Here Goes Something

This is no time for celebration
This is no time for shaking hands
This is no time for back slapping
This is no time for marching bands

This is no time for phony rhetoric
This is no time for political speech
This is the time for action

Because the future’s within reach

This is the time.
                    Lou Reed (American) 1942-2013, “There is No Time,” New York, 1989

The Toronto Blue Jays and Troy Tulowitzki are the winners in the American League East, and they’ll be hosting the Texas Rangers, champions of the West, on Thursday.  The Houston Astros play the Yankees in New York tomorrow at 6:00 (all times MDT) for the opportunity to challenge the Kansas City Royals, also Thursday, starting in Kansas City.  The New York Mets ran away with the National League East, and they’ll travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine Friday evening at 7:30.  The long-suffering Chicago Cubs visit the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at 6:00, and the winner travels forward to St Louis to take on the lordly Cardinals at 4:30 in the afternoon, also Friday.

The Colorado Rockies finished their 2015 on-field duties on Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, defeating the World Champions with a 9th inning rally in a contest that can only be described as bizarre, 7-3 after trailing 3-0 for the first 8-1/3.  Colorado went 2-4 in the final week, getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but taking 2 of 3 from the Giants.

The Rockies turned in another miserable season, finishing 68-94 and last in the NL West.  It was their 3rd finish in the basement in 5 years, and also their 3rd 90 loss season over that span.  So you don’t need to check, they finished 4th the other 2 times, and when they weren’t losing 90 they lost 88 and 89.  It’s been a rough stretch.

Nolan Arenado had an MVP quality year, leading the league in RBI and tying Bryce Harper with 42 big flies.  Carlos Gonzalez got healthy just about the time Tulowitzki was moved to Toronto for pitching prospects and Jose Reyes, and also flirted with the home run crown, falling short with 40.  DJ LeMahieu emerged as a top-shelf major-leaguer and All Star, and Charlie Blackmon gave notice his 2014 all-star campaign was no fluke.  Chad Bettis and Chris Rusin arrived in May when Colorado’s original starting 5 imploded after about 3 turns through the rotation, and they look like major leaguers as well, although Rusin was disturbingly inconsistent.  Ben Paulsen came on in June when Justin Morneau went down.  He also looks like he’s here to stay.

Despite the misery, the Rockies achieved a key accomplishment, substantially increasing the value of the assets they have on-hand.  Consider the relative value of Tulowitzki, Arenado, Gonzalez, LeMahieu and Blackmon 12 months ago versus that of today.  Tulo and Cargo were hurt, injury prone, and worth pretty much zero.  Arenado certainly had strong value, but I don’t know many people who were talking about 40 homers and 130 RBI.  Blackmon had had a good year but nothing in his resumé to back it up, and LeMahieu was an all-field/no-hit “nice little player” who wasn’t turning any heads.  We’ve already seen what Tulowitzki was able to return, and as carp has been schooling us for months, Cargo’s value has got to be Through the Roof considering the market and his relatively modest contract situation. Nobody’s talking about moving Arenado but you can certainly imagine what kind-of a haul he might produce.  And Blackmon and LeMahieu ought to be worth a couple of prospects each.

Perversely, Colorado is in an envious position.  What hasn’t changed is the Rockies have no hope of contending the way they’re currently constructed (and if anybody doubts that I’m wondering where you’re shopping for your stuff these days).  But in contrast to recent dismal off-seasons, this time there are assets to deal.  The planets are in alignment!  There’s no benefit in the present to hanging onto the assets, and everything to be gained from swapping them for reinforcements to deploy in the future.  This is the time.

It’s been suggested Colorado has actually been in rebuild mode for several years now.  Could it be we’ve seen little progress to-date because there’s been nothing to deal with?  Did the effort to build off the miracle finish in 2007 doom us so severely that we’re only now seeing the means to dig out?

This was supposed to be the year we got to see what the Rockies could do with Tulo and Cargo healthy. Jeff Bridich made a curious comment when interviewed about the Tulowitzki deal, remarking that Toronto’s proposal was really “the first time anybody offered anything that was worth listening to.” And he seized on it, harvesting Tulo’s value as soon as the opportunity presented itself.  But wait a minute, Gonzalez wasn’t yet healthy (we didn’t know that but the Rockies certainly did)!  No, we never did get to see Tulo and Cargo healthy together.  The Rockies were moving on.

There’s a long road ahead, and it’s going to suck, but that’s OK, we’re used to sucking.  We’ve been sucking for years.  We can take it.  Because we remember that feeling.  We remember Rocktober.

This is the time.

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jaredean
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jaredean

Jeem, love that recap of the season and your thoughts on the future. I’m always happy to see a Lou Reed quote and the word “Perversely” in mixed company make me happy as well 🙂 So, what about this – what if we traded our 4th pick in the upcoming draft for some arms that can help us now? I know it is traditional to pick someone and then shop them later for players, but i feel an open pick… Read more »

Bob K.
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Bob K.

Up until the revamp of the Qualifying Offer system it was not possible to trade any draft picks. The reasoning behind this is the fear that the bottom tier clubs would trade their high draft picks to the big money clubs for money and lose their chance to improve by having better quality players available to them. Until the new rules that take effect this year those players that were drafted could not be traded until one year after they… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Preach it Brotha – preach it!

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Jeem, I always like Lou Reed … until I discovered he was a Dodgers fan. The kind of Brooklyn Dodgers fan who retained his loyalty to them even when they moved to LA. Never managed to make the psychic jump to the Mets. The “regular guy” Lou Reed who would emerge from time to time (even during what he called his “junkie f**got stage” — his words not mine) was actually a sports fan …

jaredean
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jaredean

Got a new poll up…be interesting to see what you guys want for the WS match up…go vote!

Doc
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Doc

Thanks, Jeem, I needed that. I’m not back in the fold quite yet, but at least you’ve initiated a spark that’s been missing for a couple of years. Maybe, just maybe…