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Rockies owner Dick Monfort to angry Rockies fan: “don’t come!”

Jul 9, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

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The Rockies aren’t doing that great and, on the Fourth of July, they got their butts handed to them. One fan, who took his family over 200 miles from Grand Junction, CO to Denver to see that game, filled out a fan satisfaction form after the game and dropped it in a box.

I’m sure many of you have done that before at ballparks, retail stores, restaurants, whatever. I’m guessing most of you have never received a response. I haven’t. And I certainly have never received a response directly from the owner of the business. But this fan from Grand Junction did. From News Channel 5 in Grand Junction:

“I pretty much just filled out the survey and kinda wrote a little bit about how it’s frustrating to spend the money and go see [Rockies] teams that are constantly struggling all the time,” said Ferguson.

Two days later, he found out his comments did not go unnoticed. Ferguson received a reply in his inbox simply stating, “If product and experience that bad don’t come!”… signed owner, chairman and CEO of the Colorado Rockies Dick Monfort.

Monfort was seemingly so eager to respond back to the fan that he sent the response by telegram. At least I’m assuming it was based on the lack of articles in the note.

Don’t worry, Dick. If the team continues to stink, they won’t.

Anyway, I can see a fan complaint like that not rising to the attention of the actual owner of the team. And I can see, if such fan complaints did rise to the attention of the owner of the team, the owner trying to turn it into a good customer service moment of some kind. But I really can’t figure out how the owner of a team figures that a snippy little response like that is a better idea than simply ignoring it or doing something nice.

  1. chacochicken - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Maybe if you can’t take one fan’s honest and accurate observation then sell the team.

    • bmfc1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Why would the above comment get two thumbs down? Is Monfort reading Hardball Talk?

      • natstowngreg - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Because there are people out there who get jollies from dissing others. Better if they can do it anonymously.

        If you post a comment, and don’t get at least one thumbs-down, it probably wasn’t read.

      • xmatt0926x - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        I never do the thumbs up/down thing on any blog, but there’s one thing that’s as sure as death, taxes, and Ruben Amaro being an awful GM, and that’s getting at least one “thumbs down”, no matter what you say. You could say you wish for world peace and that there will be no starving children in the world and you will surely get at least one thumb down.

        Some people just hate.

      • tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        I measure the success of my comment by the thumbs, but if I only get Ups then whatever I said was just too obvious. You want some Downs.

    • ravensgrl - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Why leave comment cards if you don’t want to hear all comments?

      • natstowngreg - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Because it’s supposed to make you look good. As though you care about the customers. Even if you don’t.

  2. tomass1947 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Sounds like Monfort might be related to Sterling

  3. jlovenotjlo - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Let them eat cake!

    • natstowngreg - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Please, don’t mention cake. That will start the whole cake vs. pie nonsense.

      • basedrum777 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        cake>pie.

  4. paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Well, this is the guy that thought adding Brett Anderson was worth 12 wins. Maybe he’s just not very bright. There are a lot of dumb rich people who just had smart and industrious ancestors.

    • 4d3fect - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Easy there, you’re sounding uncomfortably like Malcom Gladwell.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        This isn’t exactly a new concept. Dumb people born into wealth or power that do and say dumb things and confuse birth with faculty is a social tradition.

      • chc4 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        There are even more dumb people that aren’t born into wealth and power. Pretty sure the owner of the Rockies didn’t order the signing of Brett Anderson. That said Monfort’s decision to send a snipey letter back to the fan is ridiculous. Must have thin skin.

      • stex52 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        The British have a term for it. They call then “twits.” But they have had the leisure of centuries of hereditary aristocracy to observe.

        We’re new to this with our rising oligarchy. But we will catch up.

      • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        In a sense, they did order the signing of Brett Anderson and countless stiffs like him. Years ago, the Rockies allowed Dan O’Dowd to lavish two of the worst contracts in baseball history on Mike “Hothead” Hampton and Denny “Whoremaster” Neagle. Once these guys sucked as badly as 99% of outside observers expected, the Monforts decreed that no more high dollar free agents would be signed because it simply doesn’t work. No, they would build their team by drafting relief pitchers like Greg Reynolds with the second overall pick with Kershaw, Longoria, Scherzer and Lincecum on the board.

    • gothapotamus90210 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      “Just because you were born on 3rd base doesn’t mean you hit a triple.”

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Back in 1988, Ann Richards had a great (though unfair) line about George H.W. Bush: “Poor George. He was born on third base (note: true!) and thought he hit a triple (note: not true).” I’ve come to believe this is true of a lot of wealthy people. As best as I can tell (via four seconds on wikipedia, in other words), Monfort inherited his father’s money.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        Yeah, I looked quickly before commenting. Looks like he and his idiot brother just screwed around for a while and were then given high paying administrative jobs in their father’s company and then inherited his money.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        I try to avoid all politics on here – but this is going to tip my hat (a little)

        In W’s biography, he relates a story about the 1994 Texas Gubernatorial election. Prior to their debate, he and Richards – by coincidence of timing – ended up in an elevator together. Each had one aide with them, but otherwise it was just them. As we all know, no one knows what to say in an elevator, so W just said causally “Good luck tonight, Governor”. She immediately retorted back “Boy, I am going e-a-a-t you up tonight”. He goes on to say that, whatever her intention was, all that quote did was put him at ease. His thinking was, if she feels she need to say something like that, at THAT late of a stage in the game, she must feel nervous about how the debate was going to go.

        I just thought it illustrated something about Richards: her career got a huge catapult from the pokes at H.W. in 1988, but she never quite realized that once you are on top, you have to turn off the school yard taunts or it will backfire

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Actually, that line was pretty fair. Of course, it’s even more true of Shrub than of Poppy.

      • mrpinkca - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:18 AM

        She may have used the “born on 3rd base and thought he hit a triple” line at some other point, but the “Poor George” line was “He can’t help it; he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”

    • indaburg - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      This is also the millionaire who thinks that drinking and driving is a great idea: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/04/rockies-co-owner-charlie-monfort-pleads-guilty-to-dui/

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        It’s his brother than is the drunk, isn’t it? I don’t remember Dick commenting on it.

      • indaburg - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        Paperlions is correct–I was wrong. I got my Monforts mixed up.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Well, they are all dicks, so…..

      • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        That stupid smile plastered across his goofy mug is the very face of entitlement.

  5. chargrz - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    I wish fans would stop going and then owners like this might change their tune. Never gonna happen though. Just wishful thinking.

    • phillies816 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      If the Phillies owners said anything like this I would never step foot in that ballpark again until they sold the team. The only way to get change is to stop spending money on organizations like this. As a Phillies fan I have been to more away games this year than home games because this organization is atrocious. If the Phillies bring back Ruben Amaro as GM and his scouting department next year I won’t step foot in that ballpark. To be honest I had a much better time seeing games in Baltimore this year and at a much cheaper price anyway. How can these owners in all sports be so dumb?

    • stoutfiles - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Then the Rockies would have a huge payroll dump and live off TV money and revenue sharing. Fans coming matters not.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Isn’t the problem that the owners have no reason to really care about the average fan? Most of their money comes via TV (with long-term contracts), both national and local. And the sales of luxury boxes, I would imagine, have very little to do with how good the team is.

      Surely, a winning team makes more money than a losing team, all other things being equal. But I’d guess that a big percentage of the revenue is not tied to the quality of the product.

      • stex52 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        Our arguments overlap a bit, because you do talk about luxury boxes. But an owner can’t just walk away from fans coming in. Assume 2.5 million at about $40 a pop. (That’s ticket, concessions, souvenir shop and parking, and I think $40 is low). That’s 100 MM$. Outside of the LA and Yankee franchises, I don’t think anybody pulls that kind of numbers from regional or MLB TV money.

        So the guy may be an idiot, but he does need butts in the seats.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        Yes, I agree with a lot of this. However, let’s look at this: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/rockattn.shtml

        Once the newness of the Rockies had worn off, it appears they maxed out at 3.2 million tickets in a season. The least they’ve ever drawn is 2.5 million. So that’s probably the range you’re looking at — 2.5 million to 3.2 million. It’s not about zero tickets versus 3.2 million tickets.

  6. bostonfrogs - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Sounds like the owner is aptly named.

  7. chip56 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I’m guessing Monfort did not get his start in public relations.

    • sportsdrenched - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      No, he was a cattle buyer at Daddy’s Company for a few years before being named VP of something. Then Daddy sold out to ConAgra Foods.

      So you can see, the Monfort Brothers pulled themselves up by the boot straps and learned valuable lessons in all aspects of running a company. Including Public Relations.

    • bronco58lb - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Rockies PR guy Jay Alves might be the biggest prick in the business.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        well, that was specific.

  8. jcmeyer10 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I say the 4 dollar Rock Pile tickets are the only decent value in the park.

    • mondogarage - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      To be fair, the five dollar garlic fries and $7.50 monster chicken nachos aren’t bad.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Touche. Hell they may not even have the 4 dollar Rock Pile prices anymore. Been a couple years.

  9. yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    This shin skinned jerk and his alcoholic brother were both stunned to find out several years ago that baseball fans in the state despise them. Their daddy was a decent guy when he first got into the meat packing business, but in the 80’s he remade himself as the type of corporate villain that flourished under Ronald Reagan. The wondrous miracle of deregulation enabled his plants to go from processing 60 head of cattle in an hour to around 400, with all the attendant health issues. Working in a rendering plant was dirty and dangerous, but people could also make a career out of it. Now, its about as dangerous a job as you can find and the line workers are almost exclusively immigrants who know reporting a workplace injury is tantamount to quitting.

    These incompetent Dan O’Dowd employing cretins are smart enough to realize spending a Colorado summer evening at a baseball stadium is almost irresistible regardless of the A ball level of play the fans have been subjected to this season. That’s not an exaggeration, either. The product on the field has been utterly atrocious this year. Since late May, they’ve had separate stretches of futility of 3-13 and 3-18 and this clown is petulant because a fan dared to express his impatience.

  10. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    “…based on the lack of articles in the note”

    Heh-heh, and Craig’s war on poor grammar continue. I don’t think it winnable. (sic)

    If the Rockies owner is smart (which seems questionable at the moment), he will do a full mea culpa about having a bad day when he wrote that – his car had broken down, the office AC was broke, plus he had just quit smoking.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different. ”

      ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:58 AM

        You are not a useful idiot for the rich.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Grammar is undefeated.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        I no good, so me not know if that right

  11. thatsnuckinfuts - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Success in pro sport begins from the top down, obviously the Rockies will never be successful with (a) Dick as the owner

    • dorbs345 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. No one in the from office believes they can win. They tell 18 year old pitchers you can’t pitch here so it’s instilled in their minds before they ever get a chance. I feel bad for Tulo and Cargo who want nothing but to win. Yet management and owners are greedy alcoholic scumbags.

    • dorbs345 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. No one in the front office believes they can win. They tell 18 year old pitchers you can’t pitch here so it’s instilled in their minds before they ever get a chance. I feel bad for Tulo and Cargo who want nothing but to win. Yet management and owners are greedy alcoholic scumbags.

  12. autoftp - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    The Rockies are a sad excuse for a baseball team and organization. They’ve been forever mediocre, getting outrageously lucky in two different years and trying to pass that off as knowledge-based success.

    That’s why I refuse to go to games, as much as I’d like to – having grown up going to games at Yankee Stadium. When ownership is selling the ballpark experience and not the team on the field, you know they know the team is terrible and they’re just trying to drain your wallets. Sorry – there are far better things to do in Colorado than get fleeced watching a Triple-A team with only a couple of legitimate MLB players.

  13. yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    My wife and I are going to take in a Colorado Sky Sox game next month. They’re in last place, too. With Jonathan Gray slated to spend the whole year in AA, I’m guessing Kyle Parker will be the only guy with an MLB future on the roster for that game.

  14. yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    My wife and I are going to take in a Colorado Sky Sox game next month. They’re in last place, too. With Jonathan Gray slated to spend the whole year in AA, I’m guessing Kyle Parker will be the only guy with an MLB future on the roster for that game.

  15. trbmb - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    What is really needed within MLB is an arrival that will fill in the blanks for bad ownership, that is the entry of James Dolan, The Fortunate Son of Cablevision, who will quite quickly make all other Owners look magnificent. If the Steinbrenner Clan ever looks to exit, The Fortunate Son will be looming and then MLB Ownership will achieve ultimate mediocrity.

  16. bluburt - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    So wait up a second…

    Yes the owner is a DB for saying that, but the fan is pretty stupid too, IMO…

    Did he expect that the Rocks would be good in the one game that he went to after pretty much stinking up the joint the last two months…?

    Buyer beware, I say…

    • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      On the other hand, is it really that much to ask for them to straighten up and play well for a single game?

      • bluburt - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Yes, they are the Rockies after all…

    • sportsdrenched - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      I’m a Royals fan and I’ve watched a lot of bad baseball. The Rockies are lucky this guy still cared enough to go. The next step is apathy, which I’ve been at with the Royals before. You find something else to spend your time and money on. And in a place like Colorado….that is very easy.

      • dowhatifeellike - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        I moved here 3 years ago, and my list of things to do is still growing faster than I can cross them off. I’ve been to exactly 3 Rockies games, which is a shame because I can take the free shuttle after work and walk 5 blocks and I’m there in 15 minutes. The “fan experience” is pretty good, but even as a guy who sits quietly and stays focused the entire game, I lose focus here because it’s just not a good product. I’d rather walk over to the batting cage or radar gun cage or chat with people. It’s just not engaging, which is a shame because it’s a beautiful ballpark in a good location.

        I’ve been an Orioles fan my whole life (29 years) so I know how it is to follow a losing team for 20 years. The Rockies just feel like they’re not even trying. They can churn through as many players, managers, and GMs as they like, but it’s pretty clear that the guy at the top is the problem at this point.

      • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Watching the Royals hit must be soul sapping at times, but they are an extremely proficient defensive team, so you’re at least watching sound baseball. The Rockies have resembled a little league team at time this season, allowing the bases to clear on a wild pitch, for example.

    • tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      I guess I’m just not a very good fan anymore. The Dodgers were my team while growing up but they lost me forever by trading Piazza. I live about five miles from The Big A so I most often see the Angels, and I follow them more closely than any other team, and I’d like to see them win. But when I’m at the game, I just don’t have that attitude to dog the other team – if one of the opposition’s players makes a great play, I acknowledge it with a cheer. I always loved Ichiro’s play even though it sometimes came at the expense of the Angels, and even when I was a kid and the Machine was beating the Dodgers like a drum I admired Bench, Morgan (but never Rose – he was a jerk). I hate some of the jerks because they are jerks (Lackey) and I hated him when he jerked for the Angels. Does this make me bad? I need to see my analyst..

  17. dustinb18 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    OK ! NOT COMING ANYMORE !

  18. missingdiz - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I feel bad for the fans. My wife and I visited Denver and went to a Cards-Rockies game. There were Cards fans all over town, including the brewpub where we ate just before the game. Everybody was nice, even though it seems the fans are very much into the Rockies. Very nice ballpark, great location, no unpleasantness in the stands. I almost felt bad that the Cards won 8-0, except that part of it was Adams hitting a 3-run homer off a lefty–can’t feel bad about a miracle!

  19. JP - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    The only thing lower than the Rockies win total is Dick Monfort’s IQ. Incompetent is an understatement. What a complete loser this guy is.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      He has to be a Republican.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM

        Aw, he probably inherited that too.

  20. karystrance - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    They’ll keep coming, win or lose. And so will the dope.

  21. jimeejohnson - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    It isn’t just this guy. It’s the way of the world. The customer is now always wrong!

  22. jollyjoker2 - Jul 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    I like the comment – if you want to pay big coin to watch a loser team..whose the dumb one?

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