You could also contend that the Rockies ownership and front office were to blame as they slashed payroll by more than 20 percent heading into 2002.
But the silver lining of the situation was that Hurdle was the replacement.
Hampton called Hurdle’s promotion “a plus.”
"“He’s familiar with this organization,” said Hampton, “and that’s probably the only plus out of this.” Helton said that Hurdle a “tireless worker, very organized and very outgoing. Maybe he can shake some things up.”"
Starting with Hurdle’s first game as manager and through the month of May, Hurdle was successful at shaking things up as they were 23-10 in his first 33 games at the managerial helm.
The Rockies pitching staff pitched to a magnificent 3.30 ERA and the offense averaged 5.8 runs a game with a .289/.364/.468 slash line. Hampton pitched to a 4.05 ERA in his next five starts and Helton finally warmed up as he hit a blistering .365/.476/.774 from Hurdle’s hiring until the end of May.
But Hurdle didn’t take credit for the turnaround. “We were due to play better. We played so poorly we got a good man fired,” he said back then.
While the Rockies were still in fourth place in the very competitive NL West, they were three games over .500 entering June. The team ended up faltering in June and July and ended up with a 73-89 record, 25 games back of the reigning World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
After the season ended, Hurdle’s wife, Karla, gave birth to their first child together, Maddie, and as soon as she was born, she was sent directly to the neonatal intensive-care unit, where she stayed for three weeks.
Doctors diagnosed her with Prader-Willi syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that can lead to a number of developmental and behavioral issues, including short stature and constant hunger.
The Hurdle’s were already tested before their marriage and before Clint became manager as he struggled with alcoholism but he quit drinking in the late 90s and started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings before Karla agreed to marry him in 1999 after he proposed (and was denied) in 1997 and they have been together since.
In the next four seasons, Hurdle and the Rockies with their lack of hitting, lack of pitching, or lack of both, never won more than 76 games in a season, making Hurdle “the only manager in major league history to start a career with five losing seasons and not get fired.” However, 2007 was the season that Rockies fans had been waiting on for more than a decade.