Rockies hire Walt Weiss as manager

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 08, 2012
Walt Weiss is making the rare jump from the high school dugout to the big leagues. The Colorado Rockies hired the former major league shortstop Wednesday night to replace manager Jim Tracy, who resigned Oct. 7 with one year and $1.4 million left on his contract rather than return to a club where its assistant general manager had moved into an office in the clubhouse. The 1988 AL Rookie of the Year with Oakland, Weiss played shortstop for the Rockies from 1994-97 and was a special assistant to general manager Dan O'Dowd from 2002-08. He left to spend more time with his family and last season coached Regis Jesuit High School outside Denver, in Aurora, to a 20-6 record and the 5A semifinals of the state championship. Weiss' son, Brody, is in his senior year at the school. The Rockies made the announcement after owner Dick Monfort and top officials deliberated at the general managers' meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. -- held at a hotel Monfort owns, the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Weiss didn't return a phone message and email from The Associated Press. A team spokesman said Weiss would be introduced at a news conference Friday at Coors Field. "It was a lot of different things," general manager Dan O'Dowd said before suggesting senior vice president of major league operations Bill Geivett speak about Weiss' hiring. Geivett didn't immediately return phone messages. Weiss and Arizona coach Matt Williams were the finalists to replace Tracy, who quit following the worst season in franchise history. Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells and first baseman Jason Giambi also interviewed, with Giambi saying he would retire as a player if he got the job. The 48-year-old Weiss spent parts of 14 seasons in the major leagues, also playing for Oakland (1987-92), Florida (1993) and Atlanta (1998-2000). A .258 career hitter, he was an All-Star in the 1998 game at Denver's Coors Field. Colorado had more familiarity with Weiss than with Williams. "He would take trips in the minor leagues. He was always around with the major league club at home, as well," Geivett said earlier Wednesday. "I know Walt pretty well." Williams, a five-time All-Star third baseman, has been Arizona's third base coach the last two seasons after a year coaching first base. Before that, he was a Diamondbacks' broadcaster for five years. "I played against him in college when he was at UNLV," Geivett said. "No real personal contact." Weiss is just the sixth manager for the Rockies, following Don Baylor (1993-98), Jim Leyland (1999), Buddy Bell (2000-02), Clint Hurdle (2002-09) and Tracy (2009-12). Colorado went 64-98 last season under Tracy, who was promoted from bench coach to manager in May 2009 and was voted the NL Manager of the Year after guiding Colorado into the playoffs that season. The Rockies started strong in 2010 but faded at the finish and they ended up going 294-308 under Tracy, who also had worked with Geivett in Montreal and Los Angeles. Energized by the young players and the challenge of fixing things, Tracy said repeatedly toward the end of last season that he wanted to fulfill the final year on his contract in 2013. But he changed his mind after meeting with Geivett following the team's last-place finish in the NL West. Things changed dramatically for Tracy on Aug. 1 when Geivett, the assistant general manager, was given an office in the clubhouse and began focusing on roster management, particularly as it related to the pitchers, and evaluating the coaching staff and the rest of the players. Tracy's responsibilities were narrowed to game management and meeting with the media. "I thought we worked together fine," Geivett said after Tracy's surprise resignation last month. Geivett had said that structure will remain in place next season but he didn't think that would be an issue in his search for a new manager. In addition to altering their front office, with O'Dowd focusing his attention on the minor leagues and player development, the Rockies last summer reacted to Coors Field playing like its pre-humidor days by adopting a radical four-man rotation and a 75-pitch limit with several designated piggyback relievers, a much-derided experiment that lasted two months. Geivett has said the Rockies will return to a traditional five-man rotation next season with pitch limits determined on a case-by-case basis. Tracy was given an indefinite contract extension last spring but it guaranteed only his 2013 salary of $1.4 million as field manager and really just represented the club's desire to keep him in the organization in some capacity.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker