The Rockies and rockier politics
I always thought it was a “no-no” to snub the president of the United States. When he is in town you best show up, take your bow and do the photo op. With President Barack Obama’s trip to Denver last week, it was apparent that high ranking Democrats wanted to keep their distance from appearing with him. What is especially weird was that the president was in town in part to do a fundraiser event for Senator Mark Udall’s re-election campaign and Udall was not there due to a “scheduling conflict.” Hmmm. In addition to Udall, Democratic Party members Governor John Hickenlooper and U.S. Congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff were not in attendance with POTUS at the fundraiser.
A formidable list
With Obama’s ratings at an all-time low, it is easy to understand why the “party faithful” would not want to be seen with the President. With so many “lightning rod” issues swirling around Obama like his politicizing of the Keystone Pipeline decision, handling of the huge number of illegal immigrant children from Central America coming to America, the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bergdahl for five cut-throat international terrorists and especially the problems with Obamacare, he is seen as a liability. Hey, but let’s remember that such political maneuvering has happened on both sides of the political aisle over the years. We remember President George W. Bush and how some of his fellow Republicans shied away from him during campaign season. It’s politics!
A dismal half season
Well, it’s Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game break. Basically, each team has played slightly more than one-half of their 162 regular game season. For our beloved Colorado Rockies, the team limped to the July break sitting at a dismay 11 and-a-half games out of first place in the West Division. Furthermore, they are only a half-game from being tied with the San Diego Padres for the dreaded cellar. The Rockies are tied for the second worst won-lost record in the major leagues sitting at 39 wins and 53 losses. That really sucks! Quite frankly, I have lost my enthusiasm to go watch the Rockies given their awful pitching and sporadic hitting. For a life-long baseball fan, that is saying a lot. Ugh.
What about the second half?
Can the Rockies make a comeback in the second half of the season is on most Colorado baseball fans’ minds. Yes, they have had more than their share of injuries. Their starting pitching rotation became a “musical chairs” act with pitchers going on the disabled list and calling up rookies who have had little or no major league experience. Carlos Gonzales, Michael Cuddyer and other key players have had stretches of being unable to play and spending time on the DL. Thank Heavens we have had Troy Tulowitzki, Charlie Blackmon and Justin Morneau providing steady performances both at bat and in the field. It is great to see Tulo and Blackmon make the All-Star game and a shame that Morneau got beat out in the last minute balloting.
What is the problem?
When it is all said and done the Rockies have the talent to be a winning team and a divisional contender. Besides not having reliable day-in-day-out pitching, it seems that they have lacked that intangible gut desire to win. As far as managers, we have had a string of them with Clint Hurdle being the only manager to take the Rockies to the World Series over their 22-and-a-half years of existence. Perhaps if they had a different general manager and new owners with deeper pockets, the overall caliber of players could be improved especially with a decent starting pitching rotation. It just seems that the Rockies have really slipped this year. Hopefully, the second half of the season will at least produce a more respectable won-lost record as more of the injured players can return to playing. Where are Mickey and the Duke when we need them?
Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member.