The Colorado Rockies have done something this season they had never done in franchise history: Make it to a postseason in consecutive years.
In the four-year tenure of Jeff Bridich, the Colorado Rockies have only improved in total wins every year, bettering from 68 in his first season to now 91 in 2018.
While Bridich’s flashy offseason moves in the bullpen garnered national attention, his focus on drafting and developing — the focus of his prior roles with the Denver Nine, including as the senior director of player development — has made the club a viable contender.
Coupled with a few shrewd trades and self-admittingly a few missteps, Bridich built a roster that came the closer to a National League West crown than any of his predecessors. Of course, this only magnifies this missteps, whether it be from his roster construction or the manager he hired in Bud Black. But it also speaks to his successes that the Rockies have achieved their second-best season in franchise history and much more.
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To say this is in spite of Bridch or Black is ludicrous but to praise either as messiah is too far too. Each have done admirably and have made mistakes along the way.
“There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve learned,” Bridich said in an exclusive conversation before Game Two of the National League Division Series in Milwaukee. “Winning games and being a part of big games there are a lot of lessons to be learned there but the fun of it is one thing for this group. Some of the challenges and difficulties of it — whether it’s the pressure tension or stress, or facing good teams or the travel — and what postseason baseball feels like. That’s been great for us.
“The build up to that took certain things to get to that point. I think the biggest thing I’ve personally learned is just how much work and how many people are involved in what goes on to take us where we were four or five years ago to where we are now. We’ve had to had so much work and a little bit of luck along the way and things have been working. We feel real fortunate that those things have come together over time. It’s not like we’ve figured everything out, there are always going to be things to learn and there are always things to get better and we have unfinished business here. It’s not like we’re happy and resting on our laurels as just a postseason team. We’re here to win and that’s a great hallmark to this group and the coaching staff and everyone else.”