The Colorado Rockies hired Walt Weiss to be their next manager….and why not? After all, Weiss has a season of high school baseball management under his belt. He can boast that he has managed 26 high school baseball games. Weiss may very well be successful as a major league manager. Robin Ventura had no previous experience and he had the White Sox in the pennant race all season. So what’s wrong with this picture?
Well, the hiring of Weiss is the equivalent of a Fortune 500 company hiring a guy who interviews well, but has no experience over another guy who has vast experience but doesn’t quite interview as well. It sure doesn’t bother me. In fact, I applaud teams that take risks, such as the White Sox hiring of Ventura, and now the Rockies hiring of Weiss. But this will undoubtedly upset all of those AA and AAA managers who are riding buses every day and are receiving low pay to manage in the minors with the hopes of landing a big league job. Surely, they have to be thinking, “why bother”?
Remember the late great Howard Cosell’s biggest beef: that former athletes were easily hired to be TV analysts and sportscasters, while thousands of potential radio personalities who went to college or school to be sportscasters were being shut out of the business. This situation with Ventura and Weiss reminds me of that same situation. Managing in the minors is a potential MLB manager’s “college or school”. Now we’re starting to see that MLB managers don’t need that schooling. If you interview well, and you played baseball, the job could be yours.
And so while AA manager-hopefuls are riding on buses for hours and for many days, Walt Weiss had a 20 minute school bus ride to local High Schools. While AA managers are dealing with suspensions, Walt Weiss had to deal with players not playing because they had to babysit. AA managers deal with injuries while Walt Weiss had to deal with puberty. And while AA managers have to deal with potential superstar players who sign for a huge bonus, Walt Weiss had to deal with players who get paid $20 a week allowance.
With those credentials, it’s no wonder why Walt Weiss got the Colorado Rockies managerial job. If Weiss joins Ventura as being a successful manager, the entire landscape of MLB and minor league baseball could change. Stay tuned….