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Jason Giambi has officially been granted a slot to interview for the Rockies' manager position. He was the landslide winner in The Denver Post's poll, but what would he actually bring to the table?
It seemed to start as a somewhat cute fan suggestion. With Jim Tracy out as the Rockies manager, maybe they could turn to Jason Giambi to head up the 2013 squad. The slugger had become a beloved Rockies figure among fans to the level of Vinny Castilla, and indeed, when the Denver Post ran a poll last week for who should be the Rockies' manager, Giambi won out in a landslide.
Days before he arrived in 2009, a poster mentioned on Purple Row that he heard Giambi was close to signing with the Rockies. That poster was met with ridicule, guffaws and even an official warning for rumormongering. It happened of course, and Giambi quickly became a central part of the Rockies fabric. Reminiscent of his arrival in Colorado, the idea of Giambi being Jim Tracy's replacement is quickly transforming from an obscure thought to potential reality.
Troy Renck is reporting this morning that Giambi will interview for the open manager position. He also mentions that Sky Sox manager Stu Cole will not be granted an interview for the manager position, repeating his tweet from Sunday. Cole could end up replacing Rich Dauer as the third base coach.
With Colorado seemingly favoring an internal candidate, it speaks volumes about Giambi's candidacy that Cole, one of the two most obvious internal candidates, was not interviewed.
What would Giambi bring to the table as a manager? He would be replacing Jim Tracy, whose strengths certainly seem to be personality management, friendship and trust with players, and dealing with the media. His weaknesses seemed to be tactical decisions and over-reliance on traditional strategy. He was a father figure and a quality person, not necessarily a brilliant entrepreneur.
With zero managerial experience, we have little idea what Giambi would bring as a manager to in game decisions. Yet he talked strategy with Jim Tracy constantly, and bench coach Tom Runnells, who interviewed last Thursday, is committed to filling whatever role the Rockies want him in. It is doubtful Runnells had much leverage before, but O'Dowd won't risk losing him completely if another candidate gets the job. That means Giambi could get the manager role with Runnells as his bench coach.
As I see it, the Rockies had a fatherly, caring figure that is good with the media, little temper, and little tactical skill that had a love affair with the organization. If Giambi gets the role, the Rockies would have a less experienced, caring big brother figure that would be good with the media, have a bigger temper, and little tactical skill, plus that love affair with the organization. Giambi's gameplay decisions, with Tracy as his lone training and Runnells as the likely bench coach, would likely mimic Tracy's strategy. Then consider the awkward new balance of Giambi making the rules for Tulowitzki and Helton (or maybe he would make exceptions, which would be worse).
Count me dubious that Giambi would be the shake up this organization needs.
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