Bill Geivett insists that he will micromanage less this season. Though he refused to apologize for the heavy-handed setup that pushed Jim Tracy to his resignation, he says that he will not be as involved with Walt Weiss‘s daily operations. By that he means he will go on fewer road trips. So his office is still in the locker room and he is still up in everybody’s business. It’s the same, but different, you know?
Those of us hoping that this arrangement will be temporary will certainly find today’s Rockies news discouraging. In order to create continuity, the team is implementing a similar strategy for all of its farm teams. Each minor league team (with the exception of the Sky Sox) will now have a “development supervisor” on its staff. They will oversee things from up close in a manner similar to Geivett with the Rockies.
For what it’s worth, here are the names of those supervisors and their respective teams (from Thomas Harding’s article on the supervisors): Tony Diaz at rookie-level Grand Junction, Ron Gideon at short-season Class A Tri-City, Marv Foley at Class A Asheville, Duane Espy at Double-A Tulsa, and Fred Nelson at Class A Modesto.
These men, along with Mark Wiley as the pitching coordinator for the entire organization, are tasked with creating continuity. In an organization that has missed on too many of its top prospects in recent years, the Rockies are hoping that running the same philosophies up and down will help fix those struggles and more effectively develop their blue chip talents.
Continuity can be a good thing, but what if it is continuity with a terrible idea or philosophy? The organization calls this innovation; that is bold designation. Look at it this way: none of the other 31 teams in Major League Baseball handle their business this way. If it was actually a good idea, wouldn’t another team thought of it? Maybe a team that did not lose 98 games last year? What if a business that was already getting crushed by titans like Target, WalMart, and Best Buy said: “You know what, on Black Friday, we’re just going to be open for our normal business hours and not really run any sales. We are innovators!” That wouldn’t make sense, right?
The task of running a team in Colorado is distinct because of the…gasp…altitude! But I hardly think things are so different that the Rockies have to re-invent their organizational structure and implement strategies that no other team uses or even thinks about.