In a triumphant return to Denver last year under laurel leaves, a confetti sky and the mantle of a National League Championship, the Rockies had they looked behind them might have heard the faint murmur of the Shakespearean-like soothsayer Woody Paige, warning: "All glory is fleeting."
Suddenly now the sole possessors of last place at 11 games out, the Rockies are being urged forward by the inveterate Denver Post columnist toward a grim day of reckoning when a sad farewell must be bid to beloved son Matt Holliday.
Yes, Matt Holliday, that Matt Holliday; he of the 2007 .340 batting average, 36 home runs and 137 RBI, who -- nursing a hamstring injury at home -- mercilessly has been spared witnessing the current road trip in which the Rockies have dropped the last six games for a loss of 17 of 19 away from home and a 20-36 overall mark, the worst in major league baseball.
The inescapable conclusion is that the season is over even before the All Star break, and says Paige: "These tough times demand tough decisions."
Paige's argument is that because Holliday will be in his walk year in 2009, he must be dealt for value before the July 31 trade deadline so that the team can get about the business of rebuilding for next year, and before cattle barons Charlie and Dick Monfort -- who have controlled the team since its inception -- idly watch Holliday seek greener pastures with whomever is willing to pay him and agent Scott Boras Karloff market price on the hoof.
"We love Holliday as a player and a man, but you know, I know, everybody knows that the Monforts, playing poker with scared money, won't resign their dictatorship and won't re-sign Holliday," Paige asserts.
Among at least 10 potential suitors are the Yankees, Mets, Indians, Athletics, Giants, Braves, Cardinals and the Blue Jays, all presumably with pitchers and prospects to spare.
"Trading Holliday is not a popular proposal -- and can be argued -- but in my opinion it's reality, and the right move to make," says Paige.