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Colorado Rockies GM Jeff Bridich tasked with difficult job

Rockies owner Dick Monfort probably has unreal expectations for his new general manager. Just as long as he allows Bridich to do his job ...

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Rockies owner Dick Monfort is pleased about direction of organization - The Denver Post
Monfort told Patrick Saunders that Jeff Bridich's job upon being promoted to general manager "was to make this current team a winner."

That is not an easy task, given the Rockies' payroll constraints, lack of impact pitching and questionable position player depth. I still think Monfort's issues go beyond a simple unwillingness to spend money, but a quote like the one above doesn't bode well for him in that regard.

Still, it's not unreasonable for Monfort to be happy with what his organization as a whole is doing. The Rockies' farm system is unquestionably on the up-and-up, and changes made in other areas of the team -- such as the overhaul of the communications/public relations department -- signal a desire to become more connected with the fanbase, the community and, most importantly, reality.

Those things aren't going to help the Rockies win this year. So, when the team finishes in fourth or fifth place in the division, don't be surprised. But also, don't be depressed. A plan appears to be in place; it's just up to Bridich (hopefully more than it is up to Monfort, anyway) to execute it.

MLB - Future Power Rankings heading into the 2015 season - ESPN
The Rockies, now No. 26, ranked dead last in baseball on this list when it was published at the end of last season, so it's good to see that they've made some headway despite a quiet offseason. Most of that has to do with Colorado's farm system, which is becoming more highly regarded by the day. Here's what Buster Olney, Jim Bowden and Keith Law have to say about the state of the Rockies:

The overview
Trading Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez would probably be best for the organization, but new GM Jeff Bridich really can't put them on the market until both players play well through extended periods of good health. -- Buster Olney

The dilemma
This team needs major pitching help. If the Rockies do decide to trade Tulo and CarGo, they must insist on getting top pitching prospects in return. -- Jim Bowden

Impact prospect
Eddie Butler got hurt last year in his first major league start, but he's supposed to be 100 percent this spring and should spend a bulk of the season in Colorado's rotation, where the life on his fastball might help him be more efficient than most starters are in Denver. -- Keith Law

Betancourt wants to prove he can pitch |
Rafael Betancourt hasn't looked great in his first couple of spring outings, but the important parts for him are pitching pain-free and being able to recover quickly. He wasn't able to do those things to his liking while pitching in the minors in the second half of last season. Let's hope things go better for him this spring. We're all rooting for you, Raffy.

Photos: MLB players with best beards, mustaches, facial hair - Extra Mustard -
This collection of picture day photos is wonderful. The Rockies made one appearance, and it is absolutely worth waiting for the photos to load to see. The man in the photo absolutely nailed the "look as noble as possible" rule for getting one's picture taken.