There’s a New General Manager for the Colorado Rockies; Will it Matter


Sep 15, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort before the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies actually made a move, it’s a miracle. Long-time General Manager Dan O’Dowd is out after 15 miserable seasons. Rockies’ fans rejoice! Bill Geivett is also out. Rockies’ fans rejoice!

The new General Manager has already been announced as the Rockies promoted from within. His name is Jeff Bridich and he has been with the Rockies for the past 10 years in a variety of roles. Most recently he served as Senior Director of Player Development.

In all honesty I know nothing about Bridich and today is the first time I’ve ever heard of him. Now that doesn’t mean anything; there are baseball people who believe he is one of the bright young minds in baseball. I have no reason to dispute that and hope that they are right.

My concern is this, I don’t trust Dick Monfort and I wonder if this move is an improvement or is it rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? Only time will answer that question but the Rockies have burned so many bridges with their fans, so I think it is a fair question.

We’ll get into Bridich and the challenges facing him in a moment but Monfort has already made a mistake here. There should have been a national search. The promoting from within is not going to go over well with some. Even if they ended up hiring Bridich, a national search would have shown they were serious.

I do give Monfort credit for doing something after years of being far too passive but as legendary UCLA basketball coach once said, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” The shakeup in the front office is a start but it has to be backed up by results on the field.

So what is Bridich facing as the new boss of the Rockies? It’s an extremely tall task but the first thing he has to do is establish an identity of who he wants the Rockies to be. If you look at the final four teams left in the playoffs, they all have an identity that they can rely on when the chips are down.

The Baltimore Orioles hit the ball out of the park and have solid pitching. The Kansas City Royals rely on speed, defense and a bullpen that is probably the best in baseball. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants also have traits that make them who they are.

It will be up to Bridich in conjunction with Manager Walt Weiss to establish that identity and then stick to it.

It goes without saying that the biggest challenge for Bridich with be figuring out the pitching and how to make it work in Colorado. O’Dowd had a ton of faults but that was his number on downfall. He draft record for pitching is woeful and very few pitchers have experienced sustained success at Coors Field.

Here’s a free piece of advice for Bridich as he takes over today; starting pitching is important but a very strong bullpen is a must in Colorado. That’s where your focus should begin.

The lineup should be fine in 2015 assuming everyone is healthy, big assumption but also true.

Here’s the biggest thing Bridich must do; he must be visible and he must be accountable. O’Dowd was the only General Manager in sports that never spoke to the media and that’s unacceptable.

John Elway is available every time there is a reason for him to be available and also does a weekly radio show. He understands that you cannot hide from the media and in the wake of controversies, you have to be even more available.

When Elway took over the Broncos in 2011, the fans no longer trusted the organization. Elway’s first order of business was to re-establish that trust and that included being more transparent. The trust was eventually re-established and we’ve seen the results.

Bridich must take that page out of Elway’s playbook; he must be available to the media and he must be willing to answer the tough questions. The relationship between the Rockies and their fans is broken, and Bridich must fix that and it might be tougher than fixing the problems on the field.

In the end the ouster of O’Dowd and Geivett along with the hiring of Bridich is a step, but it has to be backed up with wins on the field.

Otherwise the boat will continue to sink!