Since the death of Keli McGregor, the Colorado Rockies have been run -- top to bottom -- by owner and chairman Dick Monfort. Monfort hasn't just overseen the business side of the club, either; he's inserted himself into baseball decisions, frustrating former general manager Dan O'Dowd and his staff time and time again by nixing certain moves while foolishly advocating others.
That's why, as the Rockies floundered in last place in the NL West yet again, I still didn't think many major moves would be made as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
Boy, was I wrong.
The Rockies' trade of Troy Tulowitzki, long the face of the franchise, signifies a new, unfamiliar direction for the team. But, perhaps more importantly, it gives us a look at who's really in charge.
You have to hand it to Jeff Bridich. The fresh-faced rookie GM appeared to be no more than an O'Dowd disciple when he was hired to replace his longtime mentor last October. And, for the first part of his tenure, he made moves similar to those of his predecessor. He never addressed the starting rotation, he somehow made worse the already poor depth he inherited -- you get the picture.
All of that changed late on Monday.
While Monfort was upset to the point of tears about trading his star shortstop, the man who talked him into approving the deal was cold, calculated and heartless, according to The Denver Post's Nick Groke, who wrote an excellent story detailing the behind-the-scenes happenings surrounding the deal.
That's right: the fiercely loyal Monfort broke down during the press conference announcing the trade, and during that same conference, Bridich came off as an emotionless, stone-faced leader who won't let personal feelings get in the way of doing his job.
Perhaps this is an isolated incident, but it seems like so much more than that. It seems, in fact, like the Rockies are in good hands with Bridich, who won't be afraid to take chances for the sake of a brighter future for his ball club. And somehow, he's gained the support of his overly hands-on boss in doing so.
As sad as I am about the departure of Tulo, I also feel a wave of excitement about what appears to be a wholly different leadership group than what we've seen in the past. Things are changing at 20th and Blake. And it appears they're changing for the better.
Rockies Choose to Embrace Their Future, At Last | FanGraphs Baseball
Jeff Sullivan says the Rockies made the right move in dealing Tulowitzki, adding that it improves their chances of figuring out their biggest weakness: developing young pitchers.
Projecting the Prospects in the Troy Tulowitzki Trade | FanGraphs Baseball
Chris Mitchell uses a projection system to break down what the Rockies received in return for their star shortstop.
Troy Tulowitzki deal one Rockies had to make | MLB.com
Phil Rogers concludes the Rockies were at times a tremendous sight to behold with Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez at the top of their game, but for the sake of their future, a deal had to be done.
Rockies Trade Tulo, Break My Heart - Rockies Zingers Colorado Rockies Baseball
Much like our Matt Gross, Jake Shapiro's heart is in pieces after the Rockies dealt perhaps the most talented player they've ever had.
The Big Picture: A Tulo Story
Rox Pile's Greg Moore likes that the Rockies freed up money to allocate to younger players while also upgrading the talent level of their young pool of pitchers.
Ex-Rockie LaTroy Hawkins sees Toronto as great place to end career - The Denver Post
Hawkins, the forgotten piece in the Tulo trade, made his debut for the Blue Jays on Tuesday. He pitched a scoreless inning, inducing a pair of groundouts while notching a strikeout and gaining immediate adoration from the fans at the Rogers Centre.