Saturday, October 6, 2012

Colorado Rockies indecision with Jim Tracy shows bigger issues

Jim Tracy might be back in 2013, but it won't matter.
The only reason Colorado Rockies fans were still paying attention after a brutal 2012 season was because the word was out that Jim Tracy would hear the decision on his future in a Friday morning meeting.

When morning turned to afternoon, then night, no word came from the Rockies. Nothing. Finally, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that no decision was made on Friday, but that the team and Tracy would come to their conclusion over the weekend, or possibly early next week.

However, during the meeting, the manager and his bosses did typical end of the season type of talks. They talked about what could be improved upon, they talked about individual players and everything that management would talk to a manager about who they planned on retaining.

The issue is simple. It doesn't matter if the Rockies keep Jim Tracy as their manager or not. The problems are above him. It seems clear that the Rockies are fine with keeping Tracy as their manager under one very clear condition--he must do everything the organization wants him to do when they want him to do it and how they want him to do it. If he can agree to being a complete puppet for those above him, he will be able to keep his job. If, however, he feels that he would like his job duties to include more than removing the ball out of a pitcher's hand when he is done with his outing, or writing the names on the lineup card, which will be dictated to him by upper management, then he can hit the road.

Make no mistake, Tracy is part of the problem. However, the problems that surround this Rockies team go well beyond Tracy. It is clear that the people running the franchise, namely Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett, want to run every last aspect of this team. They are the true definition of micro managers.

On a conference call with season ticket holders in June, O'Dowd made it clear that it was his fault for not bringing in better talent to help with depth on the mound. His excuse was that he was so mentally exhausted from a season like 2011, where the Rockies greatly underperformed, that he needed to take a mental break and missed the window in the offseason to acquire top talent.

Could that mental exhaustion have come from a general manager trying to also be the field manager? Being a general manager is far beyond a 40-hour work week. Taking on the role of micro-managing the guy who is managing the club on the field has to be extremely stressful.

The sad conclusion that has to be arrived at by Rockies fans as they have yet to hear the word on Jim Tracy's fate is simple. It doesn't matter who is wearing a uniform and calling himself a manager in the dugout. That guy, whether Tracy or someone else, won't be calling the shots. They will be called from the offices above him.

With that in mind, the question has to be asked, why aren't O'Dowd and Geivett subject to the same type of interrogation that Tracy had to endure on Friday? When do they get to meet with their bosses about not meeting expectations? Are they simply getting a free pass after "Year of the Fan" turned out to be year of excuse?

If there is no accountability from ownership when it comes to O'Dowd, than why should fans anticipate any sort of change? If, in fact, the Rockies decide to move on without Tracy, or relegate him to some sort of assistant role, as they often do with their dead weight, don't expect them to go out and get a high profile manager, the way the Cleveland Indians did by inking Terry Francona over the weekend. Fans should expect someone who is young, who has probably never managed in the big leagues before. It must be someone who is willing to endure being a puppet and never being able to interject their own thoughts or beliefs into the team.

Jim Tracy isn't the answer for this team, but getting rid of him won't solve the problem either.

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  1. I have stated for years that this team will never win big as long as Dan O'Dowd is around. Forget 2007 as something that happens one time in a million. (And even that team did not come back intact because it was "impossible" to pay for all the talent.) But now, as you say,it has become "painfully" obvious that the first problem is with the Monforts. Perhaps Mr. Manning can be convinced that baseball is the best sport to buy into??

  2. Without a change of ownership, the Rockie organization will never produce a consistent winner.........

  3. You can't change ownership. Owner's should own. Front offices should get and develope players. Managers should manage.

    The front office can not manage(see the mess that is the Dallas Cowboys). O'Dowd and Geivett have had their chance. The Monfort's need to clean it up top down now before the Rockies play in front of empty seats.