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Old 02-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #1
The Mad Dommer!
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: SLC, UT
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Pat Bowlen
Default Monfort: O'Dowd contract extension on way; Hurdle to follow?

Why wouldn't they get extended? They're consummate company men; they'll accept the status quo and maintain happy faces in the process.

I am a sucker. I will still pull for the Rockies all season, and I'll try to make it out to Denver for a series or two. But man, it sucks to maintain loyalty to a team that seems to have such little concept of how to win.,00.html

Monfort: O'Dowd contract extension on way

By Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News
February 16, 2007
TUCSON - This is Dan O'Dowd's eighth spring training as general manager of the Rockies.

It most likely won't be his last.

O'Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle are in the final year of their contracts, the first time the Rockies have opened spring training with the general manager and manager having no security.

But managing general partner Charlie Monfort said too much is being made of the situation.

While nothing will be done before pitchers and catchers hold the first workout at Hi Corbett Field this afternoon, Monfort indicated an extension for O'Dowd is forthcoming. That most likely would lead to some security for Hurdle, too.

"Everyone can see how well we have done in building up our farm system and scouting departments, and that bodes well for Dan and his group," Monfort said. "They've done a fantastic job. . . . We just haven't (given him an extension) yet.

"At some point, Dick (Monfort, a partner with his brother in the Rockies general partnership) and Keli (McGregor, club president) and I will get together and address the situation."

Given the Rockies traditionally have made sure they're not guided by a lame-duck general manager or manager, the fact O'Dowd and Hurdle are in the final year of their contracts has become a subject of conversation.

O'Dowd said he isn't worried about it becoming a distraction.

"It's really not a concern because I feel good about what we've done," O'Dowd said. "I don't feel any pressures to do something short term. We have taken a long-range approach and we're comfortable that it has been the right approach."

This is considered a key season for the Rockies. They are coming off six straight losing years and have produced a winning record only once in the past nine. They have finished last or next to last each of the past nine seasons.

"I think we ought to be .500, and then we might pull a few out, but our decision goes deeper than that," Charlie Monfort said.

In evaluating O'Dowd, the overall health of the organization is a key. And the franchise has risen dramatically in the eyes of baseball insiders under O'Dowd.

Baseball America recently ranked the Rockies' farm system the second best in baseball, a marked improvement for a team that was considered to have one of the least-productive farm systems in baseball when O'Dowd became general manager in September 1999.

The Rockies' 40-man roster includes 21 players who originally were signed by the organization, and only three of those predate O'Dowd's arrival - first baseman Todd Helton, left fielder Matt Holliday and right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook.

But now it's time for the Rockies to parlay their success in developing players into winning major-league games.

"Honestly, we haven't won a thing at the major league level, so all this stuff hasn't amounted yet to a championship," he said. "But at least as it relates to where we are, we've come far in a relatively short period of time. Because it's very difficult to do what we're doing in a short period of time - trying to home-grow a bunch of guys and get them to the big leagues and be patient with them and have them turn out to be good."

Hurdle is embarking on his fifth spring training as manager, having replaced Buddy Bell in late April 2002. He knows there are expectations this season.

"Clint is becoming a very good manager," Monfort said. "He has some things he wants to do differently, but that's just part of the adjustment process we all go through as we move toward our ultimate goal - winning."
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