In Denver, there are fewer people more infamous than Dick Monfort. Widely criticized for the way he and his brother Charlie run the Colorado Rockies; it is safe to say Monfort’s not the most popular cat in Colorado.
As hard as it is to believe, Dick Monfort just got a little less popular. Responding to a fan who criticized Monfort for hiring “good old boys” and ruining professional baseball’s management and front office reputation, Monfort stated, “By the way you talk, maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home. Thanks.”
Needless to say that quote wasn’t well received by Rockies fans. Especially knowing that Monfort replied to another disgruntled fan who complained about the team to stop coming to games if he didn’t like the product.
Which is exactly what Colorado Rockies fans must do. I am just as guilty as anyone of supporting the mediocrity that Monfort passes for a professional baseball franchise. Hell I wrote about it last week. But if Rockies fans truly want to see changes to their beloved Rockies, they have to do it through attendance.
Last year the Colorado Rockies averaged 34,492 per home game in attendance. That’s one of the top ten highs for 2013. This year they are averaging 33, 415, again in the top ten in MLB home attendance. Some of this can be attributed to the beauty of Coors Field and its atmosphere, which I alluded to last week. Regardless of the atmosphere, it is proof that Denver loves it Rockies.
If they want to see their front-office start fielding a more competitive team, they’ve got to put the squeeze on. Stop showing up to games. Once that attendance number starts drifting down towards 20-to-25,000, Monfort and his front-office cronies will be forced to start fielding a competitive ballclub.
While his threats to leave Denver may worry some, let’s be serious. He and his brother have been running things since 2005, and aside from a miracle run to the World Series in 2007, the team has been less than decent. With a 665-724 record, it is evident things in Denver aren’t going in the right direction. Yet the Monfort’s are still making money. They aren’t going anywhere.
The trade deadline looms and you can bet the Rockies won’t be a part of the action. Despite holding cards like Charlie Blackmon and Kyle Parker, the Monforts won’t flinch. They are in complete control.
With a team consisting of lovable players like Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Charlie Blackmon; with a ballpark that has undeniable beauty; and a location whose atmosphere is palpable well beyond the 16th Street Mall, they know the fans will still turn out for home stands.
As long as fans are in the stands the Monfort’s are winning enough for their liking. And should someone call out the Monfort’s for their medocrity, they’ll quietly squash the faceless fans with threats of up and leaving Denver.
If there is one thing that can be learned from this whole mess, it’s that Dick Monfort’s PR skills are on par with his ability to run a winning baseball franchise.