The mantra around the Colorado Rockies is, we need to get on a hot streak. The 51-57 Rockies are now 7.5 games out of first place in the National League West Division, the weakest in baseball. However, everyone around the club keeps echoing that the Rockies are one streak away from competing again. As a rule, this is a bad philosophy for baseball, but it is standard line for the Rockies.
In his Sunday column, Terry Frei quoted first year manager Walt Weiss as saying, “We have to go on a run here at some point.” Bill Geivett, the Rockies director of Major League operations has been saying as much in interviews over the last few weeks. Both the Rockies television radio and television coverage has also mentioned the need for a streak to get the club back on track.
The Rockies franchise lives and dies by the streak. Of course, the franchise’s proudest moment was the 2007 run. The Rockies ultimately won 20 out of 21 games to end the season, needing an extra game to make the playoffs and ultimately the World Series. The club’s only other playoff berth in the new millennium required an amazing record of 74-42 under new manager Jim Tracy to secure the wild card. On the other side of the coin, a bad losing streak to end the season in 2010 kept that year’s Rockies team out of the playoffs.
The logic that the Rockies are one streak away from being a team ready to compete with the elite should be laughable at this point. You will not hear that logic from the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers or other elite franchises in baseball. Over 162 games, baseball is the ultimate game of consistency. Finding a way to best a .550 winning percentage is hard to fake with such a large sample size. At the end of such a long season, the law of averages usually wins out and the best teams rise to the top.
Just for argument’s sake, imagine the Rockies do go on a hot streak and the bats come alive. Is this team, which is averaging fewer runs at home than the second rate line up of the 98 loss team a year ago, really ready to compete consistently? Unless fans are hoping that the Rockies turn into the Miami Marlins, who have dumped the rosters of two World Series teams, the organization should be held to a higher standard than below .500 play with a couple of historic winning streaks.
The Rockies 13-4 start was impressive, but the .417 winning percentage over the last 90 games has definitely become the norm for this team. Even with vastly improved pitching, the Rockies of the last three and a half months would finish only four games better than last years club with their weak bats. That is not simply a matter of a hot streak.
Contractors of this post will point to me and say that I’m a perpetrator of the false, Rockies Horror Picture Show, image that Colorado’s front office likes to dismiss. The media is out to get the Rockies because they do not have the appropriate trust in the organization. I am heavily critical of this team because they refuse to learn from their own mistakes. They can no longer blame their problems on the managerial style, hitting coaches or injuries. This team needs a new change in attitude.
The Rockies are streaky at best and at worst are an organization in denial.