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Walt should be headin’ out to the highway, he’s got nothin’ to lose at all

John Reidy | August 14, 2014

“If Hurdle was offered a significant job with the Rockies after he was fired and didn’t take it, it speaks volumes about the character of those who’ve left and those who’ve stayed.
No one with half of a brain wants to stay and work for the Rockies. So why should Walt?”

Walt Weiss should pull a Jim Tracy.

No, not “aw shucks” his way into our hearts like Tracy did during those four magical seasons he led a talented Rockies squad to the playoffs and a 294-308 record from 2009-2012. No, the sad-sack manager of the Colorado Rockies should walk off the job just like Tracy did after this miserable season is mercifully done on September 28th.

Tracy had had enough. And he bailed out after a disastrous 2012 campaign, even after been being offered an “indefinite” contract extension. Why would a well-liked manager, who had Monfort-blessed job security, leave his dream job? When you can’t take the dysfunction in the Rockies organization and the thought of hammering another check while managing a team with both arms tied behind your back doesn’t appeal to you anymore, you would want out too. And I’m sure it was the best decision Tracy ever made.

And Walt should do the same.

Weiss enjoys a rare station in life where he is not fully blamed for the ineptitude of the Rockies because we all know enough about the ineptitude of the front office of the team. He could conceivably keep managing this piss poor squad for another year or two before being shown the door, cashing nice checks along the way, and never really being blamed for the horrendous product on the field. He could do that, but if he was a man of integrity like we think he is, he’d quit the second this season was over.

By all accounts Weiss is a fierce competitor who would probably act and manage differently if he hadn’t been emasculated by the triple-headed dildo known as the front office of the Rockies. It’s oddly familiar to see him sit stone-face as the season unraveled, not being able to change the team’s predetermined fate. It’s Jim Tracy all over again.

I can’t imagine how Clint Hurdle must have ruffled the plumage of the Rockies top brass. Hurdle seems like he doesn’t take an ounce of bullshit and when the Rockies sputtered a bit in the ‘09 season, he was fired for the more pliable Tracy. According to reports, he was offered a job within the organization, but declined and went to work for MLB Network and the Texas Rangers before ultimately landing the manager’s job with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If Hurdle was offered a significant job with the Rockies after he was fired and didn’t take it, it speaks volumes about the character of those who’ve left and those who’ve stayed.

No one with half of a brain wants to stay and work for the Rockies. So why should Walt?
Money for one. Weiss signed a three year, $2 million dollar contract extension last October which comes out to around $666,000 a year appropriately enough because it is also the Mark of the Beast. It’s the lowest managerial salary in MLB, with the next closest belonging to the New York Mets which, as we all know, are a pretty crappy team as well. This is peanuts for the Monforts to pay such a high ranking member of a team but Walt is probably glad to get this kind of cash after being out of baseball for so long. And while coaching high school baseball may be rewarding, the money – although not as bloody – can’t compete with MLB.

Weiss is making well over a half a million a year to sit with a dour expression in the dugout and groan out answers to bored media members after every loss. Good work if you can find it.

But it can’t be satisfying.

This is a proud baseball man who took the opportunity with the Rockies because he knew in most circles, he’d have to toil away in the minors for years before ever getting his shot. Read Jonah Keri’s excellent book on the Tampa Bay Rays (The Extra 2%) and you’ll be shocked at how long it took Joe Maddon to make it to the big leagues compared to Walt’s meteoric rise. This is a dream come true for a former player who doesn’t have to uproot his family to keep on participating in pro baseball. If he quit now and wanted another managerial job, his journey would take him far away from Colorado and that’s probably not in his or his family’s plans right now.

But sometimes a good paycheck and relative comfort are not worth it if everyone thinks you’re an incompetent puppet of a bunch of equally clueless puppet masters.

If Walt sticks it out and is eventually let go by the organization, he’ll look like the shell of the man we think he is: cashing checks and doing the bidding of people who know way less about baseball than he does. And if he has a single shred of pride in that shriveled sack of his, he’ll quit on September 28th and walking out that door, we may finally see him smile.

Written by John Reidy


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