DENVER – Good luck finding a baseball person, media member, parking lot attendant, grocery sacker, mascot or high school principal to say something bad about Walt Weiss.
It would have to be a confused soul saddled with a personal agenda. Respected in baseball and human circles, Weiss is the man you send your son to play for.
The question isn’t whether Weiss is the right man to lead the state's Major League Baseball club. When the previous manager resigns and walks away from $1.4 million, the question is whether the leadership above him is right to lead a Major League Baseball club.
But back to Weiss. Friday is his day, and this is about him. The Colorado Rockies at noon will formally introduce Walter William Weiss as their sixth manager.
Weiss won’t need an escort to find his new/old office. The 48-year-old is an old hat in the organization, playing shortstop from 1994-97 before serving as a special assistant to the general manager from 2002-08. He knows the Rockies better than Warren Miller.
He's a Yankee from Tuxedo, N.Y., and a Tar Heel from the University of North Carolina.
His career path suggests he's as much a Coloradan as anything else. His 11 years with the Rockies are more than he spent with another organization. He and his family live in Franktown. He spent last season as the varsity coach at Regis Jesuit High School.
Don’t be concerned how Weiss will handle the jump from a Class 5A state playoff game against Cherry Creek to the Coors Field opener against San Diego on April 5.
One thing we learned from watching the once-scrawny shortstop’s playing career: If Weiss is fighting a bear, help the bear. He helped Oakland to the 1989 World Series championship. He played in the 1998 All-Star Game as a member of the Rockies.
This is the Rockies manager. You’ll dig him.
For how long? That’s where this gets weird. The most bizarre part of the equation isn’t Weiss’ lack of managerial experience or the 31 days it took to hire Tracy’s replacement.
It’s the one-year contract Weiss was awarded.
You’re our guy, Walt. Probably. We think.
The conundrum with a one-year deal, particularly in the case of the Rockies, who are rebuilding after a franchise-worst season, is the dilemma Weiss will be forced to juggle.
Will he manage not to lose his job? Or is he being afforded the opportunity to manage while building the program for the future? There’s a difference.
Say you’ve got a stud tearing it up with the Sky Sox. And he could benefit from getting his feet wet with an August and September in the bigs. But he plays a position in which the Rockies have a steady, if not spectacular, veteran.
You're on the top step of the dugout as the Rockies manager. Are you taking a flier on the unknown talent – if your job security depends on the team's record at the end of the season?
Weiss has three 'W's in his name and substantially more on his resume. He's a winner. He played 14 seasons in the major leagues. His teams had a losing record only twice.
One of those came in 1993 with the Marlins. Their record: 64-98.
The Rockies' record last season: 64-98.
The Marlins were in their first season.
The Rockies have a first-time manager.
Finding a bad word on Weiss? That would be a first.