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Friday, May 29, 2009

Rockies Fire Clint Hurdle, Hire Jim Tracy

Via Jon, the Rockies have fired Clint Hurdle and hired Jim Tracy to replace him. This move was rumored late last year, and followed Tracy's 2007 firing by the Pirates.

Expect to hear homilies about how the 2009 Rockies should be more like the 2004 Dodgers:

Before Tracy had donned a Pirates uniform, in the winter of 2006, he met with center fielder Chris Duffy and told Duffy he should play like Dave Roberts, the Dodgers' leadoff man, even though all Duffy and Roberts had in common was being fast. Among the instructions: Duffy, a line-drive hitter, was told to pound the ball into the ground. He failed miserably, quit baseball for a month and has yet to recover.

Tracy told shortstop Jack Wilson, a three-time runner-up for the Gold Glove, that he did not like his approach to ground balls, that it should be more like Cesar Izturis of the 2004 Dodgers. Wilson had his worst defensive year in 2006 and, at Tracy's behest, Izturis was acquired from the Chicago Cubs this past July. It was at Tracy's urging that Wilson nearly was traded to Detroit in late July, after which Wilson batted .401 in the season's final two months.

One of the things I have learned in my career working in large organizations is that the most effective thing you can do to fix a situation with an incompetent is to give them a glowing recommendation and send them off to a hated enemy. The Dodgers have nothing to fear from the change in management, with the caveat that Tracy's title is "interim manager".

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