A year ago, Dick Monfort told angry fans in the midst of the worst Rockies season ever that building the roster wasn’t “about the money”. However, facts argue that Monfort under-invests in the team he fields to a greater extent than any owner in baseball.
A long-lived assertion is that “small market” teams such as the Colorado Rockies cannot afford to invest in team payroll to the extent a major market team can. The Cheapskate Index compares average game attendance with annual team payroll. On that measure, in 2013, the Rockies ranked 10th in average attendance and 24th in team payroll – an index of minus (14), the biggest gap of any team in baseball.
What this illustrates is that the Rockies have an exceptionally loyal fan base that does its part to make the Rockies a success but has an owner that does not. The Rockies front office made no significant off season or mid-season transactions in to fill the obvious holes the team has in pitching. As a result, the team’s 2013 playoff chances disappeared right after the All-Star break due to continuous bullpen collapses and a revolving cast of unqualified 5th slot starters.
Dick Monfort’s cheapskate ways combined with Dan O’Dowd’s incompetence led the Rockies to another season out of contention and back-to-back last place finishes. One has to wonder what Monfort’s primary goal is. He recently stated in an interview with the Denver Post that the team would do “everything in its power” to bring “the greatest fans in the world, a championship”. The Rockies roster moves or lack thereof would argue that Monfort is either a dreamer or a profiteer aiming to milk every last dollar out of the Rockies loyal fans. Either way, one thing is for sure. Actions speak louder than words.