Tracy looking ahead to brighter days in 2013

Tracy looking ahead to brighter days in 2013

Tracy looking ahead to brighter days in 2013
DENVER -- A three-game winning streak entering the home finale at Coors Field wasn't enough to color manager Jim Tracy's glasses rose. The Rockies skipper, who has managed to find bright spots on the club's darkest days, had no problem putting the team's performance in perspective when asked to grade it.

"It's a losing season," Tracy said. "It's a season where, from a youth standpoint, individuals have grown. But I don't manage Major League baseball teams to come in last place. So from that standpoint, as far as the standings are concerned. F. That's what it is.

"If you're going to be a championship caliber club, and you're going to win championships, your standards have to be set extremely high. You don't get an opportunity to play baseball in October if you screw it up in April, May, and June. And that's what we did."

There have been no shortage of bright spots on the field and at the plate, where the Rockies entered the final game at Coors Field hitting .305 (852-for-2797) at home. They have collected double digit hits in eight games in a row, and put together 10 hits, including a pair of homers, in the first three innings on Thursday against the Cubs.

"We don't lose baseball games here from a lack of effort and intensity," Tracy said. "Offense is not a problem here. And it won't be next year either."

The problem has been a pitching staff that has an ERA more than a half run higher than any team in the league and a starting rotation that has averaged 4.73 innings per game.

"We need to fix what gets done 60 feet and 60 inches away from home plate, bottom line," Tracy said. "There's no side-stepping it, there's no talking around it, that's what needs to be fixed. There's youth here that can help to repair it, but in order to be a competitive club and remain competitive in the National League West, you got to be able to pitch competitively. You have to be able to give your bullpen a chance."

With personnel changes all but certain in the offseason, Tracy remained optimistic about returning to the manager's office in 2013, though the talk of his "lifetime contract" that preceded the season is long-gone.

"I have a contract for 2013," Tracy said. "I love it here. I love the city, I love the people, I love the way I've been treated. This community is out of sight.

"Yes I do [feel good about the job I've done here]. I personally feel there's more I'm capable of giving."