Rockies face rough road ahead
Saddled with several big contracts, the Rockies will continue to be stuck in mediocrity for some time.
Originally Published: December 28, 2004By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
In the space of four months beginning in December 2000, the Colorado Rockies committed to spending $313.5 million on three players.
Mike Hampton: 8 years, $121 million
Denny Neagle: 5 years, $51 million
Todd Helton: 9 years, $141.5 million
They weren't. Those contracts free-agent deals for Hampton and Neagle, a contract extension for Helton were the brainchildren of Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, and I can personally vouch for O'Dowd's sanity. In the case of Hampton and Neagle, O'Dowd's research led to the conclusion that pitchers with great change-ups were best-suited to the thin air of Denver, so he went to extreme lengths to acquire two of the best who throw the pitch.
Todd Helton, a career .339 hitter, was second in the NL with a .347 average in '04.