Editor’s Note: If you haven’t heard Dan O’Dowd’s recent interview with KOA’s Rockies Dugout, you really should fix that immediately. However, if you don’t have time — or even if you have heard it — here is an outstanding summary that Rockies fan, Blake Street reader, and local Denver attorney Chris Chrisman posted on Twitter today. If you’re on Twitter, and interested in quality Rockies content, he is definitely worth a follow.
Dan O’Dowd gave an extremely revealing interview this weekend with KOA’s Rockies Dugout. Here are a few long-winded and off-the-cuff observations:
First, it sure seems like Tracy wasn’t (maybe still isn’t) on board with the 4-man rotation. DOD said it was clear that Tracy wasn’t comfortable with an “untraditional” move, and at one point said Tracy doesn’t get it because he “has not really lived it,” “it” being dealing with the apparently new challenge of pitching at Coors Field.
Second, as for Coors Field, DOD contends that the 4-man rotation was largely the result of the ballpark changing despite the humidor, which he says he noticed in the “middle of last season.” We wouldn’t have known about his no-doubt sincere and absolutely-not-manufactured concern, though, because he acknowledges that he “didn’t really spend any time talking about it during the winter.” Notwithstanding his private concerns about the changed conditions to “altitude baseball,” DOD apparently shelved his worries at the beginning of the season, since the issue didn’t arise again until after the first homestand, when Monfort came to O’Dowd and supposedly noticed a “dramatic” change. O’Dowd says he began developing his own dramatic change — to the pitching staff — after the series with the Braves. If you’re having trouble following this timeline, you’re not alone.
Third, in addition to the confusing timeline, you might also be having some difficulty following the logic of the 4-man rotation on a 75-pitch count. Fear not; it’s understandable that you don’t “get it,” to use DOD’s phrase. According to DOD, “Unless you live it day in and day out you really just don’t have a true grasp of completely understanding, you know, what we’re trying to do here.” So your confusion is forgiven, albeit on grounds of ignorance. DOD clarified this by identifying those who have “lived it” and those who haven’t. “The only people that really understand” are (1) DOD, (2) the Monforts (his employers), (3) Jeff Francis (who provided some generally sympathetic comments about the 4-man rotation earlier this week), (4) Bob Apodaca, and (5) Jim Wright. Those who haven’t lived it sufficiently to “completely grasp” what DOD is doing are (1) Jim Tracy and (2) You, i.e., the fans. As to criticism from this latter group of unworthies, DOD has “tune[d] all that out,” and is “just really not concerned” about what people think about this.
Fourth, despite DOD’s Manichean worldview of those who live it and those who don’t, his 4-man rotation experiment evidently hasn’t met with unanimity in the clubhouse. In fact, DOD acknowledged that, with changes like this, there is likely to be (and apparently has been) “some resistance.” Moving away from a traditional approach, says DOD, will often be “wrought [sic] with some disagreement.”
Fifth, DOD was asked about where his 4-man experiment was headed. Notwithstanding his “true grasp” of what he’s trying to do, he replied: “I have no idea.” It could end up back with a 5-man rotation. It could become even more extreme. So notwithstanding his unique–almost unparalleled–understanding of the situation, he has “no idea where this will go.”
Sixth, and finally, DOD continues to have faith despite this disaster of a season. According to DOD, “[e]ach of” the Rockies “are going through our own Road to Damascus [sic].” I’m no theologian, but the trial of Job and the Garden of Gethsemane are the common biblical allusions to adversity. The conversion of Paul on the Road to Damascus was a singularly revelatory event in which truth is laid bare and lies discarded. So, to use an example, anyone who still thought that DOD has the slightest business as General Manager of this ballclub likely had a Damascene conversion as a result of this interview.