This week on Rox Pile we have wondered if the Colorado Rockies will ever actually fire somebody. This is an organization that thrives on reshuffling, giving new assignments, and moving the same people around to different jobs.
In 2012, the pitching staff was a complete and utter disaster under the direction of Bob Apodaca. How much of that was his fault was up for debate (as it always is with coaches), but the reality is that pitching coaches have been fired for less. It would have been perfectly understandable if the organization sent him packing. Nope…reassigned.
Similarly, Jerry Weinstein was recently “reassigned” to a different role after struggling as catching coach to improve Wilin Rosario‘s game behind the plate. Yes, Rosario’s play did “improve” from atrocious to not-as-terrible in 2013, but the organization would still have been justified to cut ties. Did they? Nope…reassigned.
Finally there was Jim Tracy last offseason. The manager had clearly lost his way with the Rockies, or at least that’s how it appeared. The organization was not exactly showing faith in him either, as they decided to move assistant GM Bill Geivett into the clubhouse. Really, Tracy should have been fired. Did they? Nope. They just passive-aggressived him all the way to his resignation by changing his role as manager and the setting in which he would be managing.
So this week I thought to myself: is Rockies owner Dick Monfort actually opposed to firing people? I don’t advocate people losing their jobs, but I have had jobs where I would be fired if I didn’t perform. Almost everybody has, I think. Everybody except Dick Monfort, apparently (quotes from MLB.com):
I guess if you’re not doing your job, you do get fired…It’s just a whole different world than what I’m used to.”
Listen, Dick. Your interviews aren’t your strong suit. They certainly aren’t winning you any popularity contests. He wasn’t finished:
…it’s the players that have to win. I guess if you continue to have three All-Stars [Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer] and two potential All-Stars [Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado] that are playing on the team, you’ve got to look that maybe they’re not the right players.”
Wait, so if it’s the players who aren’t doing their jobs then they do get fired?
“My plan is always to keep them…But I won’t get rid of a general manager that has two last-place seasons, so …”
Presumably this is some sort of attempt at humor, or perhaps a veiled shot at fans or those who cover the Rockies who have the audacity to suggest that Monfort fire his general manager. Either way, it’s not a good color on him.
Nobody should expect an owner to be totally honest or transparent in interviews. These guys have PR departments for a reason, after all. We aren’t meant to hear everything that is said behind closed doors. So what the heck is Monfort thinking when he says stuff like this? I want to appreciate his honesty, but by that same token, I don’t really want to hear that the world in which people get fired for not doing their jobs is different than the world he’s used to. Seriously, how did a rich and successful business man say those words out loud, in public, to another person?
Consider this nothing more than a criticism of how Monfort approaches interviews. Just be less honest or something, Dick. Because what you’ve said to date has been really confusing, and there’s no place to go but up.