The building saga surrounding possible changes within the Rockies' front office took another turn on Sunday. Several players recently spoke out in frustration regarding the team's unwillingness to hold management accountable for their actions, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, continuing to build on the tension that has engulfed the organization for the better part of the season.
Rumors have been surfacing about Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd possibly leaving to take a job with the Braves, a development that might be welcome to some players:
The player shook his head and asked rhetorically, "Why don't we ever make changes in our front office? I don't get it."
We don't know if Rockies players have had this level of frustration before, but even if they have, this is the first time anyone actually spoke up about it. It appears the player who delivered the quote above isn't alone:
"I mean, this is the major leagues, not the minors. It's supposed to be about winning," another player said. "We change a few players, but we never have enough talent. Things never change upstairs. Other teams make changes, but we never will."
If O'Dowd departs, how much would that actually fix? One thing that really became evident over the course of this season is just how much control Rockies owner Dick Monfort exhibits over the baseball side of the operation. Seeing these quotes from other members of the organization only reinforces that belief:
In talks with more than a dozen people within the organization - they did not want to be quoted by name out of concern of possible reprisals - the key concerns are owner Dick Monfort's input in the day-to-day baseball decisions, the lack of accountability for general manager Dan O'Dowd and the scope of assistant general manager Bill Geivett's job.
The bottom line is that if -- or, considering the amount of smoke building up around this fire, when -- O'Dowd leaves, the Rockies still have a rich, powerful, and extremely stubborn elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. While this isn't likely to happen, would anyone really be surprised if Monfort flexes his muscle to an even bigger degree on the baseball operations side with O'Dowd no longer around? Are we possibly looking at a Jerry Jones or Al Davis situation here?
It almost seems ridiculous to ask, but that's just how poorly things have been run since the death of Keli McGregor. There's an extreme lack of transparency in terms of how the club is run, and when things are found out, they're almost always bad. The good news is that often times, when players talk, people listen. Either that, or the players get publicly shamed and eventually run out of town by their GM.
Either way, it's shaping up to be an interesting and undeniably pivotal offseason for the future of the Rockies organization. Unfortunately, history tells us that we shouldn't have a lot of hope that any sort of significant positive changes will be made.
Hopefully we're all proven wrong.