Monday, November 12, 2012

Rox Talk - Welcome Walt

The Rox welcomed their 6th major league manager last week, naming Walt Weiss as theri new manager.  He is now the unlucky winner of managing a team with a pseudo general manager in an office next to you and a pitching staff in search of.  As previously mentioned I don't wish this job on anyone.  With front office in disarray, a team beseeched with unknowns, and no clear path forward, the soul who takes on this journey must be glutton for punishment

What will make next year especially tough on me is Walt Weiss is one of those ballplayers I love.  Decent glove, a grinder, no flash, just a love for the game.  He was Rox pre-Scutaro back in 1994.    If the team was just missing a spark, I would think this hiring would be great.  Unfortunately this is such a reclamation project I find it difficult to think even the tough as nails Weiss making it work.  Throw in that he has a one year contract and this all suggests that the Organization continues to run this baseball team unlike any other in major league.

In some respects Rox were hoping that lightening might strike again following the league in hiring Weiss much like the White Sox did with Ventura and the Cardinals with Matheny and hoping that such a move might make the team competitive.  And in the usual Rox move they don't go with a proven commodity with some big league experience in a front office (i.e. scouting) but just figure that making the transition from High School coaching to the Bigs should be as easy as crawling to riding a bike.

Maybe it will work, maybe one day they will tell us "told you so" but this unlikely candidate is just more timber for the fire.  In one respect it might be good for stability that the Rox have only had 5 managers in their 20 seasons (compared to 13 with our brethren expansion team, the Marlins).  The opposite is that results were expected in Florida and they have two titles to show for their 13 managers and we have one World Series trip.  In the end I hope this all works out for Weiss.  In addition to the unknown he really has no expectations.  Starting next Spring, I think most pundits will simply give the Rox an over/under of 75 games.  With the division foes all with strength, Rox might have the potential to surprise someone but playoffs are most likely out of the question until pitching stabilizes.  It will be interesting to see who Weiss brings into these coaching roles.  Giambi is probably a favorite for the hitting coach but I'd prefer Bichette.  For pitching focus I'd like to see Ritz or Astacio.  Two starters who survived the experience and pitched to keep the Rox team in games while playing in Denver.  With Weiss I'd really like to see the days of the Blake Street Bombers II, with Tulo, CarGo, Cuddyer, and Rosario bashing our way to victory and making teams scared of Coors Field again.

Wrapping this up I think Weiss will bring some perspective.  Having played in the ballpark and understanding its effects on players there might be something there.  Throw in that Weiss played for two of the greatest managers of the late 20th century and early 21st century in LaRussa and Cox and maybe that mix might make an interesting coaching offspring.  Next year with the unusual schedule and interleague throughout the season might help the Rox.  Throw in some healthy players which should benefit Weiss.  Now will the players listen and play for him?

No comments: