Even MLB Players Say Rockies Are Stuck in ‘Stone Age’

Colorado Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt, left, and owner Dick Monfort, right, observe morning practice at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 23, 2022.

Trust a team headed by Dick Monfort and a dinosaur as a mascot to avoid being accused of being stuck in the Stone Age.

Full disclosure: The kids upstairs in the Grading The Week booths are a lot better at Strat-O-Matic than they ever were at hitting a curveball. A few of them even read Bill James in high school. We were nerds, okay? NERDS. In Capital Letters. Sue us.

Although a funny thing happened in baseball at the turn of the 21st century: Those same nerds started ruling America’s Pastime.

Yes, certainly, the largest payroll companies usually win, just like in big football in Europe. But working smarter, using analytics and sabermetrics, could provide a budget-friendly route to the postseason — a different way to look at rosters and players, to build a collective that could be stronger over a long season the sum of its individual parts.

In other words: the ‘Moneyball’ era. Apparently none of this has reached 20th & Blake yet. And if it did, it came and went like a summer storm in the Front Range.

The Rockies are not the last! (Although they are close.) — D.

We mention this because of two quotes that appeared in the news early last week. And an opinion poll. But usually two quotes. Here they are, cleaned up for a family publication:

“I think it’s better now, but when I was there it was a horse-(expletive).”

“(I heard that from another player) it’s like going back to the Stone Age.”

Those were two anonymous MLB players talking about our beloved Rox. And not in flattering terms.

It was a small excerpt from a survey of 79 current players published a few days ago by The Athletic and The New York Times. When the Rockies were mentioned in the results it wasn’t a shock, but the tone wasn’t friendly.

In a poll of the most overrated players in the game, the oft-injured but well-compensated Kris Bryant received at least one vote. And, even more damning, when the 80-year-old players were asked which franchises had the “worst” reputation among their peers, Colorado finished fourth from the top.

Now that’s good for a playoff spot, right? No? That’s not how this works? (We’re kidding.) The Oakland/Sacramento/Vegas/Jenny Cavnar Athletics were first, or bottom, on that front, followed by the White Sox, Angels, Rox and Mets.

Related to that, Four Rings Sports Solutions released a study last August in which it mapped out how many full-time analytics types MLB teams had under their respective umbrellas.

The Rockies had 11, which was tied for second-to-last in baseball with Miami. And it was only ahead of – ironically, given the franchise’s role in leading the “Moneyball” revolution – the aforementioned Athletics.

The four largest analytics departments belonged to the Rays (44 employees), Yankees (43) and Dodgers (35) and Phillies (35).

If you’re curious, and Team GTW certainly was, those franchises have a winning percentage since 2015 of .541 (Tampa Bay), .575 (Yankees), .622 (Dodgers) and .488 (Phillies), respectively. The Rockies were at a .451 clip on Saturday morning. It doesn’t take an analysis expert to calculate that.

Colin Prater’s week – A.

A month ago, Colin Prater was teaching biology to teenagers and coaching golf at Cheyenne Mountain High School. This past week he found himself trading shots with Wyndham Clark, Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth.

The 29-year-old from Colorado Springs recently defeated more than 9,500 competitors to qualify for the US Open in Pinehurst, NC. He shot a 79 in the first round and a 78 in the second, missing the cut after a +17 for the weekend.

It’s the latest feather in the cap for Prater, who won the Colorado Golf Association Amateur in 2016 and 2020 and was living a dream, if only for a few days. Prater, the Colorado Golf Association’s 2023 Les Fowler Player of the Year, will also become a father for the second time next month. So no, not a bad start to the summer. Not bad at all.