Walt Weiss sounded like a man that was fed up with the losing after the Rockies were swept by an awful Diamondbacks team last night in a 12-7 loss at Coors Field. He talked about guys needing to step up and how guys are not pressing since it’s their job. He was fed up with the excuses. If one did not know any better, he would have sounded like a Rockies fan than a Rockies manager.
Who can blame Weiss? He is wondering if things are going to get better. He knows there is a culture of losing the team is dealing with. His pitchers are not pitching well.
The Rockies manager is in a tough spot. There’s nothing he can do if he can find a reliable pitcher to get outs. Fans don’t want to hear it, though. Not after watching years of bad baseball. They want him to lead the team out of this rut. They want him to show like he cares. They want him to act like a manager.
The second-year manager comes off as a manager who is overmatched in the dugout. He is often confused to what’s going on in the game. He does not know how to manage pitching. He can’t seem to get the best out of this group. This comes from a fan’s perspective from talking to Rockies fans.
All the Rockies have done is plenty of losing under Weiss. The Rockies front office trumpeted Weiss’ hiring for his ability to communicate well with the young players. He would get them to play at a high level. He would change the culture of losing after experiencing success as a player. He would be their next Mike Scioscia in the eyes of Dan O’Dowd.
So much for that. He is no better than Jim Tracy. If anything, he might be worse.
Let’s be real. He was hired basically to follow orders by O’Dowd and Bill Geivett. He wasn’t hired for his managerial ability. Sorry, but his lack of managerial experience and his work at Regis Jesuit High School never oozed any confidence.
What the Rockies needed was a manager that knew how to win. A manager that was his own guy rather than play the guys O’Dowd ordered him to play or pitch starters on a ridiculous pitch count. A manager that knows how to get the best out of players in a long season. They needed an outsider, not a guy that was in the organization.
Weiss is not in danger of being fired. He probably will manage for a long time since there is no accountability that takes place with Monfort.
Still, he has to show players that he has the goods to be a manager. He has to show he knows what he is doing as a manager. He hasn’t demonstrated he could. He leaves his relievers too long if they are ineffective as they pitch with a decent lead. He overmanages by pitching one reliever after another to get an out each inning rather than stick with a reliever to get three outs. He tends to overuse his relievers often.
One has to wonder if pitcher’s struggles are due to Weiss’ inability to manage the staff.
Weiss needs to show he can lead in tough times. He hasn’t showed he can based on what happened last year when the Rockies struggled from July to September. Who knows if he can do that now with the Rockies falling apart now?
Players want to see him lead. That’s where he earns respect.
He might be beloved by his bosses, but ultimately, he has to get players to not quit or else he won’t stand a chance in the next few years.
No one expects Weiss to lead the Rockies to the playoffs or win the division. Still, he has to show he can get his team to win and not quit on themselves. This Rockies team has enough talent to not to be this bad and lose 96 or more games. They should have a winning record when one looks at the offense. The pitching should be okay.
A manager’s job is to make guys believe they can win. His job is to be demanding and have his players be prepared. His job is to have these guys play fundamental baseball on a consistent basis.
There are things Weiss can do to change the losing atmosphere.
The question is does he know what he is doing.
We are going to find out what he is all about during this losing stretch.
Sooner or later, Weiss can’t keep being on scholarship as manager.
Contact or follow Leslie Monteiro at @LightRodWriter