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Rockies owner says Tracy, O’Dowd not fall guys

May 23, 2012, 1:48 AM EDT

Jim Tracy AP

Remember when the Colorado Rockies went to the World Series? That was only five years ago, but it seems like 500 the way the Rockies play these days.

Only the Chicago Cubs (15-28) have a worse record than Colorado (15-27), which lost its sixth straight game on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, club owner Dick Monfort isn’t preparing to make any big changes, and expressed his full support for both manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd in an interview with Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post .

“I have had people get in my face and say, ‘You’ve got to do this and do that.’ And believe me, I understand the fans’ frustration,” Monfort told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “I know everybody wants a fall guy and everybody wants blood. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to do.”

Monfort went on to say that if there is anyone to blame, it’s him, and it’s possible he became too in love with his own players, though “I don’t believe that’s the case.”

The Rockies are a franchise that prides itself in fostering a culture of strong character. But maybe this franchise is simply too nice from the top down, when it could use some tough decisions both with management and with player personnel.

Then again, the Rockies are 4-16 this month. Maybe this is the dreaded vote of confidence.

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  1. hushbrother - May 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Tracy seems to have a knack for falling in love with mediocre players and giving them playing time when he’s got better options on the bench, the result of which is usually O’Dowd dumping the better guy.

  2. yahmule - May 23, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    That article confirms any Rockies fan’s worst fears about the Monfort’s attitude toward Teflon Dan O’Dowd. In 12 years as GM, O’Dowd has drafted 270 pitchers. Shockingly, only five (5) of them have logged innings in the Major Leagues. That’s a “success” rate of 1.8%. One of those five was Greg Reynolds, who was drafted second overall in the 2006 Draft, ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum and Brandon Morrow.

    This quote from Dick Monfort details exactly how clueless they are about this situation:

    “He’s a tremendous asset. I can’t think of a general manager in baseball that’s as good as him. Granted, I don’t know all of them. I do get a chance every once in a while to speak with them, but I just think (O’Dowd) is head and shoulders above everybody else.”

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Cherry Creek High School here in Denver has put more kids in the ML than Dan O’Dowd has. Those of us who live here now what the Monforts are doing. The only time I make my way to Blake Street is when I get a free ticket or there is a visiting team I want to see. It’s a shame when the Yankees, Cubs or Red Sox come to town ans you see more of the opposing teams jerseys than that of the home team.

  3. mikeincmn - May 23, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I can see the case for and against O’Dowd, since he has made some really good trades and draft picks as well as some awful ones. I thought it was pretty stupid to get as old as they did this offseason. I mean, Casey Blake?

    Tracy should not have a job though. He simply isnt a good manager. He got lucky taking over a loaded team from Hurdle and since then has not done squat. There is a reason he has failed pretty much everywhere else he has been, he makes poor line up choices and is a bad in game strategist.

  4. Old Gator - May 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Yahmule was closer to the problem: the Rocky Mountain Oysters are close to the top of the league in many offensive categories and close to the bottom in pitching. Against the Feesh, they put up four runs in the bottom of the first on Monday and lost; they put up three in the bottom of the first and lost last night. They can’t hold leads, and when they don’t have leads, they can’t undo the damage their pitchers have done in time to establish leads. With all the noise about Boston and Philadelphia, Colorado has one of the most devoted fan bases in MLB; they embraced the team from day one and they deserve better than this. Clearly, there’s some work that needs to be done in the scouting and development end of this franchise as much as, if not more than, in the front office.

    • tmohr - May 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Their pitching is crap, but as usual, the Rox are topping the hitting categories due to Planet Coors.

      On the road, they’re hitting 221/283/348, which follows on the heels of last season’s 242/309/373 outside Denver.

      In other words, they’re pretty much the Pirates on offense, with the bonus of carrying the decaying corpse of Todd Helton.

      • yahmule - May 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        There seems to be a deliberate plan to keep Helton on the field, apparently to justify keeping his enormous salary on the books. There are no potentially Major League viable first baseman in the system whatsoever.

  5. yahmule - May 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    O’Dowd’s failures haven’t been just limited to acquiring pitchers. Since taking over in 2000, he has hit on only one first round pick. Here are his first round selections from 2000 to 2007. It’s too soon to judge the more recent picks.

    2000 – Matt Harrington – RHP – 7th overall – O’Dowd’s first ever draft pick in Colorado. Never threw a pitch in the Major Leagues. Currently working in the tire department @ CostCo. O’Dowd also drafted Michael Vick in round 30, despite Vick not having played baseball since eighth grade.

    2001 – Jayson Nix – SS – 44th

    2002 – Jeff Francis – LHP – 9th

    2003 – Ian Stewart – 3B – 10th – The reason they passed on Longoria, clearly the best hitter available in 2006.

    2004 – Chris Nelson – SS – 9th

    2005 – Troy Tulowitzki – SS – 7th – No brainer pick. Rockies fans are lucky O’Dowd didn’t pass on him since they picked a SS the year before.

    2005 – Chaz Roe – RHP – 32nd

    2006 – Greg Reynolds – RHP – 2nd – Picked over Kershaw, Longoria, Lincecum, Morrow, Kennedy and about 200 other superior players.

    2007 – Casey Weathers – RHP – 8th

    As you can see, excluding Tulo, just one disaster after another.

    Reading between the lines of that article in the Denver Post, you can see Jim Tracy is damn well going to be the scapegoat for the Rockies failures this season because Teflon Dan is untouchable.

  6. dorbs345 - May 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    The Rockies are a disgrace to baseball. The comments made by Dick basically state that they are OK with losing as his pockets are full. O’Dowd is the worst GM in baseball yet Monfort says he is the best? The best GM in baseball yet he has 4 winning seasons out of 12???? This is the only organization in professional sports where losing is accepted and encouraged. The only way for change is for fans to quit going to games. Make his wallet feel it or nothing will change. Yet there are 30,000 fans at every game, and I am one of them as I have season tickets. Which are now being sold rapidly!!

    I honestly can’t believe fans have been waiting to hear from ownership, and all they have to say is “this is great, we don’t care that we are losing!” And what really got me is when he says ” I feel the fans frustration” do you Dick? As you open your wallet and put MY money in it? This is a truly pathetic organization.

  7. yahmule - May 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    The one good trade acquisition in O’Dowd’s tenure was Carlos Gonzalez, but it’s hardly like he pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes to get him. They had to send away Matt Holliday in that deal.

    Even more pathetic, O’Dowd’s big free agent signings were Mike Hampton for $121 million and Denny Neagle for $51.5 million. Two of the worst contracts in Major League history. Hampton’s claim to fame in Denver was bad pitching and an off-the-chart level of surliness toward the community. At least Neagle tried to reinvest in the local economy by getting caught with a $40 prostitute in his car. The Rockies then terminated his contract on a moral turpitude clause. They should have terminated O’Dowd instead and hired that hooker to run the team. The results couldn’t have been much worse.

    The upshot of the whole thing was the Monforts declaring free agency evil and they haven’t signed a free agent of note since.

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