In 2013, you’ll have either Matt Williams or Walt Weiss manning the bench as the next manager of the Colorado Rockies. Both parties bring a platform of inexperience coupled with a layer of intrigue to the table. Both are in their 40s, both were longtime NL West infielders and both will be seen as player-friendly managers who would be taking big steps forward from their current positions.
So, then, what exactly separates these two candidates?
In one corner, you have a likeable third-base coach who will offer an inside look into one of the Rockies’ key divisional rivals. Williams manned the hot corner in the Arizona desert for the final six years of a successful big-league career, along with playing in San Francisco for nearly a decade in the late ’80s through mid ’90s. Offering more big-league experience than his fellow finalist, the soon-to-be 47-year-old Williams will command immediate respect in a Rockies clubhouse that needs a steady hand to guide them back out of the mess that they’ve fallen into. Williams is an established former player, which fits into the model, based on the other candidates the Rockies have reportedly considered, that the Rockies want in their next skipper.
In the other corner, you’ve got the likely favorite, the popular former Rockies shortstop who’s done his tour of duty around the organization. The 48-year-old Weiss served in the Colorado front office for several years after his retirement in 2000. He knows that he’ll have to play by the rules in order to get the Rockies job. He’ll have to be a front man for the media and make in-game decisions, but that will be all. But for a local high school coach trying to make the Grand Canyon-sized leap into managing in the major leagues, maybe the Rockies job is the perfect stepping stone. As Dan O’Dowd and Company have shown far too often, familiarity with the organization is key. And Weiss has it.
Right now, for that reason, Weiss is the Barack Obama of this campaign – your favorite coming into the race. People know Weiss, and people like him. He still represents change (though perhaps not enough), and he’ll be liked by the front office. Weiss knows the turf; with the Rockies insistent that due to 5,280-foot altitude of Coors Field, baseball and the correspondent management of the franchise must be done differently, this will be a key component of picking out the next manager.
Regardless of who wins, this election will be a lot more fun than the one we just experienced.
You won’t see commercials interrupting your favorite sports programs, telling you why the other candidate is the scum of the earth and how bad he smells. You won’t get annoying phone calls from some random campaign worker in California or Texas, telling you to vote for the 98th time, only for you to get another phone call three hours later from another campaign worker telling you the same thing. Your mailbox will be fine to open. Your Facebook account will be tolerable to read again.
This campaign will be quick and easy. There won’t be debates between the two candidates; those will be solely confined to sports talk radio. The average Joe won’t have any say in this campaign – if they did, the Monfort brothers would be long gone.
By this time next week, we should know who the sixth manager for the Colorado Rockies will be.
And now, it’s time for the Monforts, O’Dowd, Bill Geivett, and the rest of the Rockies to cast their ballots and swing this swing state for one more ride.