COLORADO — After a disappointing 2012 season, the Rockies knew they would have to take a hard look at their entire organization, and figure out how they could be sure to improve going forward. What they never expected was that a leaked memo from a leading technology company would inspire them to make a change that they hope will change their fortunes in 2013 and beyond. This past week, it was revealed that Yahoo was requiring all employees working from home to instead come into the office, where they could theoretically be more productive, creative, and showered than they were in their living rooms.
Upon reading this news, Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd had a brainstorm. If it was the right policy for Yahoo, perhaps it was something to think about for the Rockies. All season, there had been a terrible gap in the infield, as Todd Helton, Josh Rutledge, Troy Tulowitzki, and Chris Nelson had all taken advantage of the team’s generous telecommuting policies to work from home instead of coming to the stadium or heading out on the road. This had led to countless ground balls sneaking through to the outfield, an endless number of missed at-bats, and, at least in Helton’s case, bizarre decisions to drive drunk and play the lottery. While the team had sought to make it easier for its players to balance work and life responsibilities by letting them play the field from their home offices, nearly 100 losses on the year made O’Dowd start to wonder whether this was the right plan for the Rockies going forward.
Thus, just this morning, the team has issued an urgent news release:
To become the absolute best place to play, communication and collaboration are important, and we need to be physically fielding side-by-side in order to stop most grounders. That is why it is critical that we are all present at the stadium. Some of the best baseball is played by people who are actually on the field, wearing uniforms, and cheering on our pitchers. Bat speed is often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one team, and that starts with physically being together.
Beginning in June, we’re asking all players with work-from-home arrangements to show up to the games ready to play. Yes, we’ll sacrifice April and May, but, hey, we’re trying. If this impacts you, our manager has already been in touch with next steps. For those of you who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, the inground pool installer, the divorce lawyer, or the financial planner, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Rockie isn’t just about posing for pictures on baseball cards, it is about actually playing baseball. Sometimes.
The team looks forward to winning perhaps as many as three additional games this season thanks to the new policy.