If Dick and Charlie Monfort sincerely love the state in which they were born and they care about the Colorado Rockies and the team’s millions of fans, they should sell the franchise.
The grim brothers can’t succeed.
And it wouldn’t be the first time the Monfort family has sold a Colorado business to make a substantial profit.
The staggering Rockies will complete the franchise’s 30th season of existence without a division title and as one of the worst organizations in the sport. The Roxslide in 2022 will cause the 17th year with 87-98 losses, the 25th season without a postseason and the 26th time in third, fourth or fifth.
The Rockies will reach the 2,500th defeat of their regular-season and playoff games.
How much longer?
Four alliances that attempted to own another sports franchise in Denver should consider becoming purchasers of the Rox. The Josh Harris group, brothers Mat and Justin Ishbia, the Jose Feliciano/Behdad Eghbali connection and a consortium led by Dodgers’ part-owner Todd Boehly would all be excellent prospects.
The Broncos sold to the Walton-Penner group for $4.65 billion. The Rockies are valued by Forbes Magazine at $1.385 billion, ranked 20th in baseball.
The seven Pat Bowlen children each gross 11.1% of the Broncos’ deal.
Richard and Charles, who have seven children (four sons and three daughters), inherited fortunes from their late father Ken, the Greeley meat-packing baron who sold the family company in 1987.
Charlie, who hasn’t been actively involved with the Rockies for more than a decade, was an original ownership partner and claimed he was the highest investor at $20 mil. Dick later would buy out bankrupt owner Oren Benton. Then the brothers purchased the shares of Jerry McMorris, whose trucking company became insolvent.
The Monforts have turned a sizeable profit. The franchise, valued by Forbes in 2003 at $304 million, has risen by a billion dollars in 20 seasons.
In 2011 the 68-year-old Dick replaced brother Charlie, who is 62, as managing owner/chairman/CEO. Dick will lead the Rockies to only two brief playoff appearances (2017-2018) in his dozen years.
The Rox are 8-16 since the All-Star break and last in the National League West with a 51-66 record. At its current pitiful pace, the team would end up 71-91 for the second season in four. The Rockies are tied for second with the fewest number of road victories (18) after winning just 26 in 2021.
The Rockies were the only team in baseball not to make a trade by the deadline. Throughout Monfort’s reign, the Rockies have traded away All-Stars Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado (plus $50 million) and allowed Tulowitzki’s successor, Trevor Story, and DJ LeMahieu and Jon Gray to leave as free agents. Kris Bryant fanboy Monfort signed him to a $182 mil contract. He has played 42 games.
Keeping the six veterans who will become free agents after the season, the Rox declined to bolster a farm system that has ranked in the 20s for several years.
In 2014, Monfort responded to an email from a frustrated follower with: “By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise. May be time for it to find a new home.’’
Monfort walked back his snarky statement, saying: "I don’t even have an idea what I meant to say. What I meant was maybe we, the owners, don’t deserve a franchise.’’
Perhaps, based on performance, the pops-and-sons operation doesn’t warrant a baseball team. Dick intends someday to turn over the franchise to sons Walker, 38 and VP of corporate partnerships, and 30-year-old Sterling, who was named director of professional scouting this year.
The Monforts are about “Baseball in the Family’’ as the Pat Bowlen trust sought in the NFL. But the bickering Bowlens couldn’t reach an agreement, and the sale of the franchise officially was closed last week.
Stan Kroenke is still the owner of the Avalanche, the Nuggets, the Rapids and Arsenal, and son Josh has titles of vice chairman, governor or director.
Currently, Rob Walton is the Broncos’ principal owner, with son-in-law Greg Penner as CEO and daughter Carrie Walton Penner in the ownership group.
The Broncos were extremely impressed with the Feliciano/Eghbali partners, who have an estimated combined net worth of $7.7 billion.
Want to buy into baseball?