From MLB Trade Rumors (and the Denver Post), news about the Rockies' longtime GM:
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have given a new contract to general manager and executive vice-president Dan O'Dowd. Terms of the deal have not been announced. O'Dowd just finished his 10th full season as the Colorado GM and had come to the end of a two-year extension signed in April 2007.
The Rockies have a 774-859 (.474) record since O'Dowd was hired on Sept. 20, 1999, but have reached the playoffs in two of the last three years, going as far as the World Series in 2007. O'Dowd is the fourth-longest tenured general manager in baseball, behind only Brian Sabean, Billy Beane and Brian Cashman.
Is this the greatest comeback in general managerial history? In O'Dowd's first seven seasons running the Rockies, they never finished higher than fourth place and finished above .500 (82-80) just once. The contract he gave to Mike Hampton might be the worst in the history of free agency. And nothing ever seemed to get better; after three straight seasons with just 73 or 74 wins, the Rockies won 68 games in 2004 and 67 in 2005.
But what happened next stands as a testament to both O'Dowd's skills and ownership's patience. First, there was that magical run in 2007 and then, after a disappointing 2008, 92 wins and a playoff berth in 2009. Presumably the Dodgers will enter next season as favorites in the West, but the Rockies figure to be in the mix again, particularly if Jeff Francis comes back reasonably strong from his shoulder injury.
Update: MLB Trade Rumors has pulled this post, because apparently the Denver Post's report was premature. (Oddly, the Post's story is still available with no update.) There seems to be little doubt that O'Dowd will eventually sign a new deal, though.