The Colorado Rockies have hired former big league shortstop Walt Weiss to be their new manager. Weiss succeeds Jim Tracy who resigned at the conclusion of the 2012 season following a last place finish in the NL West. The Rockies lost 98 games in 2012.
Weiss spent 14 seasons in the bigs bursting on the scene in 1988 with the Oakland Athletics when he won AL Rookie of the Year. After five years in Oakland, Weiss played for the expansion Florida Marlins in 1993 before joining the Rockies where he spent four seasons. Weiss was part of the 1995 Rockies which won the NL Wild Card. He finished his big league career with the Atlanta Braves.
After his retirement in 2000, Weiss has been largely out of baseball. In fact, Weiss’ only coaching experience is with his son’s high school team in Aurora, Colorado.
Weiss is on a very short leash. He was only given a one-year contract and is under the thumb of Rockies executive Bill Geivett who has an office in the Rockies’ clubhouse. Geivett’s presence in the clubhouse is the main reason Tracy resigned his position.
As long as the Rockies insist on having a starting rotation that is only allowed to throw 75 to 80 pitches a start, they can forget about contending. What pitching prospect would want to sign with the Rockies? What free agent starting pitcher in his right mind would consider Denver?
This hire makes Weiss the first Jew to manage a big league ballclub. OK, Lou Boudreau was born Jewish but he was adopted and raised as a Christian. So Weiss has made big league history.
UPDATE: As a commenter has noted, Norm Sherry was the first Jewish big league manager. Sherry replaced Dick Williams at the helm of the California Angels in the middle of the 1976 season only to be dismissed in the middle of the 1977 season and replaced by Dave Garcia. So Weiss has not made big league history. My bad.
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