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Walt Weiss better have a good first year as Rockies manager

Nov 8, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies Photo Day

Here’s an interesting little twist to the Rockies announcing Walt Weiss as their new manager last night: He got a one-year contract.

“I am not motivated by the terms of contract,” Weiss told Troy Renck of the Denver Post. “I am just focused on the job.”

Of course it’s easy to say that now, on literally Day 1 of the job and after going from high school coach to MLB manager, but it’s very rare for a manager–even a first-time manager–to not be given a multi-year contract.

Mike Redmond just got a three-year deal from the Marlins and last offseason the White Sox gave Robin Ventura a three-year deal and the Cardinals gave Mike Matheny a two-year deal with a third-year option. They were all hired as first-time MLB managers.

Renck notes that Weiss wasn’t actively looking for a job when the Rockies called him last month and has never even coached in professional baseball, but former coaches and teammates are effusive in their praise of his leadership skills and ability to command respect.

Still, taking over a last-place, 98-loss team on a one-year contract is a helluva challenge.

  1. willclarkgameface - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    This won’t end well.

    • zzalapski - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      For a lot of Rockies fans, it didn’t start well.

  2. edelmanfanclub - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Why would he sign a 1 year deal?

    • kander013 - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      I don’t know, HS baseball coach in Colorado or MLB manager in Colorado with a one year deal. What would you do?

      • edelmanfanclub - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        Not sign a one year deal.

  3. steve7921 - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Wow…it doesnt seem like he was desperate for a MLB gig and then he signs a 1 year deal. Either he has supreme confidence or there is more to this story!

  4. allforfunnplay - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I see the “98 loss team” as the key to the decision made by Weiss. Essentially there is little downside and most likely no where to go but up…even if it’s only small incremental improvement.

    The Rockies’ Manager position according to MLB Network reports is a sort of ‘Manager-Lite” position. Where some of the non-direct baseball managerial duties are other administrative/managerial staff’s duties. As well as the Rockies’ funky pitching system of 75 pitches for starters followed by a caddie long reliever is still in place. So anyone that takes the Rockies’ manager position has possible extra managing issues to work out.

    So for Weiss, even if he can make a small improvement like winning a few more games or maybe possibly overtaking the Padres for 3rd place (long shot)…Weiss looks like a winner or at least a decent MLB coach. And even if he gets fired for only making a little bit of improvement, the rest of the league will see a guy that helped a poor team under the Rockies’ weird/burdensome managerial circumstances. Weiss will have a year of MLB baseball experience on his resume and if he’s fired he might be able to catch on as a Bench Coach or 1st or 3rd Base Coach.

    • mashoaf - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Plus, if they win a bunch of games with Tulo back, he will be in the driver seat for a huge raise.

  5. yahmule - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Does anybody remember a manager or coach in any pro sport who came in with a one year contract? I know he played in the league for a long time, but he’s a high school coach on a one year deal. How long will it take the players to tune him out? Well before the ASB is my guess.

    IMO, the Rockies ownership seems to be actively campaigning for the title of worst organization in pro sports. The Clippers and AZ Cardinals look good by comparison. It’s especially glaring when you contrast the Rockies smug ineptitude with a first rate organization like the Broncos.

  6. timmons94 - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    U get one of best players in baseball back. Tulo. Add some pitching. Who knows. I hope .500 baseball is enough to get a 2nd year

  7. personalspaceinvader - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Interesting.

    If he succeeds: Colorado will obviously want to keep him and he will likely have a lot of leverage for his new deal.

    If he fails: Giambi it is then.

  8. proudliberal85392 - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    A one-year deal is not a good sign.

  9. Kleinz 57 - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    “…but former coaches and teammates are effusive in their praise of his leadership skills and ability to command respect.”

    For a minute I was worried this wouldn’t end well. THANK GOD his respect commandin’ is not in question.

  10. nomoreseasontix - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I don’t know how he’ll be as a manager, but he was an awesome shortstop for a few years…

  11. chicoruiz - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Can he take his High School players with him?

  12. mojoe12213 - Nov 11, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    Weiss will do fine as a manager. As for his players… I don’t understand why everyone thinks “tulo” coming back will help. The guy has been injured every year and just sucks up payroll because he can make a few fancy throws. I hate the yankees, but jeter is by far the better defensive ss, simply because he can stay healthy.

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