First-Year Rockies Manager Walt Weiss Has Leaned On Tony LaRussa
DENVER (CBS4) – Though new Colorado manager Walt Weiss used to play for the Rockies, he grew up in Suffern, N.Y. and also has lived in many other areas of the U.S. But when he retired from baseball, he needed a place to settle down with his family.
“At that point in time I started to bounce around a little bit in my career. So when I came here to play, it seemed like a nice enough place,” Weiss said on Xfinity Monday Live! “I’d never been here before, but we settled in more because of the timing. But it didn’t take long to figure out this was the place.”
Weiss made the huge jump from high school manager of his son Brody’s team at Regis Jesuit High School to the majors. CBS4’s Vic Lombardi asked Weiss how he’s going to make the transition.
“Well, we’re going to find out. I don’t think there’s a blueprint for that one,” Weiss responded. “My year in high school as a head coach was a lot of fun. I didn’t take that high school job to prepare myself to manage in the big leagues. It just happened to work out that way.
“To be honest with you, the principles are very similar. You’ve got to lead a group of men, albeit younger, in high school. You’ve got to create a team concept and go out and win games.”
Weiss admitted, however, he will lean more on his experience playing in the majors.
Weiss was still playing for the Rockies when future star Todd Helton came to the team. Lombardi wondered, how will he manage an old teammate?
“He’ll be pretty easy. He’s on autopilot by now,” Weiss said. “This will be a special year for Todd … most likely his last year and we want it to be a good one.”
With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than two weeks, Weiss has had to scramble a little to get prepared. He said he’s reached out for some advice from former managers.
“I’ve leaned on a few guys who I’ve played for and I’ve had some conversations with Tony LaRussa. I learned a lot from Tony and I’ll probably be shooting him some texts in the middle of the night at certain times,” Weiss said.
Weiss said he’s mainly just trying to get familiar with his club.
“So when we get down to Scottsdale we hit the ground running.”
Rockies pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 10.
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with Walt Weiss in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.