When Jim Tracy abruptly left the Colorado Rockies as manager at the end of the season, it put the team in a managerial search that had a few glaring handicaps.
Putting together a winning team in Denver poses unique problems. Humidor or not, the park is death for pitchers. And with assistant general manager Bill Geivett having a strong influence on the day-to-day operations of the team, most managers might not want the job.
How unusual is the situation? According to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, Geivett considered Jason Giambi a "very viable" candidate for the job. Giambi has no coaching or managing experience and was never known as one of the great intellectuals of the game, but he has not been written off.
But, as Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post reports, the Rockies could be looking at a high school coach who happens to be a former Oakland Athletic and Colorado Rockie, Walt Weiss. This choice makes a little more sense.
Weiss was always a solid and smart player. But his All-Star career was consistently interrupted by injuries.
For Rockies fans, he was a Blake Street Bomber who played in the 1995 Division Series for Colorado.
He was also a member of the Rockies front office, having been an assistant to general manager Dan O'Dowd. As Terry Frei of the Denver Post wrote, the ability to be a smart baseball man with experience plus a connection to the complicated Colorado front office is a critical and unique combination for Weiss.
He currently is in charge of a team and is the top man. He's the varsity coach at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.
Granted, the leap from high school to big league baseball is an unusual one. But Robin Ventura's leap from not coaching at all to the big leagues was a stranger jump.
And nothing is normal in Colorado.