16) and strikeouts (710) in the National League.
Friday night the Rockies were incinerated in the desert for eight runs. Foes have scored that many or more 17 times (19.6 percent).
Where’s Bridich now?
Mustn’t trade any of those precious draft choices for a big-league pitcher.
The National League West has been done for months.
Yet, the Rockies did possess a nearly identical record at this date last season. Difference was, their rotation, with Kyle Freeland, was superior, and the defense, with LeMahieu, was tighter. They are competing with the Diamondbacks, even the Padres, the Cubs or the Brewers, the Cardinals, the Phillies and the Nationals for two wild-card slots.
In 2018 the Rox were scorching in July (17-6) and September (19-9), sandwiched around a 14-14 August. They’ll need the same finishing flourish, which means additions from outside the organization. Rockies ownership can afford it because they’re sixth overall in home attendance at 1,583,657 (with many thanks to loyalists for the enemies).
Forget the worm turn. The Rockies must turn the beat around. Gloria Estefan and the rest of us know that.