|Dexter Fowler lashed back at Dan O'Dowd's criticism.|
On Sunday in the Houston Chronicle, former Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler responded to comments that Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd made about him shortly before shipping him off to the Houston Astros for next to nothing.
I was critical of the public character rip of Fowler back when it happened. O'Dowd hadn't completed the trade, yet was very willing to publicly undress Fowler in a way that was completely disrespectful. What O'Dowd mentioned had nothing to do with the outfielder not living up to expectations on the field, but rather calling him out as a guy who doesn't care enough about the game.
Clearly those comments hurt Fowler, who told Evan Drellich in the Chronicle piece that no one is even sure who the GM of the Rockies is. Not even the players in the clubhouse know if it is O'Dowd or Bill Geivett.
In the piece, O'Dowd was told of Fowler's hurt feelings and seemed to be taken aback by the news. He asked the writer to pass on to Fowler that the Rockies really liked him and think he is a good kid.
Is O'Dowd really that tone deaf? Is there really a chance that he would think that Fowler shouldn't be upset by the character assassination that he took on him while the door was hitting Fowler's backside on the way out? When the top dog calls out an employees passion for their job, it isn't about results, it is calling out character. For O'Dowd to truly be surprised that Fowler would take exception to those comments either shows that O'Dowd is completely oblivious, or he simply is lying.
Fowler's comments hit the nail on the head. If the players in the clubhouse are confused with the way things are upstairs, then the structure is a complete mess. The players should know who their boss is, and they should be aware of who is calling the shots.
The reality is, Fowler was simply a casualty of excuse-making for O'Dowd. In order to justify keeping his job from year-to-year, the Rockies general manager has to shift blame onto someone else. He can't blame the talent level because that too would reflect poorly on himself, as he is the ultimate person in charge of talent evaluation. So if a team continues to underachieve, if they watched the window close on what could have been a dominant run, and they have been in the basement of their division perennially throughout the leaderships tenure, then the only option is to blame others. Blaming the talent comes back around to O'Dowd, so he must blame their character. If a person doesn't perform to the level that O'Dowd sold them to ownership on, then character is the only plausible attack to justify the general managers job.
O'Dowd can go back to Dick Monfort every year and say something like "you know, Dick, I put the talent into place. This team underachieved greatly, but it isn't because they weren't good enough, it was because they didn't want it bad enough. We saw the talent, but you can never tell someone's character."
If O'Dowd blames character, he isn't the person responsible. He brought in the talent, the talent simply didn't have enough heart to live up to the potential. It has been a fail-proof excuse for years.
The Rockies are one week away from Opening Day. The hopes are high, once again, and fans are eager to watch a winning team. Once again, fans have been told that this team has the talent to compete.
If they end up failing we can all rest assured that O'Dowd will blame the lack of character for their failings.
Follow me on Twitter @RockiesReview. Like me on Facebook, search "Rockies Review"