Craig mentioned earlier this week that Rockies manager Jim Tracy was scheduled to have a sitdown with Rockies director of major league operations Bill Geivett this weekend. The meeting took place as scheduled yesterday, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies will not make a decision on Tracy’s future until at least Monday.
According to Renck, Tracy is currently analyzing all of the issues discussed while making sure he is comfortable with his role moving forward. The dynamic has changed a bit over the past couple of months, as Geivett was given an office in the clubhouse in August and now focuses on roster management, especially in regard to the pitching staff. Meanwhile, general manager Dan O’Dowd is now focusing on the team’s farm system and player development.
Tracy was given an indefinite contract extension by O’Dowd last offseason, but only his salary for 2013 is guaranteed. If he sticks around as manager, he will not have the authority to decide whether to retain or fire his coaches like he did last offseason. That will be Geivett’s call.
Tracy has a 294-308 (.488) record over four seasons as manager of the Rockies. The club lost 89 games last year and a franchise-worst 98 games in 2012.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.