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Rockies Journal: Has losing become too acceptable at 20th and Blake?

If you’re a Rockies fan, the preseason previews and predictions for the 2024 season are beyond dismal.


FanGraphs projects the Rockies to have an MLB-worst 0.1% chance at making the postseason in 2024. FanGraphs sees the Rockies finishing 63-99.

Baseball Prospectus projects a 57-105 record, two losses worse than the Rockies’ 103 losses last season.

ESPN predicts 57-105, the worst record in the majors. Yes, worse than the Oakland A’s.

• Fansided says 60-102.

• The wiseguys at BetMGM put the Rockies’ win total at 60.5. Oakland is the only team with a lower win total (56.5) than Colorado.

As I said, it’s a dismal forecast.

Players bristle when you bring up lousy predictions. They get ticked off when the media dwells on losing streaks. Manager Bud Black got a little chippy with me last season when the Rockies lost to the Dodgers in a game that marked the first 100-loss season in franchise history.

“It’s another loss this season,” Black said. “I don’t know quite (what the question is). I mean, it’s 98, 99, 100. That’s another loss.”

Black went on the say that the milestone loss held no major significance to himself or his players.

I didn’t buy that argument then and I don’t buy it now.

I realize that the Rockies are “rebuilding.” And I’m sure the front office is aware that a .500 season and a possible flirtation with the postseason won’t come until 2025.

But my question is this: Have the Rockies become too comfortable with losing? Has a losing culture become acceptable at 20th and Blake?

I took my questions to fiery left-hander Kyle Freeland, who is the most candid of all the Rockies’ veterans.

“There might have been some times when …,” Freeland began, then paused for a moment. “We were too OK with it. At times. Obviously, we want to win every night. We are going out there trying to win ballgames. We aren’t trying to lose.”

Before the Rockies opened spring training, I asked veteran third baseman Ryan McMahon about the hangover from 103 losses.

“Last season is not something we were proud of, and I think you feel it even a little more in the offseason when you look back on it,” he said. “So if that doesn’t motivate you through your offseason workouts and such, I don’t know what else will.

“But I like this team. I think we have some good young players, sprinkled with a few vets. So I’m thinking that we can make some noise. I’m hoping that we can sneak up on some people. I don’t think a lot of people are expecting much from us, and that’s not a bad spot to be in.”

McMahon is right about the “good young players.” With shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, left fielder Nolan Jones and center fielder Brenton Doyle already making their mark, and several other prospects nearing their big-league debut, there is some reason to hope.

But a big dilemma remains: Will the Rockies have enough pitching talent ready to go when the young position players begin to shine? If not, the club’s window to win is not going to open.

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Way back in November 2013, Troy Renck, The Post’s new columnist, was our lead Rockies beat writer. He asked owner Dick Monfort how likely it was, given Monfort’s business model, that the Rockies should reach the playoffs. Monfort said a realistic goal was “twice every five years.”

That’s not a very high bar but it’s one that the Rockies have trouble reaching. They had six consecutive losing seasons, from 2011 to ’16, before making the playoffs in 2017-18 in Black’s first two seasons. Those two playoff seasons netted exactly one playoff win — the 2018 wild-card victory over the Cubs.

Now the Rockies have endured five consecutive losing seasons and a sixth looks likely. Perhaps the forecasts are wrong. Perhaps, as McMahon said, the Rockies can “sneak up on some people.”

But I don’t think so. My prediction: 65-97.

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