After a month long search, which included four main candidates, the Colorado Rockies have settled on their new manager that will lead the team starting in 2013.
Walt Weiss has been named the sixth manager in Rockies franchise history, replacing Jim Tracy who resigned in early October despite having one more year on his contract. The newest manager is not unfamiliar with the club as he was a player on the team from 1994-1997, coach and special assistant to the GM from 2002-2008 with the Rockies.
Weiss beat out a few in-house candidates, veteran player Jason Giambi and bench coach Tommy Runnells, along with Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams to become the next Colorado manager.
It’s an interesting hire due to Weiss’ lack of managerial experience. His latest coaching gig has been with his son’s team at Regis Jesuit High School last year where he led them to the 5A semifinals. Even though he played and was a coach for a little bit it does not quite compare to being the full time manager with all of the expectations.
Weiss played 14 seasons in the majors as a shortstop with four teams,the Oakland A’s, Florida Marlins, Colorado and the Atlanta Braves. While with the Athletics he was named the American League’s Rookie of the Year. He played in four World Series’, three with the A’s and one with the Braves, winning with Oakland back in 1989.
After the debacle that was the Rockies this season they needed some type of change and Tracy decided to ‘resign’. He was not a big fan of being handcuffed by upper management as far as his managing decisions went. They enforced a strict 75-pitch limit to the pitching staff midway through the season after the Rockies pitchers struggled to pitch deep into ballgames. The finished product resulted in the Rockies’ worst season in franchise history as they came in last in the NL-West with a 64-98 record
It’s unclear whether or not Weiss will have to manage with the same restrictions as Tracy did but with his lack of experience it would make some sense that upper management would have a majority say in his decisions.
At this point the Rockies will do anything to reverse their fortune just five years removed from a World Series appearance. They have a lot of talented players, headlined by Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez but their problem has always been their pitching. If Weiss can provide any sort of solution to fix their pitching woes the Rockies could potentially be pennant contenders.