It was surprising to learn that Tracy Ringolsby, affectionately known as "Cowboy", was once the President of the Baseball Writers of America and that he penned a syndicated baseball column for thirty years. That's a ton of credibility for a man who's willing to shill for the Colorado Rockies even though it's obvious even to a layman that they are monumentally bad.
To be fair, Ringolsby basically works for the team. The folks at Root Sports Rocky Mountain are not fond of confessing that they're muted - but most people realize it's true. He has a certain obligation to discuss the team in as positive a light as he can - difficult as it may be. But he doesn't need to jump into the fray when other members of the media are critical. Yet he does.
The Cowboy defends the indefensible and, in doing so, looks like a fool. Worse, he engages in arguments with fans regularly via Twitter. He doesn't settle for simply stroking the Rockies; he protects the team like a psychotic older brother, engaging people in trite backs and forths that ultimately turn embarassing. His syntax and spelling are often poor and, as John Reidy pointed out in his article, Tracy Ringolsby's guide to Twitter, he frequently replies to people randomly and without referencing whatever it was that they originally said, which gives the appearance that he's rambling.
Ringolsby would have been far better off having not joined the world of social media. As seasoned a journalist as he is, his lack of awareness as to the impact and breadth of Twitter ruffles feathers and paints him as a journalistic relic.
Ringolsby has recently taken to fighting publicly with various radio personalities. He and Rick Lewis of 103.5 the Fox (who has been extremely critical of the Monforts) tangled over the Dan O'Dowd rumors which were presumably advanced by Rich "G man" Goins at the same station.
He has gone many rounds with Dino Costa, who makes his living talking sports over satellite radio. Rogolsby even retweeted a post comparing Costa to Jerry Sandusky - one which is undeniably hilarous:
Institutional neglect. Willful ignorance. Enabling a monster. But enough about Sirius/XM employing Dino Costa, this PSU stuff is just awful
Ringolsby also said this:
Mention Dino Costa = loss of credibility
Perhaps it's true. Costa is a lightening rod, but is it Ringolsby's place to call Costa out? Probably not. But Costa is a frequent critic of the Rockies which makes him a target of the cowboy.
What's puzzling is that a fellow with the resume Tracy Ringolsby has would rise to bait as frequently as he does. One would think that he would be above the fray. But he's not.
Another personality that Ringolsby has quarrelled with in a very public way is Mile High Sports night-side radio host, Brandon Spano. He and Spano have hung up some entertaining spats over the past couple of weeks - which is great for Spano, who can benefit from the attention, but is nothing but bad for the Cowboy - or, as Spano calls him, the "rodeo clown". Consider this tweet:
Yes, Ringolsby referred to Brondon Spano as "Whino Spandex". One would certainly think that a newspaper veteran who has won Emmy awards for his work on television would steer clear of such juvenile remarks.
Ringolsby most recently trashed the very business model at Mile High Sports Radio, which is a station offering exclusively "brokered" programming (or "pay-to-play", as it's known in the industry):
In some cities you do not get paid. You buy air time. That way you can claim you have a job.
The tweet was directed toward Spano, but caught in the cross-hairs was the hard-working (and Nationally syndicated) Peter Burns, along with the rest of the talent at the station, Irv Brown and Joe Williams, Gil Whitely, Renaud Notaro, Eric Goodman and a collection of other media vets undeserving of such a low blow.
Some of the Cowboy's least mature tweets have been deleted from his account. But, as any social media user knows, once they're out there, they're out there. People retweet stuff quickly enough that the stains of irresponsibility cannot be erased. Twitter is no place to pick a fight unless you are willing to stick by your words.
It's interesting that Ringolsby chose to denigrate another person's job. Root Sports' contract with the Colorado Rockies is set to expire in 2014. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the team will look for bigger money and bigger exposure in their next deal. In other words, Root could be gone. It's anybody's guess as to whether a new network would employ Tracy Ringolsby.
The more he abuses his position on Twitter, ruffles media feathers and jilts fans, the less likely he is to remain a Rockies broadcaster. It's doubtful that Mile High Sports is a potential destination for him at this point. That bull has probably left the barn.