I think Theo Epstein and Terry Francona would be able replacements for Dan O'Dowd and Jim Tracy. They've already won a World Series at Coors Field, maybe they could win another. ---Matthew Whitman, Lander, Wyoming
Matthew, I got this question from a lot of smart emailers. Problem is, as you now know, Theo went to the Cubs, a smart move for him and them. And Jim Tracy will be back here next season, which is right. He deserves another season. The White Sox should have hired Francona. (He and Theo could have gotten an apartment together in the middle of the city.)
No way would the Rockies' ownership have paid Epstein $20 million or Francona $15 million. No way would ownership have given Epstein full power, or the money to do what he did in Boston. Wishful thinking on the part of a lot of people who like the Rockies, but you should turn your attention to who the Rockies are going to sign and trade for. If they fail again, O'Dowd and Tracy will be gone.
There's any number of drums to beat about this. For starters, there was no chance that Theo Epstein was going to end up in Denver. Just no chance. But Francona?
See, realistically, there's no chance of landing Francona either. Much as I'd absolutely love to have a competent manager at the helm, the Rockies do have a tendency to tie themselves to their mistakes in this fashion. (Also, as a side note, I'm having flashbacks to Jim Leyland already.)
Furthermore, I don't see what Tracy has actually done to "deserve" another season. Yes, 2009 was the best season in franchise history, but you'll notice that there was a very distinct shift in management style from when he took the reins in an interim capacity to when he was handed the keys as the full time skipper. But "deserve" another season? I mean, sure, we're paying him one way or another for that season, but why not take a risk, go for someone like Tito?
Also, where is this $15M number coming from? Francona made $4M in 2011 with the Red Sox (Tracy is making $4.4M for his 3 years). His contract was certainly expensive, but I hear somewhere that at some point, the best of things costs money. Unless the Rockies can scour a top-flight manager from the minors, from another team's bench, or Jayhawk Owens, good managers are probably going to cost a decent chunk of cash. A chunk which one could easily make the case isn't worth it for a manager.
We've discussed a lot of these points through our comment sections, but there are two noteworthy points to mention:
1. The Rockies are on their 12th consecutive year where the season-beginning 2B has changed from the previous year. The only repeat during those 12 years? Luis A. Gonzalez. Yeah.
2. Armstrong is identifying Rosell Herrera of Casper Ghosts fame. there's a lot of projectability as this young man finishes growing and matures as a baseball player. He played mostly SS with the Ghosts, but a decent amount of time at 3B as well. This definitely speaks to his throwing arm, and it definitely is promising, given the team's need for both a 2B and a 3B. Trevor Story could be look at in a similar light, as a potential for 2B/3B, as well as Josh Rutledge. Of course, we're talking 3 years down the line, and Nolan Arenado's progression will be key in defining where all of the team's internal 2B candidates over the next several years end up.
Finally, congrats to the St Louis Cardinals, your 2011 NL Champions. They will face off with the Texas Rangers in what could be a battle for the ages. Or perhaps just a complete domination. Who knows, the Cardinals weren't even supposed to be here.