I’m not rich by any means, but if I were, and I could buy the Colorado Rockies tomorrow, here’s the first thing I’d do. I’d call a press conference, step up to the podium, and read this prepared statement…
“Two years ago, we celebrated the finest season in the history of the Colorado Rockies organization. A thrilling stretch run resulted in our second ever playoff appearance, and our first ever National League Championship and trip to the World Series. We reached those heights with a youthful, home-grown roster. 14 of the 25 players on our World Series roster had been originally drafted or signed by us.
“Since that time, while our minor league system remains strong and fruitful, the product at the major league level has not progressed. Rather, we have taken steps backward. We were not contenders in our division in 2008, and at this moment, we are in very real danger of no longer being division contenders in 2009 as well.
“So while I make this announcement with a certain level of regret and sadness, I have determined that it is time for a change in this organization. Therefore, as of today, manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Dan O’Dowd have been relieved of their duties.
“I believe that you will find no finer men than Clint and Dan. They are man of character and integrity, and represented this organization in a manner that all fans could be proud of. Without these two men, the 2007 NL Champions banner you see above the clock on the left field scoreboard at Coors Field would not be there. I sincerely thank them for their service and wish them the very best in their future endeavors, baseball or otherwise.
“However, our fans demand, and deserve, a commitment to success. We believe that the pieces are in place for long-term success. Our farm system has produced the core of our team the last three seasons, and many more highly regarded prospects are making their mark on our six minor league affiliate clubs. Nine members of our Opening Day roster are 26 years of age or younger, and all are counted on to be long-term contributors.
“On-field success has eluded us. We currently sit at 11-17, an unacceptable record for a team with the talent level I believe exists on the roster. We are 8.5 games out of first place in the National League West. Most damaging of all, we have been unable to pull ourselves out of this early season malaise. We have not achieved any sort of consistency.
“I can not guarantee that these personnel decisions will turn the franchise around. But at this point, it is a chance worth taking. It is a chance we must take. When the status quo is no longer good enough, changes have to be made.
“As to who will fill these vacancies, Jim Tracy will be our interim manager and Bill Geivett will serve as interim general manager. However, I intend to go outside the current organization to make long-term hires for both positions. It is time for new ideas, new philosophies, and a new attitude. The future of Rockies baseball can still be as bright as we imagined it to be two years ago if the right stewards are put in place.”
Oh, yeah, and if I were in charge, I have no idea who I’d want to manage, but my first phone call would definitely go to somebody who has worked with either the A’s or Twins – organizations that work under the same financial parameters the Rockies must work under and have experienced success. Someone like, oh, Paul DePodesta, for instance.
And I don’t know if anybody’s really going to get fired. I do know it’s going to continue to be hard to watch this ballclub until at least Clint Hurdle does.