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, 2004
By 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. I don't remember what I thought about these deals at the time, but in retrospect they look like the work of a madman, don't they?

Todd Helton
Todd Helton, a career .339 hitter, was second in the NL with a .347 average in '04.
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.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider