|Root Sports should bring back Tom Helmer when Joel Klatt leaves.|
The Colorado Rockies got dominated by Shelby Miller to start out their six-game road trip. After Eric Young, Jr. led off the game with a single, the Rockies didn’t reach base again.
The good news is that the pitching staff is still looking good. Jon Garland is proving to be more than a flash in the pan. He gave the Rockies a performance that was good enough to pick up a win on most nights. In five innings, Garland gave up three runs on seven hits to a very potent Cardinals offense. That isn’t great, but for the Rockies, it should be enough.
The fact is, the Rockies offense has been struggling, so running into a dominant Shelby Miller was about the worst thing that could have happened.
Beyond the game, other news is starting to emerge that should be intriguing to Rockies fans.
Word is spreading that Joel Klatt, the Root Sports pre and post game host for Rockies games, will be leaving Root Sports on July 1st to join the new Fox Sports network, Fox Sports 1.
Klatt joining the Rockies crew was unpopular from the beginning, and he never was a big hit with Rockies fans. He replaced the uber-popular Tom Helmer on the broadcasts. Helmer was always entertaining. He would famously dance on the table after Rockies wins. The reason Rockies fans gather behind the cameras after the game is because of Helmer. There is no doubt that he increased ratings for the non-game action part of the Root broadcasts.
When it was announced that Helmer’s contract wasn’t renewed just before the start of spring training in 2012, Rockies fans went crazy. There was outcry for the network to bring him back. There was even a rally held for him at a downtown bar in order to show Root Sports that it was a bad idea to let him go. When all was said and done, the network stuck with their decision.
Klatt still has his critics, but to his credit, he didn’t let the fact that many Rockies fans would never give him a shot get to him. He went out and did his job and acted like a professional. For the majority of the 2012 season, Klatt took nightly beatings on Twitter. His style was much different than Helmer’s, but he remained true to who he is.
The tough part for Klatt was that he was very rough in his first year in the role. He was learning on the job, and had the difficult task of filling the shoes of Helmer, while fans were angry that he was there. He came back to the job in 2013 much improved.
For most fans, however, Klatt just doesn’t do it for them. Many of those fans were introduced to the postgame show because of the cult following that Helmer had. The average casual fan isn’t interested in what the manager says after the game, or what the commentary is following a three hour game. However, Helmer’s antics made fans stick around long after the final out was made. For many fans, the postgame show was better than the game itself.
With Klatt leaving Root Sports mid season, the network has a decision to make. They could probably go short-handed for the remainder of the season and allow Jenny Cavnar, Marc Stout or Jeff Huson to host the postgame with Tracy Ringolsby. However, the timing for the Root could be perfect.
Root Sports could make a huge statement to their fans, and boost their viewership immediately by repairing the bridge and reacquiring Helmer. The move would bring excitement and joy to a Rockies fan base that has hoped for a less-serious pre and postgame show since Helmer was let go.
Most fans will remember that Helmer had a chemistry that worked well with Ringolsby. He was able to be serious when he needed to, but also did a good job of mixing in humor with Ringolsby’s facts. His style seemed to help Ringolsby be more loose in front of the camera and provided for better TV.
It would be a quick transition back for Helmer. Instead of Root Sports trying to piece the rest of the season together, they should bring back a fan favorite and erase a mistake that they made a year and a half ago.
Root Sports has a chance to make a big move. They have a chance to make their fans very happy by bringing back Tom Helmer to the broadcasts.