Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jim Tracy's resignation shows Colorado Rockies in downward spiral

It should have been a good day for Colorado Rockies fans. They got their wish. Jim Tracy is no longer the manager of the club. Instead, the move sheds light on just how deep this franchise's issues are.

Assistant General Manager Bill Geivett met with Tracy all day on Friday. The meeting was centered around the team's desire to bring Tracy back as their manager for 2013, despite posting the worst record in the 20 year history of the team.

The meeting, as the Denver Post so very well articulated, went further than Geivett simply giving Tracy the seal of approval. Instead, it focused on Tracy's role continuing to diminish. When Geivett took over for Dan O'Dowd on August 1st, Tracy's duties were limited to in-game management and talking to the media. What that amounts to is similar to that of the Wizard of Oz.

Tracy, by all accounts a very nice man, put his foot down with the organization. He wasn't going to be the guy who was simply a puppet. He wanted more control of the team, to actually be the manager. The fact that nothing was going to change made Tracy realize that he would continue to simply be the guy who looked like a fool in front of the media while the team allowed him to look like the guy making the poor decisions.

Perhaps the most telling comment came in the article. Geivett mentions that he was surprised by Tracy's decision. However, he goes on to say that no matter who the Rockies hire, the situation will remain the same, essentially meaning that Geivett will continue to micromanage the manager, choosing the lineup and only handing over the reins for the actual game itself, which essentially means bullpen decisions. Even that, however, is dictated by the front office as the continue down the path of strict pitch counts.

The statement regarding a new manager falling under the same protocol is telling. It would make sense if the Rockies and Geivett had put Tracy on notice. If they felt that he was failing the team and that he needed a guiding hand, a move to micromanage makes a certain amount of sense. In a sense, a move like that is similar to an action plan. It holds the manager accountable and takes steps to get him back on the right path.

However, Geivett's statement says that the micromanagement had nothing to do with Tracy or the job that he was doing. The new manager will also be micromanaged. Even before the guy who takes over is interviewed, it is clear that the role of the manager of the Colorado Rockies will simply be to talk to the media before and after games. He won't be deciding the lineup, he won't have a say in the roster. Essentially, the guy the Rockies hire will simply be a guy who puts on a uniform and physically goes and takes the ball from the pitcher after that pitcher hit a designated number of pitches that the organization determined was his limit.

Of course, finding someone who is willing to take that job won't be hard. There are plenty of people willing to do just about anything to be the manager of a big league ball club. The Rockies will have no shortage of candidates willing to interview. However, the odds of them getting a proven leader, someone who has had success in a clubhouse and on the field is extremely unlikely.

Most likely, the team will hire someone who has no big league managing experience. They will hire someone from within the organization who understands the system and is willing to be a puppet. Generally speaking, that is one of their current minor league managers. It also could be a long-time scout, a move similar to when the Diamondbacks hired AJ Hinch.

The bottom line is that the Rockies were able to pawn off the entire horrible season onto Tracy. It buys both Dan O'Dowd and Geivett another season to show that they are incompetent and that they had a huge responsibility for the lack of success this team has had in the past two seasons.

Make no mistake, Tracy was a horrible manager. His poor decisions went well beyond the 2012 season. He constantly tinkered with the lineup, generally over thought everything, and made in-game decisions that often-times led to scratching of the head and bewilderment. However, Tracy wasn't the root of the problems. He was part of the problem, but he wasn't the whole problem.

The sad news for Rockies fans is that no matter who this team hires as manager, the lack of leadership and the micromanagement from the front office is going to sabotage that person. The front office has been full of excuses all year long, and clearly that mindset is going to continue to the point that the team is trying new things and coming up with crazy theories to justify their poor decisions.

Jim Tracy revealed just how deep the Colorado Rockies issues are when he resigned on Sunday afternoon. Until this team cleans out the front office and demands results instead of excuses, this team will continue their free fall. They must get rid of the excuses or the downward spiral will continue.

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  1. The Monfort bros can't be this stupid to allow this franchise to disintegrate, are they?

  2. Kudos to Mr. Tracy for doing what he had to do.
    The Rockie failures, and very shaky outlook fall on the shoulders of incapable owner/front office personnel.
    Without a change in that dynamic, this organization will continue to fail.

  3. If Mr. O'Dowd and/or Mr. Geivett are so enlightened when it comes to player analysis and game strategy why not go ahead and name one, or even better, both the field manager for 2013? The Monfort's will go for it since it means they don't have to add another salary to the payroll and can stuff their pockets a bit more.

    Maybe Manager O'Dowd/Geivett could implement a per game swing limit. Why I bet it would teach them boys to be more selective and square one up sooner. Don't foul off too many Tulo or Rutledge will be sent to pinch hit part way through your third at bat.

    Perhaps team bonding has been lacking. Manager O'Dowd/Geivett could recommend we bring back the team bus concept back! Nothing brings a group of people closer together than a good Greyhound ride from Miami to Frisco.
    Maybe George Costanza could put it all together if we bring him in as Assistant to the Traveling Secretary. Heard he did a hell of job with the Yankees a while back.

    How could they miss? Might as well line up Michael Lewis to write the book documenting the upcoming season and start the bidding for the movie rights. "Funnyball" sounds like a good working title for now. Since Brad Pitt already played Billy Beane, I wonder if the classic actor Pauley Shore might be available to play Dan O'Dowd.....

    1. Very good point about just letting Geivett be the manager. If he is pulling the strings, may as well make him visible and in the dugout as well.

      Tough to be a Rockies fan right now.

  4. Very little was said about the Rockies on sports talk radio today. No surprise because this is a Donkey town! The Broncos could be 0-5 and if the Rockies were a good team and perfect in the playoffs - the Donkey crazy radio morons would only be talking about the Broncos.

    But the comments that I've heard on the radio or have read in the printed media have all blasted the Rockies front office and the Monfort Bros for being so moronic. I disagree with you Mr Martin about the Rockies finding a competent manager that will work with the micro management of the front office.

    Most people have honored Tracy's decision to resign. He's a baseball man and didn't want to return next season as being a puppet and the fall guy for an incompetent organization.

    The Monfort Bros are suffering dimentia or are smoking too much hippie lettuce. The Rockies are the laughing stock of MLB! But they don't get it.

    I love baseball and the Monfort Bros couldn't give a crap less! I'm mad as hell that the taxpayers paid for their ballpark and they treat the fans like this! Get the word out to boycott the Rockies games and call 850KOA and Root Sports to inform them that you won't listen to the radio broadcasts or watch the games on TV next year. The only way to get the Monfort morons attention is if it is felt in their pockets. They are such weak owners that if they started to lose a dollar or two - they'd sell the team.

    1. Dale-
      I think you need to re-read what I wrote. I said that the Rockies would have plenty of candidates who were willing to fill that role, but that ultimately that person would fail because they were undermined by the front office.

      Appreciate the comment, appreciate the passion.

    2. Yes, I stand corrected about the replacement manager!

  5. Had to figure the calls were being made by someone who didn't know a damn thing about baseball. An experienced manager would never send a pitcher to the plate late in a game down 2 runs with runners on and 2 down. And if he did it would be because he was going to continue pitching. How many times did we watch pitchers hit for themselves late in a game then not come back out of the dugout. The Front Office is where the changes need to be made. I don't believe that Dan O'Dowd or Bill Geivett have any idea how to put together a winning team or winning game plan. With this front office the Colorado Rockies are unfortunately the Laughing stock of major league baseball. The saddest truth in all of this is that the FAN BASE DESERVES AS MUCH BLAME AS THE FRONT OFFICE AS WE KEEP BUYING TICKETS TO GAMES. If they can sell 30-40K tickets every night for a losing team they don't have to make improvements

  6. great article thanks for sharing