For all of the bellyaching about Jim Tracy when he was the Colorado Rockies manager and all of the jokes about him since he left, he has done nothing but build his credibility back up since his resignation last month. It all started when he distanced himself from the bizarre management set-up in which Bill Geivett now sets up shop in the clubhouse. Many people, including Rockies fans who were way, way down on him, admired his decision when he could have stayed and collected another year’s worth of salary under the terms of his handshake agreement. He felt it was no longer a good fit, so he left.
Then it was the reactions from the players that kept his forward momentum going. Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler, and Jeff Francis all expressed their dismay at his resignation. Francis even hinted, in a not so subtle way, that it might impact his decision as a free agent this offseason (as if teams will be knocking down the door, but that’s another story for another day). Tracy’s baffling double switches and pitching changes definitely deserved to be called into question, but he certainly did not lose the locker room. Those players loved him, and they were happy to say as much.
The third step in the instant restoration of Tracy’s credibility is the apparent courtship of him by the Toronto Blue Jays for their open managerial post. You know, the same Blue Jays who recently added Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, and Melky Cabrera on the way to becoming the big huge story of this offseason. They plan to contend right now, and they want Tracy to lead the way (maybe). What, if anything, does that mean for the Rockies?
If the Toronto Blue Jays hire Jim Tracy, they might be making a huge mistake, which is presumably the stance most of us jaded Rockies observers would like to take. As in, “psssh…good luck with that, Toronto.” But it also might work out well for them if Tracy understands that managing in the American League means that he does not have to tinker and try to make heroic moves to win the game for his team. If he were able to understand that, stay out of his own way, and win that locker room over circa 2009, it could potentially work out very well. I completely understand the argument that Tracy will be a train wreck no matter where he goes…but…if there is a situation where he can find success again, this might be it.
And if Toronto hires him and it works out, it is damning for a Rockies front office steeped in its own arrogance as it insists that what it’s doing is not breathing down the manager’s neck or making it difficult for him to do his job. I am not saying that I wish Tracy would have stayed in Colorado; what I am saying is that it will potentially be a really poor-looking series of events if he leaves and then finds another job in this manner.
Plus, the other candidate, supposedly, is Jim Riggleman. I am confident saying that Tracy is a much, much better option than him.