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O’Dowd: Altitude, baseball IQ lead to Weiss hire

It’s a big step to go from coaching high school to managing a major league team. But general manager Dan O’Dowd and the Colorado Rockies believe that Walt Weiss is the man for the job for a number of reasons.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweeted that he spoke with O’Dowd about why the Rockies hired Weiss, and the under-fire GM cited Weiss’ high baseball intelligence, his experience playing under famed managers Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, and the fact that he’s familiar with playing baseball at altitude. Weiss played for the Rockies in the mid 90′s and also served as a Rockies front office special assistant between 2002-2008, so Weiss certainly appears familiar with playing at altitude, and Weiss is also well-respected in baseball circles.

O’Dowd’s reasons for hiring Weiss aren’t particularly surprising, especially on the altitude front. But perhaps the one new point would be O’Dowd’s citing of Weiss’ experience playing under LaRussa and Cox, for whom, combined, Weiss played under for nearly a decade.

The Rockies announced on Wednesday night that Weiss would be the team’s sixth manager in franchise history, following Jim Tracy’s abrupt resignation last month.

For more on the Rockies’ hiring of Weiss, click here.

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