Mark Kiszla wrote one of his typical columns that appeared today in the Denver Post, ripping the Rockies on several points, in a disjointed, scatter shot column that comes off like a crazy old man rant. While I’ve never actually been on Mr. Kiszla’s lawn, I fill sorry for anyone that has. I’m not sure what Kiszla’s job description is at the Post, but it seems his role is to rip the local sports teams and tell readers why their teams suck.
Today’s article though, starts out with the headline, “Time for the Rox to make a big deal”. Yes, in the first of May! This goes to show you how little Kiszla knows about baseball. The first of May, no team thinks they are out of any race yet, and they aren’t going to go trading away quality players yet, not to the Rockies, and not to the Red Sox. At this point of the season some teams are realizing they have bigger holes than they thought coming out of spring training, but there aren’t any sellers yet.
Kiszla’s first claim is if the Rockies didn’t have Ublado Jimenez and his 6 wins, the Rockies would have the worst record in baseball. Umm….I don’t really know how to tackle this pile of stupid, but the Rockies have lost 3 out of their 5 starting rotation heading into the season, and have done a quality job replacing all 3. Would losing the best player in baseball and the Rockies first ever, legitimate ace hurt the team? Of course! It would hurt any team. But would everyone one of his starts have been a loss if Tim Redding had started? (Redding is the next pitcher in line in Colorado Springs at the moment) Heck no! While no one is going to confuse Redding with Ubaldo, he is a veteran that’s been around and had 37 wins, and a sub-.5 lifetime ERA. He’d give the Rockies a fighting chance in some of his starts. Losing an ace hurts no doubt, but not ever start would have been an automatic loss and its stupid to think so.
Kiszla’s next point it Todd Helton is getting old, and he’s lost all of his power. Ok, these are valid points. Kiszla, does say that Helton’s defense is still valuable, so at least he’s watched at least one Rockies game this year. Because of that, Kiszla says Helton should be taken out of the 3rd spot in the line-up and replaced by Carlos Gonzalez. Well, that contention is correct, it’s how he got to the conclusion that is wrong. First off, CarGo would be the best #3 hitter the Rockies could have out there. However, he’s also the best lead-off hitter as well on the team, unless you are willing to give Eric Young Jr. starts at 2ndbase over Clint Barmes. I actually agree with that, and think the line-up is a lot more dynamic with EY2 at the top. But, EY2 could be sent down to AAA on Monday when Brad Hawpe returns from the DL. The other reason he’s wrong about Helton, is the Todd-father is still getting on base, which is something you want out of you #3 hitter. He’s hitting.271 and his OBP is .366 for the season. He’s done the job of a #3 hitter, and that is to extend pitchers, and keep the runners moving, and to get the inning to the clean-up hitter. Yeah Helton is ageing, and yeah, CarGo would be a better #3 hitter, but he can’t hit lead off AND bat 3rd….they don’t allow that.
Kiszla’s last idea is the stupidest of them all. He says the Rockies need to go trade for Roy Oswalt to keep up with the Philadelphia Phillies, if the Rockies want to win the NL West. First, Philly is in the East. The road to the World Series will more than likely run through Philadelphia, but let’s deal with that in October. Secondly the Rockies can’t keep up with the Phillies payroll. Like the reason I don’t drive an Escolade, it’s not that I don’t want to I just don’t have that kind of income. Oswalt, as Kiszla points out, has a terrible contract that he’s owed $15mil this year, $16 Million in 2011, and has a $2million dollar buy out for 2012, or he gets another $ 12 million in 2012. This contract alone would through the Rockies payroll this year, just over the $100 Million mark. Considering that in the Rockies World Series year of 2007 their payroll was only at $54 Million this would practically double the Rockies payroll in only 3 years! Another reason this is a stupid trade, is that the Rockies have Jorge De La Rosa, coming up to free agency after this year. With his stuff, JDLR contract will be about 3 years/$25-30 million dollar range. And I’d rather have De La Rosa at $10 million then I would Oswalt at $16 Million. Another problem with trading for Oswalt, is what would the Rockies give up? Any deal would surely include Jhoulys Chacin and/or Esmil Rogers. Chacin has already earned his spot in the Rockies rotation and I think he’ll be with the Rockies for the rest of 2010. Rogers has to work on his secondary pitches to go with his great fastball and he will be a rotation anchor soon as well. I’d rather have Chacin and Rogers over Roy Oswalt, thanks.
If Kiszla has been watching or following along, he would have noticed the Rockies have pitching depth, something the Dodgers, or the D-backs do not have. He would have noticed the Rockies are one of the top hitting teams and one of the top run scoring teams in the league. The Rockies issues have been defense, getting a late inning hit/rally, and shaky back end pitching from their bullpen and inconsistent starts from Aaron Cook, Jason Hammel and Greg Smith. But the Rockies just won a road series against the Padres, and with a win, today will do the same against the LA Dodgers with a record of 5-4 on this road trip. This historically tough road swing has eaten the Rockies up over the years, and 5-4 will be just fine, especially considering the Rockies are doing it with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox rotation.
Personal Side Rant: How the heck does a guy like Mark Kiszla gets paid to write a column in a paper, and gets press credentials, and others that actually write about baseball, and know about baseball are shut out? That’s the real question here. It’s hacks like Kiszla, that really motivates me to write this column. I hope you the reader actually get some insight on the Rockies from what I or my writing partner David Martin write, because you won’t get any knowledge on baseball from Mark Kiszla.