Dick Monfort Has Sent His Yearly Email to Rockies Season Ticket Holders
There is (perhaps) reason for hope.
This is Rockies Pitch, a weekly newsletter about the Colorado Rockies. Please consider subscribing and sharing this link with a friend.
On Wednesday, Dick Monfort sent his yearly executive update email to season ticket holders. (This happened the day after my Rockies ticket sales rep Chris called to ask about updating my Passport, so it’s the season to sell tickets.) Last year’s executive update was a gloomy affair that included this paragraph:
The financial losses incurred across baseball in 2020 are astounding, with losses at nearly $3 billion industry wide and the average club losing nearly $100 million. It will take time to rebound, and in some cases, these losses will never be recovered. As a result, there will be nothing normal about this offseason as the industry faces a new economic reality, and each club will have to adjust. It will take all of us working together to face the uncertain months ahead with determination and hope, and then be ready for a 2021 season. I have faith in our staff and our fans — we must and will make it through this — so please stay tuned for updates from us over the course of the coming months.
Things appear to be looking up in 2021, however. Here’s the text of Monfort’s letter, which is notably more upbeat than the one he sent a year ago.
Below are a few takeaways.
For Monfort, the Rockies’ Glass Is Absolutely Half Full — The Rockies got off to a rough start, sure, but how about those 48 wins at Coors Field and 12 walk-offs? The players get along and want to be in Colorado. The Spokane and Fresno teams did well, along with two Dominican Summer League teams and the Arizona team. Folks, the Rockies’ future is bright, and, in retrospect, according to Dick Monfort, 2021 wasn’t so bad.
His comments about the Rockies pulling off an excellent All-Star Game are merited. The ASG Week was pretty spectacular (except for those uniforms, which were a terrible error).
He Omitted Some Key Details About the Team — Not mentioned? The Road Rockies, who flirted with some very bad history for much of the season. A record that was (again) below .500. A lackluster offense. The Nolan Arenado deal (or maybe that was the subtext of the players “love-playing-here” remark). Jeff Bridich’s resignation/firing. I understand that when making a sales pitch, it’s best to focus on the positive, but it seems like an executive update should include some of the bad news, too, and ways in which those challenges have been met.
Monfort also did not mention promoting Greg Feasel to Rockies President. That strikes me as a curious omission. Given that this is a forward-looking email, it seems that one of the key players should be mentioned. (Bill Schmidt is, after all.)
This Email Seems Written to Both Rockies Fans and Rockies Employees — Sure, this is an email about selling tickets, but it also feels like the work of a person in charge of a large business assuring those who work for him that the chaos is over and that stability has arrived. (As someone who’s worked in unstable environments, I appreciate Monfort taking the time to include this.)
Monfort Writes Some Interesting Things About the Rockies — This is the paragraph I’ve thought about the most:
Back on the field, we have a very special group of players – they love playing here, they love each other, and they believe in this club. Our entire front office is (and has been) hard at work to supplement this group with more talent, and I am confident that our recently-named General Manager Bill Schmidt and his baseball operations staff will provide the leadership and vision for us to take the next steps forward. We have already seen their motivation and belief in what our club can achieve with the recent signings of Antonio Senzatela and C.J. Cron, and in their plans to improve this club in a number of key areas as we enter this offseason.
Here are the notable points. First, Monfort writes the front office “is (and has been) hard at work to supplement this group with more talent” and has “plans to improve this club in a number of key areas as we enter this offseason.” I take that to mean that the Rockies are not done spending, even though they have already signed deals with CJ Cron and Antonio Senzatela.
Second, there’s a clear subtext in this that Schmidt and his baseball operations staff are making the decisions — not Monfort. That may just be a rhetorical ploy, and clearly big financial decisions must still be approved by the owner, but there’s a sense that Schmidt is his own man. And let me just say that the mention of Schmidt’s “baseball operations staff” makes my heart sing. (I hope we learn more about the hirings.)
This email sounds less dire than the one sent last year, and it has hints of spending for improvement. Let the speculation about acquiring a power hitter begin!
Down on the Farm
Willie MacIver discusses his “rapid development” and working with pitchers.
Michael Toglia, the Rockies’ 2019 first-round draft pick, is burning up the Arizona Fall League. There’s also this delightful bit of video:
All of the action takes place off camera’s unchanged perspective: Toglia swings and begins jogging to first; the pitcher steps off the mound; the second baseman strolls toward second; the on-base runner trots toward home. The home run itself remains only implied. It’s a great bit of cinema.
Mike Petriello tweeted an interesting idea on Thursday:
Roster changes have begun. Read more about what the moves mean here.
DJ LeMahieu is on the mend:
How about Tyler Matzek? (Here’s Jay Jaffe with more.)
Ryan Isaac has some thoughts on Gerardo Parra. (Consider signing up for Ryan’s Substack, Warning Track Power, which is interesting and informative.)
What I’m Reading, Watching, and Listening To
Mark Simon’s “Stat of the Week: Feeling Bible Awards Preview: Part I” (Sports Info Solutions) — A number of Rockies are mentioned.
Noah Yingling’s “Three Young Rockies Who May Not Be on the Team Next Year” (Rox Pile) — Roster changes are coming.
J.J. Cooper’s “Was the 2020 Rule 5 MLB Draft the Best of the 21st Century?” (Baseball America) — Notable mention? Jordan Sheffield.
Ben Lindbergh & Rob Arthur’s “MLB Just Tried a Bunch of Experimental Rules in the Minors. How Well Did They Work?” (The Ringer) — This is a fascinating read. (Coming soon to a baseball park near you: A pitch clock.)
Josh Kosman’s “MLB in Talks to Launch Nationwide Streaming Service for Home Games without Cable” (New York Post) — This cannot happen soon enough.
I’m always a fan of a Kyle Freeland interview, and this one is worth your time:
Who’s the most challenging hitter Freeland has faced? Juan Soto. Which pitcher would Freeland most like to hit a home run off of? Walker Buehler. What does Freeland think about Nolan Arenado’s exit? You’ll have to watch. There’s also a fascinating discussion of pitching mechanics. The interview lasts just under 22 minutes, and it’s worth your time.
Thanks for reading —