Naturally, with the buzz of today's managerial change overwhelming Rockies fans everywhere, this week's edition of Rockies Retro summarizes each manager's tenure (mostly focusing on each skipper's first month on the job). Maybe it will give us some perspective on what to expect from Jim Tracy, but it's much more likely that if anything happens that corresponds in any way, shape, or form with what is listed here, it will be a complete and utter coincidence. So, without further adieu, let's get right to it.
Don Baylor (First month on the job: April 1993)
This case is obviously different than the rest, as Baylor was the first manager of an expansion team which he guided to an 8-14 record in their first month of existence (which was also his first month as a big league manager). Any failures the Rockies may have had during their first month - and there were quite a few - can and should only be attributed to the fact that they were playing their first baseball games as a franchise. At any rate, we all know that Don Baylor went on to have quite a bit of success as the manager of the Colorado Rockies, guiding them to three straight winning seasons and a playoff berth in the mid-90's.
Jim Leyland (April 1999)
Taking over for the ousted Baylor before the start of the season, Jim Leyland and the Rockies did not field the type of quality team that they were expected to field that year. Leyland's club stumbled to a 9-10 record out of the gates, and things only got worse from there. Colorado, who had legitimate expectations to be a playoff team, finished 72-90 and Leyland would not return the following season.
Buddy Bell (April 2000)
Bell, the third manager in the history of the franchise, didn't have a great first month as the Rockies' skipper, (mis)guiding them to an 11-14 record during that span. However, the team recovered nicely over the course of the next couple of months and if not for a ridiculous swoon in July that saw the club drop 22 of 29 games, the Rockies would have had a shot at the playoffs. Instead, they settled for their first winning record in three years (82-80). Bell would only last one more full season before losing his job in April of 2002 - the first time a Rockies manager had ever been fired in the middle of a season.
Clint Hurdle (April 2002)
The recently-dispatched Hurdle had a very strong first month as a manager, winning 20 out of 28 games after the club started 6-16. That first month included two 6-game winning streaks and only one losing streak which was the result of getting swept in Philly. The Rockies were obviously beneficiaries from the change right off the bat, but it didn't really last, as they still finished the season 16 games under .500. Of course, we all now know Hurdle's ultimate fate - just one winning season and seven years later.
Jim Tracy (May 2009)
Who knows if the Rockies will get a spark from the managerial change; the only thing we do know is that a mid-season change has only happened once before now, and it paid immediate dividends (though in the long run, it didn't change things much). At the very least, Tracy and the Rox got off to a good start today, and hopefully it turns into something they can hang their hats on.