Waiting until late into the night Wednesday, the Rockies officially named Walt Weiss the sixth skipper in franchise history, succeeding Don Baylor, Buddy Bell, Clint Hurdle, Jim Leyland and Jim Tracy.
Tracy resigned shortly after the 2012 season.
Weiss, who played for the Rockies from 1994 through 1997, was chosen for the opening over active slugger Jason Giambi, bench coach Tom Runnells and Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams.
Weiss spent this past spring and summer serving as the head varsity baseball coach at Regis Jesuit High School in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He led the 2012 squad to Colorado’s 5A state semifinals.
It’s not a traditional hire, but those have become less common in recent years. Mike Matheny was named the Cardinals’ manager last winter despite having no managerial experience at the MLB level. The same goes for Robin Ventura of the White Sox, a finalist for Manager of the Year honors in the American League.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.