In order to celebrate their 20th year of existence my beloved Colorado Rockies have christened this season, “The Year of the Fan.” Pictures of Rockies fans adorn the tickets, giveaways are off the chain, and every final game of a home-stand one lucky fan gets the opportunity to pierce the costume of Dinger the dip-shit purple dinosaur mascot with an arrow fired close-range from a high-power, compound bow. So far fans are four for six! But in all of this “fan”fare and celebration, the Colorado Rockies forgot to give the fan one key thing: a decent team. Nope, seems the Colorado Rockies are celebrating The Year of the Fan by giving us one of our worst teams of all time.
As of the time of writing this the Rockies are 15-26, dead last in the pathetic NL West and 13 games out of first place. They are one of the worst teams in all of baseball and have lost 14 out of their last 17 games. Carlos Gonzalez is playing like a stud – hey announcers, when Cargo hits a bomb, why don’t you start saying, “He hit that one all the way to Maracaibo!” the town where Cargo is from in Venezuela? Just saying, it’s there for the taking – and should make his first trip to the All Star Game, but the rest of the team is pathetic. There’s a saying around Colorado that as goes Tulo, so go the Rockies and Troy Tulowitzki has been a shell of himself this year, an error-prone headcase who seems more concerned with projecting some sort of Zen, club-house leader bullshit than contributing on the field. Helton’s goatee is strong as ever but the Hall-of-Fame bound veteran seems tired, broken. Michael Cuddyer was a great addition but even he seems streaky.
And the pitching, mon dieux the pitching. How did my beloved Colorado Rockies respond to a staff that imploded through injury and Ubaldo Jimenez head-casery last season? By signing the oldest pitcher to ever play the game and trading away for a fledgling workhorse from the Baltimore Orioles. Because you know what’s going to anchor any pitching staff and fix everything? A middle-of-the-road Baltimore Oriole starter! Jesus, why don’t you just bring Jeff Francis back? And who can forget our shitty bullpen, young, capable arms somehow stripped of all confidence so they trot one after another to the mound, like deer in headlights, only to be smashed and dragged across the highway all the way to the cheap seats.
By all accounts heads should be rolling in Colorado. Dan O’Dowd should probably go, Jim Tracy should probably go, at the very least Bob Apodaca, the man who has been the Rockies pitching coach since pitching was invented, should be canned, but that’s not how the Rockies operate. The Rockies continually reward mediocrity with loyalty. It’s what leads to that highly touted “clubhouse culture” you hear so much about. If you ask me, a good clubhouse is not what this team needs right now. This team needs a kick in the fucking pants. Some fiery manager who’s going to scream in their face and lose his mind in the media. Remember when Brad Pitt flipped his shit in the locker room in “Moneyball?” In-between all the shots of him eating? That’s what we need.
Or short of that, we need a dramatic, season-changing moment to rally around. A perfect game, a clutch walk-off homer. Or Adam Cayton-Holland throwing out the opening pitch.
Hear me out, Colorado Rockies. I know I just talked a lot of shit about you but know that came from a place of heartbreak. It’s only because I love you that I expect so much of you. My family has been season ticket-holders since 1993, the very beginning. And I’ve been with you through the good and the bad. I sat through year after year of horrible, pre-humidor baseball and I took those slaps in the face like a man. A weak, limp-wristed man who whimpered a lot, but a man just-the-same. Then I watched you get good. I sat there through that historic 2007 run, I went to every playoff and World Series game and I watched the Red Sox trounce us in the Series and I thought, that’s okay. This team is heading in the right direction. But since that time we’ve made the playoffs only once and we blew that again. And then we didn’t make it in 2010. Or 2011. And now it’s 2012 and we’re looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates and I’m goddamn sick of it. And I know you are too. So get me on the mound and let me fire this team up! I’ll wear a jersey, I’ll bring my glove, I may even pitch from a full wind-up, though I’ll probably go stretch, I’ve always been lethal in the stretch. That’s all semantics, though: the point is I’ll bring some passion to the field.
And it’s not like I don’t have experience. For my 12th Birthday I got to throw out the pitch at a Denver Zephyr’s game because I’m a princess. And I FUCKING FIRED a strike across the plate. You know what a guy in the stands yelled that day, Colorado Rockies? He yelled, “Sign that kid up!” Four sweetest words I ever heard in my life. Big pressure situation, and I delivered. But no one ever signed me up. So I had to turn my back on baseball and grow into a stand-up comic, a C-list local celebrity if you will! A C-list local celebrity willing to throw out an opening pitch for you. A C-list local celebrity who’s willing to put this team on his back and say, “This bullshit stops here. Tonight. We’re saving this season. And we’re saving it right now.”
What’s the worst that could happen? My noble gesture doesn’t work? Big deal. You’re in the same exact place you were when we started and I have one more gloating picture to post on Facebook. No collateral damage. So why not give it a try, huh Rockies?
Put me in, coach. I’m ready to play.