Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Thursday notes on the Rockies include interest in the Giants bench coach, the passing of an early franchise radio announcer and the question of questioning ownership.
With a rival divisional team in the World Series, a lot of the articles that relate to the Rockies this morning seem to also relate to San Francisco:
Marco Scutaro's journey from Boston, through Denver and to the NL champs, for instance, is looked at by the Boston Herald.
Like a well picked scab, Scutaro again features in Marc Normandin's paean to Brian Sabean. Remember the days when Sabean was considered a doofus? Yeah, good times.., good times... Unfortunately in the pudding/proof department, a lot of credit has to be given to the Giants' GM for putting together a two-time in three years NL champion team.
Which is why this other Giants related Rockies news is welcome to me, as the one Giants coach I've been hoping the Rockies would take a look at for their managerial vacancy, bench coach Ron Wotus, is mentioned by Patrick Saunders as a person of interest in Colorado's search for a Jim Tracy replacement. Like Jeff Aberle, I still see the writing on the wall pointing to a Jason Giambi hire, and you can get that sense in the linked Saunders article. I'm still not at all opposed to a Giambi hire if he proves the right guy for the job, but the outside candidates that we know the Rockies will be taking a look at all seem like potentially solid choices to me as well. This is a much better scenario than either of the last two times around where there weren't open searches at all before the team went with Tracy and Clint Hurdle. The one minor complaint I'd have is the absence of Dave Martinez on this list, but I do have lingering doubts that I'm more fond of him due mainly to a pro Tampa Bay bias from a lot of my favorite Internet baseball writers and frankly, I have no real evidence that he'd be any better at the post than the men the Rockies do have on their list.
Former Rockies pre-game radio broadcaster Joe Cullinane has passed away. I remember listening to Cullinane with the Bears and Zephyrs broadcasts as a child as well, so this news brings up a bit of sad nostalgia for me.
Grand Junction Rockies GM Tim Ray was named the Pioneer League's top executive of 2012. The GJ Rockies set franchise attendance records and brought the excitement of minor league baseball, not to mention likely Rockies top prospect David Dahl, to the Western Slope. This already seems like a good financial move by the Monforts to take the team out of Casper, and I'm guessing that it won't take long for the investment to pay off on the fiscal side of the ledger, but it's still up in the air if it will pay off on the baseball ops side of things.
Which leads to that note, from the Saunders piece above, that in a conference call with Rockies season ticket holders yesterday, Dick Monfort got upset and cut the conversation short when asked if the major league club was a cash cow investment vehicle for the ownership, implying that they're not interested in a truly competitive MLB operation. I tend to agree with Monfort here that it's silly to question ownership's desire to win. We can question their ability and criticize their decision making and personnel choices in their efforts, but when it gets to "they just don't care as much as I do," I think is where fans get off the rails.
That said, with Mike Ilitch's Detroit Tigers in the World Series, we do have an example of an owner that exemplifies what I think most fans want for their favorite franchise, the win at all costs billionaire that doesn't mind losing money on the operation just to get that elusive ring. We don't have that in Colorado, and wishing for it likely won't make it happen as there are only a couple of owners like this in all of professional sports. We also have the Giants, whose ownership consortium runs their ship with the same kind of fiscal prudence that the Monforts show, just at a scale a few degrees up from where the Rockies can afford. It makes it all the more difficult for Colorado to compete without being a lot more effective in their entire process.