O'Dowd out; Bridich new Rockies GM

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DENVER -- Dan O'Dowd resigned Wednesday as the Colorado Rockies' general manager after a mostly unsuccessful tenure.

His time at Coors Field reads like this: 15 years, four winning seasons, two postseason appearances.

O'Dowd wasn't the only team executive to resign Wednesday. Senior vice president Bill Geivett followed him out the front office door after Colorado's fourth consecutive losing season.

The Rockies are starting fresh from within, appointing Jeff Bridich to run the show. Bridich has served as the team's senior director of player development since 2011.

"I know Jeff is anxious to begin working on the goal of putting a championship team on the field that the Rockies staff, our fans and our region deserve," owner Dick Monfort said in a statement.

The highlight of O'Dowd's tenure came in 2007, when the Rockies rode the wave of winning 21 of 22 games all the way to the World Series, where they were swept by the Boston Red Sox.

But O'Dowd's power began to dwindle in recent years with the rise of Geivett, who was promoted to senior vice president of baseball operations in August 2012.

Geivett was given an office in the clubhouse, which at times made things a little uncomfortable for players and coaches. Geivett began focusing on roster management, particularly as it related to the pitchers, and evaluating the coaching staff and the rest of the players.

That played a role in manager Jim Tracy's resignation after the 2012 season, with a roughly $1.4 million deal still on the table. That opened the door for Walt Weiss to manage the team he once helped on the field.

Through all the losses, Monfort remained fiercely loyal to O'Dowd and his staff. He thanked them on their way out.

"They have been friends and colleagues, and their families have been a part of the Rockies family, for a very long time," Monfort said.

The call for some sort of change grew louder and louder from fans this season. Monfort even received emails from angry patrons; he responded by saying that if the fans weren't happy with the bad baseball they were witnessing, maybe they shouldn't come to Coors Field. And that perhaps the city wasn't deserving of a major league team anymore. He later softened his stance.

It was Monfort himself who raised expectations by predicting a 90-win season in the spring.

Instead, the Rockies finished 66-96 and 28 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

Bridich takes over a team for which two of its biggest stars -- Troy Tulowitzki (hip) and Carlos Gonzalez (knee) -- missed chunks of the season with injuries. Tulowitzki has longed maintained he wants to play for a winner.

The few bright spots in 2014 included Justin Morneau capturing the NL batting title and left-hander Jorge De La Rosa's steady performance on the mound, especially at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

"We didn't perform to the expectations we had on ourselves," outfielder Michael Cuddyer said.

An impending free agent, Cuddyer said before the Rockies' last road trip that he would be open to a return.

"I believe in the guys that we broke out of spring training with," Cuddyer said. "I believe in that team. Unfortunately, we weren't able to put that team on the field very often. I believe in it. Whether I'm here or not -- the offseason is going to dictate that -- but if I am, it's because I believe in this team."