Only Way to Hurdle The Rockies Out of The Basement Is to Fire Clint

Noah CrouseContributor IMay 28, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 02:  Manager Clint Hurdle of the Colorado Rockies walks off the field during their game against the San Francisco Giants on May 2, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Can someone please explain to me how Colorado Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle is still employed?


Actually, anybody could look at the ownership group and figure it out pretty easily. The Rockies' owners, the Monfort Brothers, appear to have no clue what they are doing.


They have stuck with Hurdle, general manager Dan O’Dowd through bad times, and continue to do so when it seems things couldn’t get much worse. They give Hurdle and O'Dowd credit for the improbable run the team made in 2007.


Well it worked then, more by luck than anything else, but it certainly isn’t working now. The Rockies languish in last place, holding onto a record of 18-28 overall and 7-13 at Coors Field. They were just swept by the Dodgers, and there is nowhere to go but down. Yet, oddly enough, Hurdle remains employed.


The man who has been in charge for so long and holds a lifetime record of 442-509 (.465) is deserving of repeated opportunities?




What has Hurdle done to deserve the benefit of the doubt?


Remember before the 2007 season the duo was said to be on the hot seat, and then right before the season started both were rewarded with contract extensions. They are under no pressure, and Hurdle was actually recently given a ringing endorsement from the owners following another terrible and losing homestand:


“To say he would be (fired after this homestand) would be inaccurate. If you make the change, what is going to be better? And we are not going to make change for change's sake. If I felt it was going to make the difference in winning more games, we would do something. But I just don't think that's the case right now.” (


But that is no surprise. That's how baseball in Colorado is run, at least by the Monforts. They have no problem making their club a revolving door of players each year, and have to ensure they do nothing to endanger their legacy.


They honestly don’t care about winning games, but rather about putting cash in their pockets.


They don’t care about the fans of their team, as long as people are buying tickets and they are continuing to make money. Who cares about anything else?


By putting “yes-men” like O’Dowd and Hurdle in charge of day-to-day activities, saying they put more emphasis on character than anything else, the Monforts can ensure they never have to truly build a winner, and can continue to put a mediocre product on the field.


During the offseason, the Rockies traded Matt Holliday to Oakland for Huston Street, Greg Smith and Carlos Gonzales.


In other words, they came off as desperate to unload Holliday, and it was apparent to everyone that they had already mailed in the season.


Sure Holliday was likely to leave after this year, but why not hold onto him until the trading deadline this year? Given the financial status of this country, and the fact that guys like Manny Ramirez got nowhere near what they wanted, maybe Holliday would have reconsidered the offer the Rockies had on the table.


If not, and if the club weren’t in contention for anything but another trying to avoid last place, Holliday would have made a nice piece to offer to a team that was one player away from being a true contender.


Either way, I am sure that they could have gotten more than a questionable bullpen player and two minor leaguers.


But that isn’t the Rockies way.


Forget talent and forget about paying for it.


The only thing of importance is the high moral character of the players. It makes for a great story that the Rockies put character over anything else, but at some point talent has to figure into things.


That isn’t to say that they don’t have talent, but rather they don’t know how to keep it. They aren’t willing to pay to keep talent and they aren’t concerned with being labeled as cheap.


It is beyond time to fire Hurdle and O’Dowd and get some real baseball men running the show.


Blow this up and start over, a fresh beginning. It isn’t working and it never will as long as Hurdle and O’Dowd are in charge. Frankly, it will never improve as long as the Monforts own the club, but we’ll take it one step at a time.


Make the change, go with a new message and a new approach and try to gain some ground on the Padres and Dodgers before the season gets away and the Rockies are again alone in the basement.