|Bill Geivett should be the Colorado Rockies next manager.|
Assistant General Manager Bill Geivett and General Manager Dan O'Dowd are in the process of interviewing for their open manager position after Jim Tracy let them know that he couldn't handle the reins that they were putting on him. He passed up $1.4 million instead of being held down by the decisions being made within the Rockies front office.
Anyone who follows this Rockies organization knows one simple truth. There would be no big-names talked about in the search. There is zero chance that the Rockies would look to lure Joe Torre or Tony LaRussa out of retirement. They weren't going to look at hiring Ryne Sandberg, who is being groomed for the job in Philadelphia. Those who have any knowledge of how the Rockies front office works, knows that the odds are, the team would either go with someone from within the organization, or someone who has no managerial experience.
The reason they would make that pick? Simple. Predictability. Tom Runnells is someone this organization has known since 2004 when he managed the Tulsa Drillers. Working up the chain, Runnells went to Colorado Springs before being promoted to bench coach after Clint Hurdle was removed as Rockies manager and Tracy promoted in his place.
The latest news suggests that the Rockies are planning on interviewing Jason Giambi. The slugger who has been with the club since 2009 is ready to trade in the cleats for a stop-watch if a team is willing to give him a shot.
So far, the decision seems to be between Runnells and Giambi, with Runnells being the clear favorite.
However, the decision isn't one that is exciting for anyone. While the idea of Giambi becoming manager seems like a fun story to follow, the reality is, the name on the back of the jersey of the next Rockies manager won't make an ounce of difference.
It simply doesn't matter who the front office hires to take over for Tracy. Their stance is clear. Bill Geivett has already told the media that the next manager will still be under the same constraints that were handed down to Tracy. The front office will dictate pitch-count, rotation decisions, and essentially everything else that a field manager usually dictates.
So the question is simple. If the Rockies are looking for someone to simply take instruction and do as they are told, why not make Geivett the manager? If the front office is going to dictate when the manager has to take out his starting pitcher, they are essentially dictating the way the entire game is managed. It prevents a manager from using the bench the way he would like to because he is forced into awkward pinch-hitting situations early in the game, and forced to extend relievers in order to bridge the gap to the back-end of the bullpen.
The Rockies would like everyone to believe that the field manager will still make in-game decisions, but the reality is, the pitching limitations take the cards out of the managers hand. He is short-handed from the beginning of the game.
If Geivett and O'Dowd truly believe that baseball has to be played 100 percent different in the altitude, then why not put their money where their mouths are? If they want to go down the path of exploring what it is going to take to win at Coors Field, why have someone else be the fall guy while the strings are being pulled behind the curtain?
The answer is simple. O'Dowd and Geivett simply must have a fall-guy for when their plan doesn't work. If the Rockies lose 98 games once again in 2013, the two guys running the show can insist that they hired the wrong guy, or that he wasn't as committed to the system, and blame him, buying themselves more time.
If Geivett were to strap on the purple pinstripes, he and O'Dowd will have lost their buffer. They will no longer be able to point their finger at someone else for their failures. So the simple answer for them is to hire a traditional manager, but not someone who will push back on them. They must hire someone who will say yes to everything they want him to, while shouldering the questions from the media and taking the spotlight off of the front office.
If the Rockies actually believe their plan, if they don't actually believe that it is simply an excuse for ineptitude, they wouldn't be afraid to completely own their ideas. Instead, they must put someone else in place to be the fall guy, buying them one more chance to hit the reset button and avoid being fired.
The Rockies should do their fans a favor and own up to their theories. They can start by putting Bill Geivett in a uniform and calling him the manager, instead of simply having him pull the strings from behind the scenes.
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