Cognoscenti? Moi?

Just when I’ve finally got some income-producing work to do, this happens…

Maybe it’s my own conceit, because I’m not familiar with any of the other Rockies blog sites, but it seems, if only because of an odd, unexplained reference to the word “walkoff,” that Denver Post columnist Terry Frei is calling the RWO to task in his column in today’s edition, “Rockies Games at Coors Field are Fun to Attend, Regardless of Product.”  In the column, Frei laments suggestions by “seamheads” that Rockies fans are “unsophisticated,” and that Denver “isn’t really a baseball town.”

It’s certainly true that posts on this website have referred to the Coors Field paying customers as “suckers” in the PT Barnum sense, but the reason for that is not so much contempt for the typical fan as it is frustration that the continued superior attendance at Rockies games gives team Ownership cover for sustaining its current management, which despite 12 years of service, has failed to develop a competitive organization and product for Colorado baseball fans to invest-in and follow.

No one is contending that Rockies games are not fun to attend.  Going to the games is one of those special experiences that you look back-upon fondly in the off-season, and look forward to for the next. Let’s face it, most American families with sufficient disposable income to afford attending games do not live in the city.  Attending a ball game involves loading up the Suburban, schleping it up the highway towards a downtown whose tall, shimmering buildings, the “destination,” can be seen from miles away, arriving in a dense urban setting that’s very different from home, and having to find a scarce place to park, that you actually have to PAY (what an f’ing hassle) for.  Then you disembark, and there are all these PEOPLE milling around, some black, some hispanic, some hawking tickets, some playing clarinets, some panhandling, some wanting you to sign a petition.  And you go to some funky bar or restaurant, and the waitress has a dozen piercings in her ear, not to mention a bunch of tattoos you wish you could see the rest-of, and Mom and Dad have a few Railyards, and you eat some fried mushrooms or jalapenos or something that you’d never try at home, and then you head up the street to the ball park. And you enter through a dim and somewhat confined space, then suddenly, in the midst of all the urban concrete, steel and glass, there’s a pristine green field, and there’s Todd Helton, there’s Troy Tulowitsky, there’s Carlos Gonzalez, there’s Dexter Fowler, and there’s Josh Rutledge.  And you get to see a ball game!

It’s a big adventure like no other.  And sure it’s going to be fun, even if the Rox get beat 12-3.

But there’s the problem, they get beat 12-3.  And they were probably behind by five before they came to bat in the bottom of the second.  Ah, but only the exotic “seamheads” seem to care.

To suggest the majority of Rockies fans are unsophisticated baseball fans goes without saying.  Ask a hundred paying customers who Nolan Arenado is and you’ll find at least fifty who have no idea.  It’s not a slur, it’s a fact.  Seamheads get frustrated when a guy behind them comments to his neighbor, “Tony Gwynn?  I had no idea he was still playing!” when the Dodgers lineup is announced.

Seamheads like other seamheads, and when they can’t find them at the ball park they make comments like “Denver just isn’t really a baseball town.” You yearn for others that share your interests and find them at places like RWO.  Because there are not many of them.  I was once characterized as fan of “the ‘ball’ sports” (baseball, football, basketball), meaning my interests did not include the more refined sports, such as hiking, climbing, camping and bicycling.  But that doesn’t mean we’re contemptuous of other fans; we understand we’re our own breed of sicko.  And we happen to know that Tony Gwynn’s the baseball coach at San Diego State.  I’m heading to Boston this weekend.  I’ll report back on what a “real baseball town” is like.

I will say this for Frei, he hits it right on the head when he remarks about the Monforts, “if they’re smart, they’ll do such minor, but symbolically significant, things as giving clearance to team-endorsed broadcasters to speak their minds, whether on the TV and radio broadcasts or in other gigs, instead of advancing wince-inducing propaganda.  And they will mandate the removal of that insipid sixth-inning text crawl on the television broadcasts.”  But the real issue is the attendance giving the Monforts cover.  Their guy has not delivered.  Whatever private conversations occurred before the season about having to “tough it out” this ‘transition’ year need to be set aside.  The team needs new leadership. And it may or may not be better than “the best in baseball” that we have now.  But these guys have had their run and now it’s time for a change.

Get on with it.  And have a fun night at the old ball park.

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TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
8 years ago

Jeem, good write up and I read the DP article before coming here. I think (and maybe this was the tone of your write up) is that…everyone’s right. If I lived closer and took my family to the park, my wife, kids, and I would have a good time. However, to me, when it comes to the Rockies, my level of “fun” is tied to on the field. Obviously if we win, I would have a better time. That being… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

LOL. Two words in quotation marks. “insider” and “walkoff”. coincidence?

One of the things I hate about Kizla, Sandy Klough and apparently now Frei is they love to bring bring up arguments without naming who they are referring to. It’s always, “some people say this”. They never list who they are talking about. Example, Frei’s article mentions team sponsored propaganda but fails to call out a specific instance or broadcaster. Just seems chickenshit to not name names.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago

As far as Frei not naming names: “The ‘seamheads’ have kidnapped baseball” and “an overreliance on mathematical analysis that seems to produce a new statistic daily” I could be wrong, but I believe he’s directly referring to our very own Agbayani. It’s OK for us in the RWO family to sometimes disagree with our own members of our family, but how dare you Frei! This means war!! In all seriousness, I read Frei’s column twice today, and I guess I’m… Read more »

Bat Cat
Bat Cat
8 years ago

Here’s what going to a game is like for someone who lives 4 miles from Coors Field: eat dinner before going to the game because I can’t afford the food in the ballpark. Park a long way from the ballpark because I can’t afford to pay for parking. Hike to the park, then hike again to my nosebleed seat. Spend the entire game dodging the people in my row who apparently came to the game to go to the bathroom,… Read more »

Bill
Bill
8 years ago

I read Terry Frei’s commentary today and I thought it was great. And I also think he is the best sportswriter in town at the moment. Frankly I don’t think he was knocking any specific person but he was just saying something very clearly which is that if you go to Coors Field it doesn’t mean you have to support the Montfert’s or are a tool of the Montferts or you don’t care if they win or not. It may… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I think its more than coincidence in a paragraph directed at vocal Rockies fans to have referenced “walkoff” and “insiders” (both in quotation marks). If it is coincidence then that’s just amazing. I too found his point exceedingly confusing, particularly when he concludes his musings with “I concede all that and join in the chorus.” Excuse me? A diatribe against the fans and then say at the end, okay I’m on your side…what am I not getting? Furthermore, a hockey… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago

Nice little article Jeem, but I am having a terrible time trying to find Frei’s article on the Denver Post web site. Is it just me or is that Denver Post web site (unlike our RWO site) just impossible to navigate, although to be honest I rarely go to the DP for much of anything? Anyway back to the Terry Frei article and he is alright sometimes when it comes to hockey, however he knows little to almost nothing about… Read more »

Bill
Bill
8 years ago
OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago

Sure after my third attempt I finally find the Frei article and now you post the link – ha Jeem. I was sorting through baseball from four months ago to hockey several years back trying to find this extremely enlightening article – JMO but that is one terrible web site there at the DP. If you (Frei) want to spend your money (hard earned or not) watching this team at Coors Field for the expensive beer, sunshine, and viewer attractions… Read more »

jobers10
jobers10
8 years ago

No offense fellas…I love this site and check it darn-near everyday. But after reading the Frei article, I think there is no underlying jab at this website. The reference to “walkoff,” I think, is wholly unrelated to this site in that its a jab at what has become an overused characterization. I don’t see the connection between that jab and this site other than the use of the word in both. This site does not attempt to be the “thinking… Read more »

trip
trip
8 years ago
Reply to  jobers10

To be sure, I was glad to see the broncos can McDaniels. But I am doubtful it was a result of an outcry from the fans or the writers. I think it was more that ownership has a distinct thought how he wants his team represented. And McDaniels was not going down that path. And he wants to win.

DRH
DRH
8 years ago

At times there are paragraphs on this site that just succinctly capture a lot of what people have been saying here, and a lot more in Denver are thinking. Jobers10 last paragraph is one of those. Congrats and thanks for putting it into polite, respectful, right to the point words!

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

I do think Frei is referring to some of us (as well as to some of the Purple Row and Blake Street Bulletin posters) when he criticizes the “seamheads.” Allow me to take that as a compliment. In other settings we’d be known as the kind of “knowledgeable fans” guys like Frei gush over when writing about the Broncos or Les Canadiens. What we see lately is the Denver Post either (1) giving guys a tryout for their next sports… Read more »

IggyRox
IggyRox
8 years ago

My shortest post… (lucky you!).

I like Terry Frei. Good columnist.

What Terry fails to realize or acknowledge is how we spend our dollars is the only statement that will register with entertainment companies (Rockies).

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago
Reply to  IggyRox

Oh, and to Frei: it’s cognoscenti (plural), not cognoscente (singular). A cognoscente, the cognoscenti. Stop trying to sound smart, which is what you’re doing even while you’re mocking the baseball intelligentsia (hah!). Or get an editor, not that the DP can afford those anymore. Or maybe you should try your hand at a “young adult novel.” Wait: according to Frei’s website that’s exactly what he’s doing now. My kids can’t wait for him to find a publisher.

Bill
Bill
8 years ago

Iggy, I agree with you. But I’m 67 and my grandson lives 600 miles away. When he comes I like to take him to the ballpark. I’m not going to say, “Kid, we won’t go until they fire the GM”. Denver is a good baseball town. The Bears and the Zephyrs would come close to outdrawing some ML teams.

trip
trip
8 years ago

Jeem, I enjoy your writing, but I felt your profiling a typical baseball fan as a white suburbanite as narrow minded as the article you are mocking. The next time you go to Coors field take a look around at the other buildings. Those are pretty nice homes and are not the residences of undesirables. Just because people have tats and piercings does not mean they are not hard working folks just like you. All those PEOPLE can be quite… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago
Reply to  trip

I’m gonna give Jeem a break here. He was trying to put himself in the mindset of a typical (no, not “average”) fan making the big trek to Coors. I live in the city myself, but I work with lots of folks (many of whom are not “non-Hispanic whites”) but they are all suburbanites) who literally visit downtown Denver once or twice a year. And Jeem kind of captured the mixture of uncertainty and excitement with which they make that… Read more »

elrodvt
elrodvt
8 years ago
Reply to  trip

Trip, right on. If you can’t figure out how to peak your car within a 10 minute walk and are intimidated by new faces and food I feel sorry for you all. Rant on: I don’t come to this site often because the pretty ridiculous amount of GM ranting is boring. But, what strikes me, is there are a bunch of people, who almost never go to games complaining that us suckers who do provide the revenue to provide for… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  elrodvt

elrodvt, i appreciate your insight and thoughts on Jeems write-up. It is always good to get a conversation going and, while you don’t come on here often, i’d hope you would come on more often to understand that it may seem like there is a “pretty ridiculous amount of GM ranting”, but it isn’t as over the top as you will find elsewhere. Sure, with how bad this season (and the end of last season) has been, some do get… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Jeem, nice explanation of where you were going with your write-up. elrodvt, I’m not a “boycott the Rockies” type. I go to games. Not as many as I used to, but that’s more a function of my job and family coming ahead of baseball at this time in my life. I don’t think a boycott is the way to go, but I do believe it is appropriate and important to keep people focused on what’s going wrong here with Rockies… Read more »

trip
trip
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Jeem, Thanks for your explanation. I much preferred that over an apology. My point is the article was all about generalities. I am a suburban white guy that likes to go downtown for the games, as well as lots of other reasons. I guess I don’t see getting to games as much of an adventure as you. But I have many friends that live downtown, and live there for the reasons stated, more diversity, different restaurants, whatnot. As to the… Read more »

Jeem
Jeem
8 years ago
Reply to  trip

Cool. And I get it.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago

and to think … I just enjoyed my time at Petco. I believe Dr Rockies is currently at Chase.

rockymountainhigh
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

I agree with Ag’s one point: “Attendance is juiced by existing ticket sales (Frei’s one good point), and also by all the various discounts and groups. If this club loses 100 and tries to convince us that minor tweaks in the offseason have “changed the club culture,” I don’t see fans buying it in 2013, and I do see the beginning of a long, long downswing for the Rockies…” Earlier this year (before the season?) I made a comment along… Read more »

elrodvt
elrodvt
8 years ago

Thanks guys, Jeem you cleared up some things for me there and I’ll get off my soap box. 😉 I think an interesting discussion would be how to best show displeasure. I just can’t imagine not being a season ticket holder gives you more leverage than being one? If I was a “year of the fan” owner I would not pay much attention to the random, idiotic, rants of Sizla (sp?) or Woody whatever. Nor letters to the editor for… Read more »

elrodvt
elrodvt
8 years ago

“how to donate again”…

NM, I found the button at the top. 😉 Done….

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  elrodvt

Thanks my friend, your comments and donation are both very appreciated and welcomed. One of the hardest parts of the team not doing well, and many die-hard followers becoming disillusioned, is the distinct downturn of traffic on this site. At the beginning of the season it wasn’t uncommon for a pre-game or post-game to get over 50 or so comments. We’ve had over 100 comments on previous posts, but lately it has been really quiet…i don’t blame people for not… Read more »

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