|Walt Weiss received a 3-year extension on Tuesday.|
It was a move that comes as a shock to no one. Weiss came off of the bench at Regis Jesuit High School to manage the Rockies to a 74-88 record, a 10-game improvement over the 2012 campaign.
Walt Weiss took his fair share of criticism, and he deserved much of it. I ripped him when Troy Tulowitzki was tossed out of a game in Atlanta and Weiss never even left the dugout. As with anyone who has to learn on the job, there were awkward moments. In his first season, Weiss never was thrown out of a game. He took plenty of heat for that.
When the extension was announced, Rockies fans took to Twitter to voice their disapproval. Others came to Weiss' defense and suggested that he did a good enough job to stick around.
However, mired in frustration, it is easy to forget that the argument goes beyond who is writing out the lineup cards every night. The argument stems from the lack of movement by this ownership group, as well as the front office that everyone besides Dick Monfort seems to see is the problem in Colorado.
Look at it from a different perspective. Pretend that Monfort had pulled the plug on Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett after the 98-loss debacle of 2012. Pretend that Monfort brought in a whole new front office full of forward-thinking individuals who clearly didn't want to hire a re-tread manager. With knowledge of Coors Field, and a gritty mentality, that front office tabbed Weiss as their manager.
That new front office was so forward-thinking that they knew they were taking a risk on Weiss, so they only gave him a one-year deal, just in case.
After one year, the Rockies made a 10-game improvement and some of their young players seemed to be figuring it out, and most importantly, when they were long out of the race, the team was still playing to win and playing like they had something to prove.
If that was the case, no one would argue that Weiss deserved an extension. They would be thrilled with his performance. They certainly would have seen some of his issues, but it would have been chalked up to him being a rookie manager and that they loved the way that he never lost the clubhouse.
The point is simple. The Rockies re-upping Weiss isn't the issue, the issue is that it is the same front office who has literally made this franchise, once an up-and-coming team respected around the league, the laughingstock of baseball. They have turned every bad break into an excuse, they have publicly stated that they don't know how to win at altitude, and they insist that they are a franchise that builds from within, even when, in the 20-year history of the club, there are less than 10 prospects that have emerged from their farm system to become impact big league players.
Weiss isn't the greatest manager in baseball. He probably won't be in 2014 either. However, he isn't the issue. The issue is that Rockies fans are desperate for a team to be put together that can compete while Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are in the prime of their careers. Fans see that the Rockies have three very good starting pitchers and two on the cusp of the big leagues who can help this team compete. However, the front office continues to spend their days having dance parties to circus music. When the average fan can tell that it is time for change, yet the Rockies ownership continues to bury their head in the sand.
Weiss getting an extension is simply an outlet for fans. It is simply another thing to point at as a reason why the Rockies are such a difficult team to root for. With the potential to have a fan base as passionate as the ones who fill up Sports Authority Field when it is four degrees, the Rockies ownership continues to allow baseball fans in Denver to root for other teams around the country. They have such a huge opportunity to build tradition, and build a winning atmosphere that becomes ingrained into the fabric of this franchise, yet, they choose to mire themselves in mediocrity and allow a losing mindset to be permissible.
Rockies fans aren't mad that Walt Weiss will be back, they are mad that the guys who make that decision continue getting free passes for their ineptitude.
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