Overnight rumblings and speculation centering around the removal of Dan O'Dowd as general manager of the Colorado Rockies were technically proven to be false on Wednesday. But where there's smoke there's fire, which according to the Denver Post means O'Dowd will continue his turbulent 13-year run as GM — which peaked with two playoff appearance between 2007 and 2009 and has produced a disappointing 193-232 record since — but will shift his focus more toward player development.
It was also announced that assistant general manager Bill Geivett was named the senior vice president of baseball operations and will now oversee the daily operations of the big league club. But he'll still report to O'Dowd. So if I'm reading into this correctly, O'Dowd loses some power, Geivett gains some power, essentially giving Colorado co-general managers, but the power structure itself doesn't really change.
If true, it would certainly be fitting for an organization that recently reassigned pitching coach Bob Apodaca to a special assistant role and promoted not one, but two internal replacements for him — Bo McLaughlin and Jim Wright. Not to mention them currently employing a four-man rotation with a loose 75-pitch limit that O'Dowd says isn't a four-man rotation, but rather a paired pitching system with additional starting pitchers assigned to piggyback the starters.
Genius, isn't it?
All this really confirms is that the Rockies are more comfortable utilizing even numbers to handle specific tasks. Well, that, or they will remain stubbornly resistant to the necessary changes (aka actually firing people) and will continue refusing to acknowledge their system is a shattered mess in need of a complete overhaul rather than a glorified rearranging of deck chairs and seemingly desperate attempts to reinvent the wheel.
Of course this could also ultimately prove to be the beginning of a two-month changing of the guard with Geivett taking complete ownership of the general manager position in the offseason. That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for Rockies fans, as it's obvious O'Dowd has run out of ideas for putting a consistent winner on the field in Denver.
But to me the Rockies resemble an organization that desperately needs a fresh perspective in all aspects. I'm not sure Geivett ultimately provides that (he's been O'Dowd's assistant since 2000), but at the very least they've escaped O'Dowd's short-sighted acts of desperation being their sole influence. That's the first step in their long road to recovery.
The next step would be finally acknowledging the system is indeed broken, and real changes need to be made. They can't keep operating like they're the New England Patriots or San Antonio Spurs, teams with a strong structure in place that allow them to promote from within without missing a beat or running the winning machine off track.
The Rockies have had four winning seasons in O'Dowd 13-year reign. They're currently on pace for the their first 100-loss season in franchise history. There's no solid structure or winning philosophy in place there. Reassigning power, moving furniture, promoting from within, whatever you want to call it doesn't cut it anymore. They need to start thinking bigger and making real changes. Otherwise they're risking being buried for a long, long time in a revitalized National League West.