Jeff Francis walked three of the first four batters that he faced on Monday afternoon, then gave up a run-scoring double to Rick Ankiel and a two-run single to Yadier Molina. On the day, he gave up four hits and five walks in just 2.1 innings. Later that day, he got the news that he had been traded.
"He's supposed to be our staff ace?" Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd said Monday night. "That's not the kind of performance we need. We needed Jeff to come out and give his best every day. I know pitchers have bad days sometimes, but if this is going to be a regular thing, we can't afford to keep him around."
It was announced that Francis was traded to the Braves for recently-signed minor league third baseman Scott Spiezio, who is expected to take Francis's spot in the rotation. O'Dowd was impressed by the 0.00 ERA Spiezio posted in one inning of work for the Cardinals last season. "That's the kind of performance we need from our starting pitchers, not what Jeff did today," O'Dowd said in a statement.
In other news, Matt Holliday, last year's MVP runner-up, was traded to the Giants late Monday night for shortstop Brian Bocock. "The [bleep]ing Giants?" Holliday said when asked about the trade. "I can't [bleep]ing believe that. I strike out one time on Monday, and they're going to trade me to the Giants? This is such horse [bleep]." O'Dowd defended the move by pointing out that Holliday struck out 126 times last season. "The strikeouts are nothing new. I just think the franchise needs to go in a new direction, and Matt is not a part of that. Let me ask you this, who is more likely to be a part of the next Rockies World Series team: Matt Holliday or Brian Bocock? I think you have your answer," O'Dowd said in a press release. To make room for Bocock, the Rockies sent incumbent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Royals for a player to be named later. Tulowitzki could not be immediately reached for comment, but his agent said in a statement, "What is this, some kind of joke? They're trading away the face of the franchise because of one bad day?" O'Dowd gushed about all the intangibles that Player To Be Named Later will bring to the Rockies.
In other news, Major League Baseball has announced that despite the fact that Monday's game did not go the required five innings for a regulation game, it will count in the standings, so the Rockies now stand at 0-1 on the season. A press release on MLB.com stated: "We know we normally require that games go five innings, but with the way Francis was pitching and the way yesterday's game was going, we think there is no way that the Rockies were going to come back even if it hadn't been for the rain. We had seen enough after two and a half innings to decide that the Cardinals should have won yesterday's game."
UPDATE!!! In another roster move, Dan O'Dowd, impressed with his performance throwing out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Sunday night, signed President George W. Bush to a three-year, $36 million contract. "George looks like he has limitless potential as a pitcher. I've never seen a 62-year-old bring that kind of heat. I think he's got a lot left in the tank. Plus he fits in well with our team's Christian philosophy, and that's something we're really serious about."
And one last item of news to report for the day...
Happy April Fool's Day.
That is all.