The Rockies problems start at the very top of the organization
Feb 1, 2021, 6:57 AM
Colorado Rockies owner, chairman and chief executive officer Dick Montfort will be entering his 22nd season without a Gold Glove anchoring third base. Friday night, Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado and $50 million were traded from Colorado to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for marginal-rated prospects to yet be named.
The return on a trade like this doesn’t and shouldn’t bode well with fans, as this deal translates to the Rockies paying the Cardinals to take Arenado off the Rockies hands, and still have a bottom four farm system with nothing to build forward. For Rockies fans, this was a trade that was inevitable and was rumored immediately after Arenado signed his mega deal contract with the team.
General manager Jeff Bridich fueled the trade flames and didn’t address or calm down the situation by actively taking calls and not build a team around the best player to ever put on the purple pinstripes. Monfort and Bridich are responsible for this trade and could take years to play .500 baseball, and even maybe a decade to reach a playoff hunt discussion.
Major League Baseball owners and GMs took a huge hit from the 2020 season with a shortened schedule and no fans in the stands. For the Rockies, the result has been dumping a lot of assets this offseason, including Arenado for essentially a pitching machine and a bucket of baseballs. This move was simply to save money.
The first thing baseball insiders are pointing to in this failure by Monfort and Bridich was the opt-out clause in this contract. Arenado did not ask for this, as it translated to an escape route for the organization to release the eight-year super star.
Another point to be shared, the Rockies paid the Cardinals in addition to this amazing player which can be interpreted as the Rockies didn’t have the money to fulfill the contract if Arenado stayed with the team for the rest of his Hall of Fame career. Fans are easy to point at Dick Monfort for this, with the addition to The Rooftop and the current construction project of McGregor Square.
It cost Monfort $11.5 million to construct The Rooftop. What used to be a parking lot, will be transformed into a 655,000 square foot space of three buildings surrounding a plaza, which includes 112 private residential rooms, 176 hotel rooms, and space for restaurants, and businesses.
Ironically a photo courtesy of Stantec show’s Arenado’s trot celebration on a jumbo TV after his infamous Father’s Day walk-off cycle home run. This is a projected $250 million site, so let’s do some math. These two real estate projects cost Monfort $261.5 million of his own money to build accessories to the stadium, none of that goes on the field. So why would Monfort try and save money and claim his team lost millions of dollars?
I wrote in an article mid-2020 season describing how Bridich needs to resign and rightfully so with poor free-agent signings to only get one playoff game win in the past 11 years. Ian Desmond, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, Wade Davis and Daniel Murphy’s contracts totaled $200 million. Dick Monfort with The Rooftop and McGregor Square combined, he has spent approximately $61.5 million more in field investments instead of putting that money towards field production.
This alone should make fans mad, as it infuriates myself doing the math. Monfort will never care about on-field performance and will only care about his investments.
COVID-19 is a serious virus that has taken its toll on everyone, forcing thousands to on employment benefits, losing loved ones and people being forced out of apartments for not making rent. The correlation of how costly McGregor Square could be a disaster for Monfort. If there is no return on investment (ROI) on this structure, he could be losing a lot of money. I assume this scenario as pricing starts for condos at nearly $600,000. Monfort can’t find the people to afford these condos and sunk his own money on this extravagant building and will lose a lot of money.
It is my opinion that you shouldn’t own a baseball team if you can’t afford your best players, plain and simple. But what Monfort doing is parallel to criminal, not caring about Rockies fans passion towards winning, and I would go a step further into the legitimacy of Dick Monfrots intention with the Colorado Rockies.
The sad news for Rockies fans is that there are no rules for baseball owners to have a commitment to win. People can buy a Major League Baseball team as an investment. So no there can ot be an investigation conducted by the league to examine if there is a conflict of interest by Dick Monfort and force him to sell to an owner that would make a commitment to win.
Trading Nolan Arenado was another notch in the belt for Monfort and will continue to be for the foreseeable future as Rockies fans endure a possible decade of no playoff appearances or division titles. Monfort has a clear agenda with his “investments” and with Bridich making things worse by making terrible free-agent moves and signing players to contracts they cant afford, being a Rockies fan is an all-time low.