Possibly lost in the excitement of playoff baseball this weekend, the fifth manger in Rockies history, Jim Tracy, resigned after Colorado put up the most losses in franchise history. Being a regular guy with a regular job, I never feel good about someone losing their job, but it was time for Tracy to move on, and I am glad he realized this on his own.
August 31, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy (4) sits in the dugout during the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
The Jim Tracy era started on a high, taking over for Clint Hurdle after 46 games in 2009, Tracy led the Rockies to a 74-42 record, reaching the playoff via the Wildcard. I personally started to sour on Tracy in 2010, after dropping to 11 games back in August, Colorado rallied and were only 1 game back on September 18th. The Rockies would then lose 13 of 14 games and finish 9 games back. Tracy rode staff ace Ubaldo Jimenez hard that season with 221 2/3 innings and while Jimenez responded with third place finish in the Cy Young voting and a 19-8 record, Jimenez has never been the same after going 19-30 with a 5.03 ERA after that season.
My biggest issue with Tracy was that the thing he brought in replacing Clint Hurdle, lineup stability, was thrown to the wind in 2011, seemingly pulling lineups out of his hat, the pinnacle of this being him banishing Chris Iannetta to the 8th spot in the order and then batting journeyman backup Eliezer Alfonso cleanup. While the players have rallied in their support of Tracy, the team never seemed to play with much energy and while the roster was never elite, there always was a feeling of under-performance surrounding the club.
In walking away Tracy comes out looking like a good guy. Reportedly not being a fan of the 4 man, 75 pitch limit rotation, Tracy implemented it and did not publicly complain. The real losers here are the Rockies management; the impression was given that they were too involved in daily baseball decisions and Tracy’s responsibilities were lessened. Honestly the best thing for Jim Tracy was to get out of what has become a dysfunctional organization. The most recent move was the dismissal of Carney Lansford being the latest, who as hitting coach in 2012 got the most consistent and productive seasons out of notoriously inconsistent young players like Dexter Fowler, Chris Nelson and Tyler Colvin as well as good performance from rookie Wilin Rosario.
I feel the real problems lie higher up with Dan O’Dowd, and while Dealin’ Dan has made some good trades for the Rockies, the way the team has been run has been laughable. Colorado will have a hard time finding someone to manage with O’Dowd and Bill Geivett, the senior vice president of major-league operations, insisting on having a big part of how the team is run. A General Manager should get players and let the manager manage. It’s time to clean house. When a team is run so poorly that as a fan, I now feel bad for a manager I wanted fired two seasons ago, something is terribly wrong.