It’s easy to be pessimistic about the Colorado Rockies Manager Walt Weiss. His last job was a high school baseball coach. His playing career includes being a Rockies shortstop not named Troy Tulowitzki. Can you name another shortstop for the Rockies not named Tulo? He has already been indoctrinated into the Rockies system by serving on a coaching staff for them, which means he likely will not shake things up. However, the biggest lack of endorsement for Weiss is the one-year contract he was given.
General Manager Dan O’Dowd said the reason for the short committment was that the entire organization was on one-year contracts, including the Director of Major League operations Bill Geivett and O’Dowd himself. These two men were largely responsible for choosing Weiss over Jason Giambi and Arizona Diamondbacks‘ third base coach Matt Williams. Of course, both Geivett and O’Dowd seem to be on lifetime contracts.
It’s hard to imagine two businesses that should be run more differently than a meatpacking plant and a baseball team, but the Rockies owners, the Monfort brothers, continue to try and apply the same logic to both enterprises. The Monforts made their money in Greeley, Colorado from a meatpacking plant, and then bought out the majority stake in the baseball team. This joint business venture is the only way to explain moves like the 75-pitch count limit they place on starters, with a piggyback reliever system. It’s the only way a manager can go from having a lifetime contract to quitting in the course of eight months, as Jim Tracy did.
Perhaps Weiss asked for the one-year contract. He may be as wary of the Rockies organization as all managers are at this point. Geivett lingers in the Rockies’ clubhouse like a ghost waiting to haunt another lost season. Weiss did leave this team after being on the staff; he has shown he’s willing to walk away. The truth is that until the Rockies find effective pitching, the manager does not matter. For Walt Weiss to be successful, he needs O’Dowd, Geivett and the Monforts to go somewhere else. You don’t get that from a one year contract.