Dick Monfort, whose family made its fortune in the cattle business, knows more about B.S. than anyone in baseball.
For more than two decades, Monfort has been peddling a particular kind to the fans of the Colorado Rockies, the team he owns and runs. It goes something like this: The Rockies, under the stewardship of Monfort, want to win.
No, really: The team that in its almost-30-year existence never has won a division title, that in the 23 years since Monfort took a prominent role has been better than .500 just six times, that is regarded throughout the industry as one of baseball's worst-run franchises, that still doesn't have a World Series ring (they were swept in the one Series they made) -- that team, Monfort says, wants to win. Like, for real, he actually says it. A lot.
Oct. 9, 2013: "I want to win at everything, even checkers." (The Rockies lost 96 games the next year. It is unclear how often Monfort won at checkers, but if he approaches it similarly to his baseball team, the answer is not much.)
Jan. 31, 2015: "We want to win. We want to win every year." (They lost 94 games that year.)
Oct. 1, 2019: "We want to win every year." (They were on pace during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season to go 70-92.)
All of this is material not because the Rockies are bad again -- they are -- but because of the oddly timed departure of Jeff Bridich, the general manager who oversaw much of their bungling in recent years. Bridich resigned Monday after consulting with Monfort and Greg Feasel, whom Monfort named the new head of baseball operations. Feasel has spent a quarter-century with the organization -- and not a second of it in baseball ops.
The Rockies' ability to confuse and confound is really unparalleled in Major League Baseball, which is saying something, seeing as the New York Mets continue to exist. Why hire a business-side guy with no experience to oversee the on-field product? Why send the St. Louis Cardinals $51 million for the privilege of trading them your franchise player, Nolan Arenado, as they did this winter? Why, in a high-altitude environment that begs for creative thinkers, so deeply alienate the research and development department that the majority of its staffers leave the organization, as happened within the past year?