One of my earliest memories of being a Rockies fan, like many people my age I imagine, is of Walt Weiss scooping up groundballs at the shortstop position. At that age I noted whether or not players had a black or brown fielding glove, and while I found black gloves to be exceptionally cool, I remember appreciating Weiss’s because its brown color was always accented by a bunch of infield dirt.
While the terms “overrated” and “underrated” are overused, perhaps to the point that they become “overrated” in their importance (got that?), Walt Weiss is an underrated former Rockie. In some of the thinner years in the team’s history, he was a bright spot. He was a steady fielder and a gritty presence. Quite frankly, part of what has made Weiss “underrated” is his absence from the collective consciousness of Rockies fans in recent years. He has served as a special assistant for the Rockies, but most recently he was the head coach for Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado in 2012. Nevertheless, even though he has been in Colorado, he has not exactly been visible for the last number of years.
Compared to one of the other former Rockies in contention for the job (his name rhymes with Shiambi), Weiss brings a wealth of experience to the job. If not for his front office experience or his experience coaching a high school team, perhaps you might be more persuaded by the endorsement of the Denver Post’s Troy Renck:
Renck later hinted that the players with whom he spoke were excited about Weiss as a candidate:
So I guess it was not as much an endorsement from Renck as much as it was an implication that the players endorse him. The point is this: in the short time since Weiss has been mentioned as a candidate, people speak about him like they would a former catcher like Mike Scioscia. They make it seem like the strategy of baseball will come easy to him because he is so smart…like he is an absolute natural fit to be the next manager.
That is the main difference between the Jason Giambi hype and the newly-emerging Walt Weiss hype. With Giambi, it is an issue of how quickly he can pick up the strategy. With Weiss, it is assumed that he already knows the strategy.
Time will tell which of these options the Rockies’ front office is interested in.