The Rockies yesterday “restructured responsibilities in their front office," with GM Dan O'Dowd "staying in his position but focusing more on the minor leagues and player development," according to Troy Renck of the DENVER POST. Assistant GM Bill Geivett will now "oversee the daily operations of the major league club.” While O'Dowd remains the GM, he will “receive more assistance on the major-league side from Geivett, who will work closely with manager Jim Tracy.” O'Dowd also will “remain involved in player acquisitions.” Sources said that O'Dowd, who has been GM since ’99, was "in favor of the move.” Geivett will now work under the title Senior VP/Major League Operations, and “will still answer to O'Dowd as his boss” (DENVERPOST.com, 8/1). In Denver, Patrick Saunders notes Geivett will “be a presence in the clubhouse and will also coordinate spring training and the offseason program.” Rockies Owner Dick Monfort said, “His total, 100-percent focus will be on the major-league club.” Monfort added that the demands of running a MLB team “puts too many demands on the manager.” But Geivett, who has been with the Rockies since '00, now will “now oversee much of that” (DENVER POST, 8/2). Monfort said, “We have the right people running this organization. I know there's some that disagree with me. People talk about accountability. I am taking accountability for this." He added, "I know it's easy for people to say you gotta get rid of somebody. But fact of the matter is that doesn't change the issues. … We have to do this so that we keep moving in [a] direction to get better. And we have the right people to do that” (DENVER POST, 8/2).
MLB's non-waiver trade deadline passed Tuesday afternoon, and the fact that the Marlins "completely abandoned their plan and went into a rebuilding mode with two months left in a season ... has the rest of baseball extremely concerned," according to Bill Madden of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. One MLB exec said, "There were always questions about whether that new ballpark was going to be the panacea the Marlins thought it was, and now that’s already proven not to be the case. They’re going to have the lowest attendance ever for a new stadium, and now that they’ve torn the team down nobody’s going to go there the rest of the season. It’s right back to where it was." The club Tuesday traded P Edward Mujica to the Cardinals and 1B Gaby Sanchez to the Pirates following earlier trades involving Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Madden wrote, "The big question now is, what do the Marlins do next winter with all the money they saved in these deals? It would seem they almost have to make another big plunge in the free agent market to maintain any credibility with what remains a skeptical, indifferent fan base" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/1).
IS IT STILL ALWAYS SUNNY? In Philadelphia, Bob Ford wrote Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "effectively extinguished whatever false hope might have still flickered for the 2012 season and steered the team firmly into a full-scale transition period" after trading RF Hunter Pence to the Giants and CF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers. The roster built by former GM Pat Gillick "had a shelf life, even as it was tweaked and augmented over the last few years, and Amaro decided, probably correctly, that the sell-by date was July 31, 2012." Team President & CEO Dave Montgomery said, "These things go in cycles. We are aware that decisions will have to be made down the road and that being in the postseason every year is certainly not guaranteed" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/1).
AUDITION TAPE: ESPN L.A.'s Mark Saxon wrote the deadline moves made by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti might have been his "last chance to prove to the new owners that he's not just a steward of the dark years, but the right leader for a new era in Dodgers baseball." In the span of a week, Colletti traded for Ramirez, Victorino and P Brandon League, executing the "most complete makeover in baseball, while preserving the core of the Dodgers' minor-league system." That, if nothing else, "should give the new ownership a head start on writing Colletti's contract extension" (ESPNLA.com, 7/31).
SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT: In Pittsburgh, Gene Collier wrote Pirates GM Neal Huntington "didn't wake up July 24 thinking his 2012 edition needed at least four transactions to reach the postseason," but opportunities "kept pounding on the door." Collier wrote, "The screaming you hear now is the Neal's-gotta-do-something crowd shifting into but-not-those-things mode, mostly because the more conspicuous prizes in the market" fell to the Dodgers and Giants. When the fifth-year GM "finally arranges the kind of talent that adds 15 wins a year ago and a projected 20 additional wins in the current season, you get to a point where you have to have some faith in him" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/1).
In Boston, Ron Borges writes Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino has “made his boss tons of money by selling everything that isn’t tied down and some things that soon will be (bricks at $75 a pop)." But what he “doesn’t know how to do is build a winning baseball team.” Lucchino has "created a 'team' in which the general manager didn’t want the manager.” He has “undermined” manager Bobby Valentine and GM Ben Cherington, thus “solidifying his own authority after losing much of it to Cherington’s predecessor, Theo Epstein.” Borges: “If Larry Lucchino truly ‘runs the Red Sox,’ as John Henry insists, he’s running them into the ground. Then again, he’s made his bosses a lot of money while doing it so maybe the ugly truth is those are the only numbers that really count on Yawkey Way anymore” (BOSTON HERALD, 8/2).
BARGAIN HUNTING: Twins Owner Jim Pohlad said that the team will be “free-agent shopping again this winter … but probably not for the highest-priced talent.” In St. Paul, Charley Walters notes the Twins’ payroll this season “is about $100 million.” Pohlad said, “We’re happy at the level (of payroll) we’re at right now.” He reiterated that he hopes GM Terry Ryan “will remain” in the position. Ryan is “technically the interim GM and has said it’s too early to decide where he will stay in the role.” Pohlad said he would be “surprised” if Ryan doesn’t remain (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/2).
NEITHER GOOD NOR LUCKY: In Cleveland, Bill Livingston writes the “problem with the Lerner family’s feckless stewardship of the Browns was never lack of good intentions.” Browns Owner Randy Lerner’s hires “turned out to be dismal for the most part,” and the “biggest constant among those Randy hired was a lack of judgment, bordering at times on a lack of professionalism.” Livingston: “Randy Lerner had promised his father he would not sell the Browns until they were successful. That hasn't happened. But Randy is selling them to an owner, Jimmy Haslam III, who has promised to keep the team in Cleveland. … Randy Lerner wasn't a good owner by any means, but he wasn't a lucky one, either” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/2).
SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR: In Indianapolis, Mike Chappell notes the Colts are “turning to single-game sales as they try to fill Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2012 season.” Colts COO Pete Ward said that the team is “about 1,600 season tickets shy of selling out” the stadium. Ward: “We feel very confident all of our games will be sold out” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/2).