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Randy Hollis: Baseball is in a good place, and so are the Rockies

Published: Saturday, April 19 2014 6:38 p.m. MDT

"They didn't make the playoffs last year, so they go out this year and spend some really big bucks to try to make sure that doesn't happen again," he said of those envied players in Yankee pinstripes. "We don't have that luxury. We have to maintain the players we've got, we've got to make sure we're developing players to take the places of those that are gonna leave and that we're prudent in the guys that we get that we do sign to come in.

"Their model may be a little easier, I don't know, but you've still got to get the right players. And there's an art to that and you've just got to make sure you're turning every stone to find those right players."

One great thing the Rockies do have going for them, Monfort says, is their geographical location. They're sandwiched nicely between the West Coast/Pacific Northwest teams and those franchises in the Midwest and Southwest, thus making them arguably the best option for Major League Baseball fans living in the Rocky Mountains.

"We're in a great geographical position because we have a lot of people that live right in downtown Denver," Monfort said. "We've got great weather and we offer soup to nuts. We offer a $2 ticket and we offer a $200 ticket. So whatever your fancy is, we try to make it to where anybody that wants to come to the game can come to the game.

"That's one of our goals," he said of the Rockies' regional profile and popularity. "Not only in Utah, where Salt Lake is a one-hour flight away, but you look at the other neighboring states. You look at Wyoming, and we have a lot of people that come down from Cheyenne and Laramie, and Nebraska, even people from Kansas and New Mexico.

"We'd like to be more than the Colorado Rockies, we'd like to be the Rocky Mountain Rockies. And that's a goal of ours to build the brand, not only with the surrounding states but everywhere."

Monfort is an advocate for baseball's expanded use of instant replay this year, and he commends the sport for the way it has handled the ugly steroids allegations that plagued professional sports for several years.

"We're trying to get the game to where it doesn't last three hours, and I know this isn't helping it," he said of using instant replay to review umpires' calls. "But there's other ways that we can speed up the game. So if you've got to take two minutes or five minutes in a game to get the right call and it means something to somebody down the road, then we ought to try to do that. I think with the technology you have today … we ought to be using it.

"I think baseball's in a great spot. I think there are some challenges, but I think they've faced most of their challenges, and I think they've faced it a lot more than any of the other leagues — the steroids — and I think a lot of that has to do with baseball and the players union working together. I don't know what percentage of the players it is, but the players that aren't using anything are definitely not for anybody else using it. They want a level playing field, and I think it's worked out great that they've sort of led the drive on this.

"So I think baseball is in a great place," he said. "It's a good sport, and it's the only real summertime sport. I do think we need to get the games a little quicker. The money's getting a little absurd, but I guess that's what happens. But I think it's in a great place, and I think the Rockies are in a great place. We've got all the wheels moving. We've got a great farm system; we're developing our players a little differently than some of the other teams. We've got a great academy in the Dominican; we've got a great spring training facility in Scottsdale, and we've got a beautiful stadium in a great city in Denver. So I think we're in a very good place."

Even if they're not, nor ever will be, those darned deep-pocket Yankees playing in the more desirable market of the Big Apple.

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com

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