The Colorado Rockies are a bad joke of a Major League Baseball franchise, yet owner Dick Monfort has been extremely slow to make changes -- maybe because of all the money he's raking in from the new Coors Field party deck. But this morning brings news that general manager Dan O'Dowd, who helped assemble a team that was lucky to go 66-96 this year, has resigned -- and that's not all. Photos, details and early reaction below.
As we've reported, the Rockies have been even more of a laughingstock than usual this year, thanks to gaffes like misspelling shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's name on the back of giveaway T-shirts and doing likewise with third baseman Nolan Arenado on commemorative cups. Yet O'Dowd continued to insist that the team would have been fine if so many players (including Tulowitzki) hadn't gotten hurt. This excuse was a popular object of ridicule on the Colorado Rockies Memes Facebook page, as seen in this image:
And then there was his highly questionable ability to choose quality pitchers, as lampooned here:
In response to the Rockies' ineptitude, owner Monfort got defensive rather than castigating O'Dowd, even telling a dissatisfied fan who'd responded to a post-game survey that if the squad's performance didn't meet expectations, "then don't come." Monfort also informed a different fan that "maybe Denver doesn't deserve a franchise" via e-mail -- outbursts for which he subsequently apologized.
Nonetheless, Monfort didn't seem especially interested in shaking up the staff behind-the-scenes -- a message reiterated as recently as Friday in an MLB.com piece. An excerpt reads: "Unless club owner and CEO Dick Monfort has a change of heart, major personnel changes aren't expected. Sources also said that reports that chief baseball officer Dan O'Dowd could end up joining the Braves if his former boss in Cleveland, John Hart, becomes the next Braves GM, are more of a connect-the-dots exercise than a likely move."
The worm turned this morning, as reported by MLB.com's Thomas Harding. He notes that O'Dowd has resigned, as has Bill Geivett, who most recently had served as senior vice president of major league operations.
That doesn't mean Monfort has brought in an outsider to truly make a fresh start of things. Instead, he's promoted Jeff Bridich to GM -- and as Harding points out, Bridich is a Rockies longtimer, having spent a decade in the club's front office.
Furthermore, Monfort remains the Rockies' big kahuna, as this Colorado Rockies Memes item posted moments ago points out in typically humorous fashion:
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Can an insider truly do what's necessary to transform the Rockies into a legitimate contender again? Especially with Monfort calling the shots (and pinching the pennies)? It's definitely a long shot. Right now, the Rockies are irrelevant, and Bridich's got one helluva job in front of him to flip that script.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.