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Jeff Bridich and the longest leash in baseball

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, February 8, 2021

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As he enters his seventh season as GM of the Rockies, Jeff Bridich is now the sixth-longest tenured GM in MLB (hired Oct. 2014). The five GMs ahead of him are Brian Cashman (Yankees, 1998), Dayton Moore (Royals, 2006), Mike Rizzo (Nationals, 2009), Rick Hahn (White Sox, 2012) and AJ Preller (Padres, Aug. 2014).

Cashman, Moore and Rizzo are World Series winning executives who have all reinvented their teams multiple times now. A better comparison for Bridich is perhaps Preller and Hahn.

Rick Hahn took over the GM job at the end of the 2012 season and immediately began the process of slowly rebuilding the White Sox through the draft. He and the White Sox are only just beginning to enter their window of contention. A few months ago, Hahn was named the Sporting News Executive of the Year for his work.

AJ Preller inherited an 80+ loss Padres team and made them a four consecutive 90+ loss team. Although he was aggressive in his first season, that eventually backfired and led to him changing strategies. Prellar’s strategy was clear and similar to Hahn’s: endure a few losing seasons to rebuild the farm system and then when the young core reaches the majors, be aggressive to add around them.

Although it took some time, Preller’s Padres and Hahn’s White Sox are now World Series contenders. Meanwhile, Bridich’s Rockies have never been considered World Series contenders. Overall throughout his tenure, Bridich’s Rockies have teetered around contending.

When Bridich became the GM of the Rockies, he already had a foundation of core players like Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos González. He also had young impactful prospects on the cusp of reaching the majors, such as Trevor Story, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, David Dahl and Raimel Tapia.

Bridich inherited a much more promising situation than either Preller or Hahn had when they started. The building phase that Preller and Hahn spent years doing was already done for him. He just had to selectively add to his core of talent to contend. In other words, he was set up to succeed and reap the benefits of Dan O’Dowd’s losing. Bridich was even given more money to push the team into real contention but spent the money on mistake after mistake.

Now, if you ask any Rockies fans if Bridich has succeeded, they’ll give you an emphatic no. If you ask the only opinion that matters to Jeff Bridich — Dick Monfort — if Bridich has succeeded, the answer won’t be no.

Monfort’s loyalty has blinded him to the point that it may cost him not just one, but two superstar players in their primes. He just can’t seem to realize Bridichs mistakes. It’s a lot like a toxic relationship — Monfort doesn’t understand how much better his life (the Rockies) would be if he just dumped Bridich.

So how do you help a friend who’s in a toxic relationship? It starts with letting them know you think there’s a problem. Rockies fans have actually done a great job of making sure Monfort directly knows they feel. The fans have to be his lifeline back to sanity. The focus should be on waking Monfort up and not tearing him down. After all, Monfort and us all want the same thing: to be on the path to winning.

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Rockies’ Jeff Bridich accepts blame, but will he pay for team’s poor showing? | The Denver Post ($)

Patrick Saunders analyzes the chance of Monfort firing Bridich. For reference, he looks back at what forced O’Dowd out and how the original owner, Jerry McMorris, handled GMs. Could the Bridich era soon be coming to an end?

Rockies’ perplexing decision to deal Nolan Arenado, more trade fallout | The Athletic ($)

Ken Rosenthal theorizes what the Rockies were thinking when they traded their Hall of Fame third baseman. He includes thoughts and ideas from rival executives. He also drops the tidbit that Nolan might not have opted out after 2021.

Will fans be allowed in Coors Field for Opening Day? | Rox Pile

Governor of Colorado Jared Polis recently shared optimism that some fans could be allowed into Coors on opening day. This comes after recent drops in reported infections and hospitalizations. Question is, will fans want to go?

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