DENVER (AP) — The recent fury of Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort wasn't directed at his front office or even his players, just his paying customers.
He lashed out at fans who were bashing the bad baseball at Coors Field, suggesting to one in an email exchange that maybe Denver doesn't deserve a major league team anymore.
Monfort issued an apology and said that relocating the Rockies "has never been, and will never be an option."
Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez understands his owner's exasperation. He feels it, too, in a season that's turned sour.
At 40-55, the injury-riddled Rockies are on course for their fourth straight losing season. They trail the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by 13 games at the All-Star break.
"(Monfort) wants to win just like we want to win," said Gonzalez, who returned Friday after missing more than a month with an injured left index finger. "He's a guy that will get in front of us and let us know the way he feels and express himself.
"Fans, they're going to get frustrated, of course. When we don't get results, we get frustrated, too."
After raising eyebrows this spring by predicting a 90-win season, Monfort drew even more attention last week by admonishing some supporters who expressed concerns with the product on the field. Monfort went so far as to suggest they not come out to Coors Field.
He later backtracked, saying "I want to express my sincere apology to Rockies fans that received a recent email response that was not consistent with our organization's values. ... The fact that so many of you take the time to write to us demonstrates your tremendous passion for the Rockies."
The Rockies got off to a fast start, even spending a day — May 7 — tied for first. But they've been besieged by injuries and inconsistent play, swooning to a franchise-worst June mark of 8-20 to drop well back of the pack.
"It's certainly disappointing where we're at," said manager Walt Weiss, whose squad leads the major leagues in hitting (.281), but is last in ERA (5.07). "We've had to fight through some tough stuff."
The Rockies have relied on 13 different starting pitchers this season, including prized prospect Eddie Butler, who made a start before going on the disabled list with an inflamed rotator cuff. The starters have earned just five wins over the last 29 games, with ace Jorge De La Rosa accounting for four of them.