Wilin Rosario did it again on Tuesday night at Coors Field. The catcher went 2-for-4 in the Colorado Rockies rain-shortened win. One of the hits was a long home run to center field. The blast gave Rosario 27 on the season, giving him a realist shot at 30 before the season is done.
As the Rockies got one win closer to avoiding the 100-loss mark, the club continued to raise eyebrows off of the field.
Two weeks ago, the Rockies angered many of their fans by ignoring what their young rookie catcher has done at the plate and chose to point out his defensive struggles. On September 10th, Rockies manager Jim Tracy told the Denver Post when asked about Rosario "It's got to get better. It's got to get a hell of a lot better." Tracy said. "The message has to be very clear that you can’t catch like that. You can’t. It put us in a bad spot in two games (in Philadelphia) that we had a chance to win. We have to be better than this moving forward.”
The message was a scathing one, especially considering the fact that Rosario was brought to the big leagues without playing a day at Triple-A. The Rockies were also well aware that the Dominican had defensive questions coming into the season. The passed balls and wild pitches that Rosario has allowed are certainly an issue, but considering the way he has swung the bat, most figured it was something that could be improved upon in the offseason.
As Rosario has heated up at the plate, improving his batting average to .276, the catcher has started to garner a small amount of national attention. His offensive numbers, not even Coors Field aided, suddenly puts him in the discussion for National League Rookie of the Year. He almost certainly will not win the award, but his stats suggest that he is certainly deserving of some top three votes.
With the national attention came some interesting comments from the most controversial general manager in baseball, Dan O'Dowd. The Rockies decision-maker told Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com "It blows me away that he gets criticized locally, and nationally he never gets mentioned. He caught one of the worst pitching staffs in the history of the game."
First off, this is not a joke. O'Dowd actually said this. It is the latest example of a general manager who is so out of touch with reality that he can't help but make himself look bad.
The first part of the statement is incorrect for two different reasons, the main reason is because of the comments that Tracy made about Rosario less than two weeks ago to the Denver Post. If he is getting criticized, it certainly isn't coming from the local media, which has its eyes squarely focused on the Peyton Manning-led Broncos. The Rockies haven't even been in the discussion on local radio shows since early July.
That means that the criticism that O'Dowd is talking about isn't coming from the fans or the media, but from the very man who he wants to see manage the Rockies to a losing record for the rest of his natural life. So when O'Dowd comes down on the people who he thinks are being too critical of the young catcher, the conversation needs to start in the managers office.
Another issue with O'Dowd's comments come when he talks about the pitching staff. There seems to be no embarrassment when he talks about the pitching staff, which has been the Rockies downfall in 2012. In fact, O'Dowd is quick to remind everyone that the staff that he constructed through the draft, development, trades and free agency is one of the worst of all time. O'Dowd brings up that fact as if it shouldn't be his greatest embarrassment. The statement comes across with an arrogance that suggests that the lack of performance on the mound was the pitchers fault for not pulling through, rather than the general manager's fault, who had no additional options in case some of the young starters faltered.
The simple answer is that O'Dowd doesn't get it. Where is he hearing criticism locally? Is O'Dowd so disconnected that he doesn't realize that his team has been so bad that even the critics have quit talking about them? The worst thing that can happen to a fan base is apathy. When people are being critical, it means they care. When no one is talking about the team one way or the other, the team is in trouble. The Rockies got to that point over two months ago.
The good news from O'Dowd is that he is backing up a player, one who others have been critical of. However, the statement continues O'Dowd's streak of being a complainer and an excuse-maker. Instead of promoting his star rookie, the general manager simply couldn't avoid taking a shot at the critics. He had to go out of his way to make sure everyone knew that he believes the critics of Rosario are not as smart as he is.
The reality is, O'Dowd has failed so badly that he is running out of people to blame it on. In this case, he blames people locally who have complained about Rosario, even though that conversation hasn't happened, expect when initiated by his own manager.
O'Dowd is a failure. He had some great ideas and he made some great trades along the way, but his propensity to make excuses for everything that he fails at, blaming anyone that he can blame, including the players, the fans, the altitude, injuries, the local media and anyone else who could possibly take blame besides the guy who puts the team together, who happens to stare at him in the mirror.
The time is now for O'Dowd to be removed from his post. He has had long enough to figure out how to win at Coors Field and all he has done is make excuses and blame others.