Rockies Fire Manager Clint Hurdle
Clint Hurdle, just two years removed from a trip to the World Series has been fired by Colorado. The Rockies have promoted bench coach Jim Tracy to be the team's manager.
Hurdle took the helm in Colorado early in the 2002 season after Buddy Bell was fired and compiled a 534-625 record. Of course the highlight of Hurdle's tenure was taking the Rockies to the World Series in 2007 and introducing the baseball world to "Rocktober."
Though Colorado got swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, the bar had been raised for the Rockies, perhaps unfairly. The team used an obscenely hot finish to streak into the playoffs where they continued to get big hits and uncharacteristically good pitching before running into the Red Sox buzzsaw.
By suddenly putting it all together for one stretch, expectations were raised in Colorado, and it seems like the team wasn't ready for it. The Rockies' statistics at the plate took a significant hit from 2007 to 2008 as the team's average, OBP, slugging percentage and OPS fell by 17, 18, 22 and 40 points, respectively. The team's ERA jumped from 4.32 to 4.77 between the two years as well. How much of that was on Hurdle remains to be seen, but right now it appears as though he may simply be the victim of his own success.
Add to that the fact that the team traded its best hitter (Matt Holliday) in the offseason and that the team's best pitcher (Jeff Francis) is out for the season with a bum shoulder and well, you can see how things may have turned in Colorado.
Now it's Jim Tracy's task to try to turn the team around. Tracy has compiled a 562-572 record in seven seasons as a big league manager. He had four winning seasons in his five with the Dodgers and failed in two years in Pittsburgh (as managers are wont to do).
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