It is said that a fish rots from the head down. That metaphor had never been more on display than it was on Tuesday when Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich took questions from the media after announcing the trade of Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.
For a full hour, the owner and GM had their feet held to the fire as to why it was imperative that the Colorado Rockies had to part ways with Arenado a mere two years after he was signed to an eight-year, $260 million contract with the club. Unfortunately for Rockies’ fans, the reason was obvious: The organization might just be the most dysfunctional franchise in all of Major League Baseball.
Bridich attempted to take responsibility by saying, “If we’re looking to pass blame, you can blame me” … but Monfort wasn’t having any of it. Woody Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette asked if he considered firing the GM and Monfort replied, “No, I have not thought about firing Jeff. I have thought about firing myself.”
If that sounds like he might be interested in selling his ownership, think again. Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post flat out asked Monfort if he would consider selling the franchise. Monfort bluntly and arrogantly replied, “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
So where do the Rockies go from here? Monfort will not sell and he will not fire Bridich. However, he should follow his own advice and fire himself. He should fire himself from being involved in the day-to-day operations.
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Since the sad and sudden death of Keli McGregor in 2010, the Rockies have not a club president who could be the go-between between the ownership and GM. Monfort never replaced that role and has become such a “hands on” owner that even Jerry Jones, who is both the owner and GM of the Dallas Cowboys, would be jealous.
The problem is that having someone who has expertise in the meat packing industry should not be involved in making baseball personnel decisions. The ownership should be there to set the budget and watch their bank account at the end of the day.
The Rockies need to seriously consider hiring someone (who has experience, of course) from outside the organization as president that can come in and give a fresh perspective and clean up the mess that this Arenado trade debacle has created.
Monfort stated that, “I am a fan. I truly am.” If that is really the case, it is time for him to take a step back and let the professionals do their jobs as he cheers from the bleachers.