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Thoughts on the Colorado Rockies front office moves

David Martin Avatar
October 9, 2014
Dick Monfort is the real problem for the Colorado Rockies.

Dreams do come true.

However, as is the case with Colorado Rockies fans, those dreams don’t always play out the way they were originally thought up.

On Wednesday morning, Rockies fans were jolted out of their sleep by text messages from friends announcing that Christmas had come early. The Rockies had accepted the resignation of not only Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett. It was the move that fans had been demanding for the better part of three years.

As quickly as the good news came in, however, their was a Gatorade bucket of water dumped onto the fire of excitement. The Rockies search wasn’t going to go outside of the organization that many had longed for, but instead, the search ended before it began. The Rockies announced that Jeff Bridich, the director of their farm system, had been promoted into that role.

The rest is history. The debacle of the Rockies press conference, which started with PR director Jay Alves demanding that media turn off their cell phones, to Bridich spending the first two minutes thanking everyone who had met in his entire life.

The reaction from Rockies fans on Twitter was largely negative. Every ounce of skepticism and cynicism that is being directed at the Rockies has been earned. Fans have a right to be upset. If there is a franchise in baseball that doesn’t seem to care about their fans perception, and even mocks their fans intelligence, it is the Rockies.

However, the Bridich decision might not be a bad one. On the surface it looks like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. However, it might actually be something different than that.

Let’s make something clear, the Rockies biggest issue is Dick Monfort. His meddling in the day-to-day decisions has only hurt the club. The man who knows less than the average season ticket holder about baseball has inserted himself into a baseball decision-making position. His stubbornness, which is often described by the media as loyalty, has been a major factor in the Rockies failures.

With Monfort lacking baseball knowledge, he has leaned on Dan O’Dowd to help him. O’Dowd being a true baseball mind, has always impressed Monfort, which has led to the owners full trust and belief that O’Dowd can do no wrong. When Monfort told the Denver Post that O’Dowd is head and shoulders above the other general managers in baseball, even though he doesn’t know many others, it spoke volumes. It said that Monfort is a casual fan who gets blown away when O’Dowd spouts baseball knowledge and doesn’t believe that there is even a slight possibility that there could be another mind as knowledgeable about the game as O’Dowd.

While the owner of a baseball team should lean on his general manager for baseball knowledge, that owner also has to hold that GM accountable. He has to know other options and be able to push back on some decisions. Instead, Monfort bit on everything O’Dowd said, hook, line and sinker.

That became a problem because it allowed O’Dowd to use excuses. He routinely blamed the altitude, the size of the ballpark, the transition from altitude to sea level, the minor league parks, and injuries for the failures of the Rockies on the field. Monfort, not knowing any better, was forced to believe O’Dowd. The fact that the two fairly recent playoff runs for the Rockies consisted of huge late season runs made Monfort think that runs like that were possible every single year. He isn’t knowledgeable about the game enough to know just how rare those runs were.

That explains O’Dowd’s hypnosis over Monfort. So when O’Dowd is no longer around, there are two ways things can go. Either Monfort will take over the reins entirely and watch everything continue to crash and burn, or he will be forced to allow another voice, Bridich, to see what he can do.

Some argue that Bridich is a clone of O’Dowd, and he certainly made it clear how much respect that he has for his former boss, admitting that he is his protege. That statement alone was enough to scare Rockies fans off. More of the same, that is what fans immediately felt.

That very well could be the case. However, it also has a chance to be completely different. Despite Bridich being a fan of O’Dowd, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have his own theories on the game of baseball. It doesn’t mean that he hasn’t thought about what he would do differently if he had a chance. Like many of us, whether we like the management team at the place of employment or not, there are things that we would each do differently in that role. That could be the case with Bridich as well.

If suddenly Monfort is hearing different theories in his ear and being exposed to new baseball knowledge, he might realize that there are different ways to run a baseball team.

Clearly it wasn’t working with O’Dowd and Geivett. Those two had worn out their theories. It can’t get worse than what the Rockies currently have been going with. The Rockies might not be in a better position today than they were when the season came to an end. However, they can’t be in a worse spot. This might not be a huge step in the right direction, but at least it is a step. Even if it is a step in the wrong direction, it is a step towards doing something different. Something, anything.

The other positive is that having Geivett out of the picture allows Walt Weiss to be the manager that he can be. Instead of having someone look over his shoulder, Weiss at least now gets the chance to grow as a manager and become the guy who the Rockies need him to be. He might fail, but at least he won’t be the puppet that he has been.

The reality is, the Rockies might not have made a great move. It might not be what makes them contenders. However, it was a move, and at some point, any move was necessary. Fans might have wanted to see the club go find someone in the A’s organization or someone who had gotten his start under Theo Epstein, but the reality is, this move is better than nothing.

It might not be something that causes parties in the streets, but it also should be something that excites Rockies fans. It should be seen as the team doing something to get better.

The next step will be to see what Bridich does in the offseason. Will he make bold moves at the winter meetings? With he have the ability to make those types of moves happen? Regardless, it creates some reason for Rockies fans to be excited.

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