The Colorado Rockies, who saw manager Jim Tracy resign last week to much joy around the blogosphere, have interviewed an interesting name for their vacant managerial opening: Jason Giambi. Giambi has been with the Rockies as a player since midway through the 2009 season, when the A's released him and Colorado signed the veteran.
Steroid accusations aside, Giambi was a tremendous hitter in his prime with the A's and Yankees, winning the 2000 AL MVP award, posting seven 100 walk seasons, and hitting at least 30 homers in eight years. But Giambi was devastated by injuries this year and played just 60 games. Although he hasn't retired quite yet, it's expected that he will. A coaching job somewhere awaits, and the Rockies managerial job could be the one that's his main focus.
Two managers were hired last season with no managing experience: Robin Ventura with the White Sox (who didn't even have any coaching experience), and Mike Matheny with the Cardinals. Both teams finished above .500, and Matheny's Cardinals are still playing in October. While that has a lot to do with the overall talent level on each team, it has to be said that Ventura took a team that finished under .500 with Ozzie Guillen at the helm and won 85 in 2012 with nearly an identical roster.
If Giambi doesn't get the manager's job in Colorado, he could be a good fit as a hitting coach for Colorado, or any other team for that matter. Hitting coach Carney Lansford was fired by the Rockies this year, and quite frankly, the organizational needs to go in a different direction after years of "traditional" managers in Clint Hurdle and Tracy, who combined for three seasons above .500 in ten seasons between the two at the helm of the squad.
Colorado has a pair of immensely talented young players in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, and both are signed long-term with the franchise. The team should have no desire to waste their primes with silly managers who go by the book and are content with fourth place finishes. Tracy's resignation was a step in the right direction, as was Dan O'Dowd's removal from day to day operations involving the major leagues. Giambi could be a step in the right direction, be it either as a coach or the manager. But there's no way that the Rockies should hire a veteran "baseball guy" in the mold of Hurdle or Tracy, because that's a path they've gone down for years, and it just hasn't worked aside from a 2007 miracle run.
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