Rockies To Look Internal First, Or, How To Maintain The Status Quo


The men in charge of the Colorado Rockies have shown us that once they commit to a plan, they stay the course.

Well, except when it comes from building from within. But hey, they moved away from that model because of the clear importance of clubhouse culture.

It’s nothing against you, Tom. Image: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

But look at the piggyback paired rotation thing. That is something they thought about for years, and when they implemented it, they stuck to their innovative guns…for at least two months before switching back to a conventional rotation. Though, to their (dis)credit, they are still going to pretend they’re doing something different by holding their starters to a negotiable 90-100 pitch limit (like every team in the league) and having a couple piggyback relievers available (like every team in the league…they’re called long relievers). This front office does things differently, and when they make a decision, they hold true…sort of.

Presumably they would insist that their newly structured front office is here to stay. Bill Geivett will continue with his office in the locker room and Dan O’Dowd will continue his focus on the minor leagues. As such, they need a new manager who will be willing to have the front office looking over his shoulder, day in and day out. They need him to be comfortable with limited authority and virtually no say on the personnel decisions made outside of the parameters of the game.

The Rockies call this innovative, but if it’s anything like their other innovative ideas, it will be stupid and short-lived.

Nevertheless, it is this structure that drives the in-house focus of their managerial search. Troy Renck of the Denver Post and now Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports have both pointed out that the Rockies may promote either Tom Runnels (bench coach) or Stu Cole (manager of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox) from within the organization and be done with it. Why? Because of course they need “somebody comfortable with the novel front office structure.” Or…

…They want somebody who will not question their most recent questionable decision. An outside candidate might come in, look around, and ask: “Just what the hell is going on around here?” He would challenge the status quo, and while it wouldn’t change anything, it would be quite the annoyance for management. After all, they will show an unwavering commitment to this unique set-up for at least one-quarter of the season. They take their creativity seriously in the mile high city.

This front office does whatever it wants, regardless of results and with an arrogant flare where they tell the rest of us that we wouldn’t understand. It looks like they will continue down that path by ignoring the cries for an outside candidate and promoting from within. There might be circumstances where an internal candidate is preferable, but the situation that faces the Rockies is not one of them. What we are looking at here is a situation where internal candidates will be given huge preference not because of their credentials, but because of their “comfort” with a stupid set-up that I am not at all inclined to think will stick, at which point they will move onto the next desperate and bizarre move that is too clever for us lay folks to comprehend.

To end on a less sour note, Rosenthal notes that if the Rockies did look outside the organization, the list of candidates would include Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Indians bench coach (and former Rockies great) Sandy Alomar Jr.