The Colorado Rockies are narrowing down their search for a new manager and will discuss their options at the general manager meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. on Tuesday night, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.
After interviews with a collection of mediocre candidates, the Rockies need to hire Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams for the vacant manager spot.
Williams is a combination of everything the Rockies need in a manager right now.
The five-time All-Star selection, World Series champion, four-time Gold Glove winner and four-time Silver Slugger winner knows a little something about being successful in MLB.
Williams enjoyed a long 17-year career where he had a lifetime average of .269 with 1,218 RBI and 378 home runs. His five postseason appearances as a player would provide the Rockies with a shift in the culture of the franchise.
The Rockies are in a state of limbo right now in terms of their franchise. They have a solid and youthful core of offensive talent but sit in a pseudo-rebuilding phase with their pitching.
In Arizona, Williams worked with guys like Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt and helped develop them into solid players. He has the opportunity to do that again, working with guys like Jordan Pacheco and Josh Rutledge.
Williams also has experience managing “an Arizona Fall League team that includes Rockies prospects,” reported Harding.
Other options at manager include Jason Giambi, bench coach Tom Runnells and former Atlanta Braves shortstop Walter Weiss, a former World Series champion, 1998 All-Star selection and 1988 AL Rookie of the Year.
The idea of bringing in a guy like Jason Giambi at manager is simply ridiculous. Giambi, who has no managerial experience and is technically still a free agent, would be a downgrade from Jim Tracy.
Other then providing the Rockies with an above-average pinch-hitter for the last four years, Giambi has no ties to the Colorado area and carries with him a bad aura of steroid allegations.
Weiss spent four years in Colorado from 1995-1997 where he had some of the best seasons of his career. The 48-year-old is currently the head coach at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO. Weiss led the Raiders to a 20-6 record last season, good enough to be ranked second in the state for high school baseball.
But that’s just it—high school.
While Weiss was the hitting coach in 2002, he had one of the more talented Rockies teams in history. With Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Juan Pierre and Todd Zeile in the prime of their careers, the 2002 Rockies only managed a 70-92 record.
The 2002 season was also the peak of the performance enhancing era. Much of the Rockies 70 wins relied on the big bat of Larry Walker, a name connected with PEDs.
Rockies fans are tired of hearing this, but being a hitting coach in Coors Field is like racing a Fiat with a Ferrari, it’s easy.
Weiss would be a good hire to replace Carney Lansford and be given another chance at the hitting coach job, but to hire him as manager would be foolish. He needs another two to three years of MLB exposure before he’s manager-ready.
Williams is the man for the job and would make an immediate impact in Colorado. He has the tools to put the Rockies on the path to success.