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Be thankful for Joe Sakic, who keeps the Avs two chess moves ahead. Be thankful for Tim Connelly, who makes sure, even if every punch doesn’t land, that the Nuggets keep swinging.
Be thankful for John Elway, who wants to win as badly as you do, even if that same pride too often blinds the Broncos from reality.
Be thankful that none of them are cowards.
Be thankful that none of them are given the rope to run their front offices the way Jeff Bridich is allowed to run his.
The Brain Surgeon came out from the bunker late Wednesday afternoon. Bridich scheduled a conference call with the heathen media for the first time since Colorado’s regular season ended on Sept. 27 with a 26-34 thud.
We got a note at 3:18 p.m. that Bridich, the Rockies’ general manager, would be conducting a conference call at … wait for it … 4.
On Thanksgiving Eve.
To wax poetic on two pitchers with a combined major league career mark of 20-29.
Chicken spit. Absolute, utter chicken spit.
What does it say about a man to remain in the shadows for weeks — almost two months — only to come out and do a victory lap on a lateral move in the early evening, the day before Thanksgiving, while most of the Front Range were physically or mentally checked out?
It’s called burying the narrative. Ducking the spotlight. It’s why you see firings announced at 4:55 p.m. on a Friday. The sketchier the deed, the closer you move it to happy hour on the last day of the work week.
It’s PR 101. And the ultimate in corporate cowardice.
Nobody hopped on that call with axes to grind. Or sharp objects at the ready.
We wanted to ask about the rumors involving Nolan Arenado. About how the heck an 11-3 start turned into a second straight season in fourth place. About the reports of ugly financial losses, the aftershocks of a pandemic summer with no fans. About where the Rockies are going next, given that owner Dick Monfort basically cried poor to season ticket-holders late last month.
After the beat writers did a lap, Post deputy sports editor Matt Schubert broached question about Monfort’s letter.
A deep breath. Followed by George McFly.
“Yup, hey, like I said, there are very specific things for us to talk about right now in terms of the trade and the roster protection moves last week,” the Rockies GM replied hastily.
“In terms of that question, if and when something comes up in free agency, we’ll talk about it then.”
Absolute, utter chicken spit.
The trade? So the Rockies, earlier in the day, swapped pitcher Jeff Hoffman (career: 10-16, 6.40 ERA lifetime) and Douglas County’s Case Williams, another hurler, to the Reds for pitcher Robert Stephenson (career: 10-13, 5.15 career ERA) and outfielder Jameson Hannah.
No offense to Hoffman, who’s shown flashes. Or to Williams, the Castle Rock Cannon. But that’s it? That’s the deal? No other topics on the table?
Happy Thanksgiving, clowns.
It’s low comedy from the top down, isn’t it? Alas, the Brain Surgeon has pictures. Or something. If the NFL is about quarterbacks and coaches and the NBA is about the names on the back of the jersey, MLB is about general managers. As long as Bridich doesn’t move, nothing changes. Same manager. Same game plan. Same false dawns. Same false hope.
If our only assurances every spring are that the Dodgers and the Brain Surgeon can’t be touched, that’s not just killing a clubhouse.
That’s killing a fan base.
If Bridich claimed his hands were tied a year ago, when the economics of baseball weren’t torpedoed by COVID-19, what do you think the short-term forecast looks like now?
Bridich knows which questions you want asked. He knows you’re likely to start grabbing torches and kerosene once you hear the answers.
Or, worse, that you’ll start ignoring them. The way he’d like to ignore you. Bridich should be thankful, every blasted day, that you still care. Because they don’t.