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Black Clouds, Purple Bruises, and Silver Linings

Mike Olson Avatar
August 18, 2023

“Every dark cloud has a silver lining… but lightning kills hundreds of people every year who try to find it.”
E.L. Kersten, The Art of Demotivation

It’s a bit hit-and-miss these days to be a Colorado Rockies fan. Partially because they currently miss a lot more than they hit. And while EVERY Major Leaguer actually does miss more than they hit, Colorado is doing so in ways and at a clip that could be a little… offputting. It surely seemed so for the better part of the outfield seats yesterday…

I was lamenting this picture with a buddy who has a knack for seeing the bright side, and this exchange ensued…

Me: Woof. Look at those empty seats.
Him: At least there was room for everyone to move into the shade.
Me: Imagine how dead that is, though.
Him: Maybe we could finally get a decent spot on the Rooftop, it looks less busy.

I KNOW. Such a #$%@^& cockeyed optimist. With that, we spent a little more time looking for the silver lining side of things when it comes to the Rockies, to go with their black and purple bruises, and silver-lined hearts. See which side of these views you tend to fall on…

DARK CLOUD: At a winning pace of .380, and with a tough schedule still to come, the Rox are currently on pace to lose 100 games, and could easily make it worse than that if things go poorly.

SILVER LINING: There are very few things these Rockies haven’t accomplished in their 30+ seasons, and with the NL West Pennant and a World Series win both pretty firmly off the table for this year, at least they’d actually hit a full rock bottom with triple-digit losses. While an ignominious first, maybe it will force them from their in-between ways.

DARK CLOUD: The Rockies are so bad this year they’ve traded away nearly every meaningful asset they could have for the season, and are staying afloat on a raft of rookies.

SILVER LINING: A farm system that had often been seen as depleted these past few years got a major dose of down-the-road talent in return. You weren’t winning it this year, anyway… and with the age of most of the prospects, you may not see many of them for another couple of years, at least. While that doesn’t bode well for the big-league club immediately, it certainly could brighten a future they weren’t so sure of of late.

DARK CLOUD: The Ghost of Kris Bryant. Since joining the Rockies, Bryant has been off the field far more than on, and has been less than stellar when he is able to clock in. With five more years on his $182 million deal after this season, Bryant looks as big a bust as maybe… Mike Hampton?

SILVER LINING: The former NL Rookie of the Year has experience all over a baseball field when/if he’s able to return this season. Manager Bud Black floated the possibility of Bryant coming back to also platoon in the infield, as he’s played both first and third in his career, which will give the Rox room to keep watching the youngsters float and flail out in the outfield. While Bryant makes a lot more than a platoon player, he can at least fill some holes while Colorado works it out.

DARK CLOUD: Whether it’s youth, bad lighting at altitude, or just a nasty data blip, the Rockies are striking out at a crazy pace.

SILVER LINING: While the season stat is tough (over 25%), the numbers hovering around 30% of late have made this stat the new EMERGENCY of the current moment. While the team needs to get decidedly more disciplined in its approach, there’s also no other way for those same rookies to see what sort of deception and devices the best pitchers have than staring down that barrel. Trial by fire? Easiest to see who got burned.

DARK CLOUD: Injuries have yet again taken a major toll on the Rockies, who are amongst the leaders in games lost to injury this season. What already looked like a tough year to find wins in became nearly impossible quickly.

SILVER LINING: Colorado has had a longer and more in-depth look at that young core than they’d ever get platooning or in the minors. The real-world, real-time insights should give any decent professional baseball team a chance to see which of the rooks is real. Nolan Jones and Ezequiel Tovar are certainly turning some heads along the way. Plus, with Charlie Blackmon finally back, there’s at least one pro’s pro in place to set those examples. << great piece by Patrick Lyons, btw

DARK CLOUD: The Rockies are rocking a negative WAR as a team so far this season. If they finish the season thusly, they’d be the second team to ever do so, and would outpace the other guys by… a lot.

SILVER LINING (my optimistic buddy admittedly had to work pretty hard for this one): At least the team isn’t shy about taking these sorts of risks and chances.

I know. I agree. I had roll my eyes at that last one, and had to control myself over a few of the others. It’s been a bruised-and-banged up season for these Rockies this year, a team maybe only Charlie Monfort could truly love. But what about you? Do you see any silver linings in a season that (statistically) looks to be their worst yet?


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