The beauty of baseball's simplicity makes us believe the game could be managed by anybody, from a bus driver to a prep coach. Now you know Walt Weiss' greatest challenge as the rookie skipper of the Rockies. More than 40,000 people will enter Coors Field for the Rockies' home opener Friday, and all of them will have as much experience managing a major-league game in Denver as Weiss does. "They let the riffraff in," Weiss said with a grin, when I recently plopped my body down on a chair in the manager's office after a spring training victory by the Rockies. On behalf of the riffraff, please allow me to say: Welcome to one of the more thankless jobs in baseball, Walt. Let the second-guessing begin. Jim Tracy was the National League manager of the year in 2009. Yes, for the job he did in Colorado. But three agonizing years later, Tracy was no longer allowed to think for himself during the Rockies' experiment with a strict pitch count for starting pitchers. He was declared irrationally obsessed with small ball for a skipper working at altitude, according to analysts crunching their advanced metrics. By the end of 2012, Tracy was so frustrated he told Rockies ownership to take that $1.4 million salary and shove it, saying, "I don't feel I am the right man for the job any longer." It's the curse of standing on the dugout steps for a baseball franchise that doesn't have a clue how to win. Through guilt by association, it's the Colorado manager who is deemed to grow dumber by the loss. As somebody who has known and debated Weiss on topics as varied as the value of middle relievers to the relative merits of E Street bandmates since 1994, let me say: He is a brilliant baseball man and marginally talented drummer who is more than qualified to manage the Bad News Rox.
Rockies' Walt Weiss won't have it easy managing at Coors Field
Denver Post | Apr 4