Trust a team with Dick Monfort in charge and a dinosaur for a mascot to get accused of being stuck in the Stone Age.

Trust a team with Dick Monfort in charge and a dinosaur for a mascot to get accused of being stuck in the Stone Age.

Full disclosure: The kids upstairs in The Grading The Week cubicles are a heck of a lot better at Strat-O-Matic than they ever were at hitting a curveball. A few of them were reading Bill James in middle school, even. We were nerds, OK? N-E-R-D-S. All caps. Sue us.

Although a funny thing happened in baseball at the start of the 21st century: those same nerds started to rule America’s Pastime.

Yeah, sure, the largest payrolls usually win out, same as in big-time soccer in Europe. But working smarter, with the use of analytics and sabermetrics, could provide a budget-friendly path to the postseason — a different way of looking at rosters and players, of building a collective that could be stronger, over a long season, than the sum of its individual parts.

In other words, the “Moneyball” age. All of which apparently hasn’t hit 20th & Blake yet. And if it did, it came and went like a Front Range summer storm.

The Rockies aren’t last! (Although they’re close.) — D.

We mention this because of two quotes that hit the news early last week. And a poll. But mostly two quotes. Here they are, cleaned up for a family publication:

“I think it’s better now, but when I was there, it was horse-(expletive).”

“(Heard from another player that) it’s like going back to the Stone Age.”

That was two anonymous MLB players talking about our beloved Rox. And not in, ya know, flattering terms.

It was a small snippet from a survey of 79 current players published a few days back by The Athletic and The New York Times. When the Rockies were mentioned in the results, no shock, the tone wasn’t kind.

In a poll of the most overrated players in the game, the oft-injured but well-compensated Kris Bryant garnered at least one vote. And, more damning, when the 80-ish players were asked which franchises had the “worst” reputation among their peers, Colorado landed fourth from the top.

That’s good for a playoff spot now, right? No? That’s not how this works? (We kid.) The Oakland/Sacramento/Vegas/Jenny Cavnar Athletics were first, or rock bottom, on that front, followed by the White Sox, Angels, Rox and Mets.

On a related note, Four Rings Sports Solutions released a study last August in which it charted how many full-time analytics types MLB teams had under their respective umbrellas.

The Rockies had 11, which was tied for next-to-last in baseball with Miami. And it was ahead of only — ironically, given the franchise’s role in leading the “Moneyball” revolution — the aforementioned Athletics.

The four largest analytics departments belonged to the Rays (44 staffers), Yankees (43) and Dodgers (35) and Phillies (35).

If you’re curious, and Team GTW sure was, those franchises since 2015, have a winning percentage of .541 (Tampa Bay), .575 (Yankees), .622 (Dodgers) and .488 (Phillies), respectively. The Rockies were at a .451 clip going into Saturday morning. It doesn’t take an analytics expert to do the math on that one.

Colin Prater’s week — A.

A month ago, Colin Prater was teaching biology to teens and coaching golf at Cheyenne Mountain High School. This past week, he found himself trading shots with Wyndham Clark, Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth.

The 29-year-old from Colorado Springs recently beat out more than 9,500 competitors to qualify for the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, N.C.. He shot a 79 in the first round and a 78 in the second, missing the cut after a +17 for the weekend.

It’s the latest feather in the cap for Prater, who won the Colorado Golf Association Amateur in 2016 and 2020 and lived a dream, if only for a few days. Prater, the Colorado Golf Association’s Les Fowler Player of the Year in 2023, also is slated to become a father for the second time next month. So, no, not a bad start to the summer. Not bad at all.

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