DENVER (AP) – Despite another last-place finish, the Colorado Rockies liked what manager Walt Weiss did with a banged-up team in his rookie season as manager and rewarded him with a three-year contract on Tuesday.
Weiss went 74-88, a 10-game improvement over the previous season, after leaving his head coaching job at Regis Jesuit High School last fall.
He managed on a one-year deal with the Rockies in 2013 after Jim Tracy stepped down following a 64-98 season in 2012.
Now, there are no more questions about his security.
“I think it comes down to stability – stability for a club, from the players’ perspective, that a manger is going to be around,” Weiss said. “They know the manager is going to be there and he’s the guy running the club. I think there’s something to be said for that.”
Weiss said he’s close to filling the hitting instructor’s job that Dante Bichette left for family reasons and is leaning toward following the trend in baseball and use two coaches in that role. He also said the rest of his coaching staff will return in 2014.
Colorado hung around and was just 4½ games behind Los Angeles at the All-Star break before the Dodgers and Rockies went in different directions.
After a free-fall, they went 22-24 over their final 46 games, giving them hope for a turnaround next season behind starting pitchers Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood and the core of Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario.
“I like the way our guys competed down the stretch, when we looked like we were out of it. Our guys still played really hard … playing to the last out of every game, the last out of the season. For me, that was a bright spot,” Weiss said.
He said the Rockies need to play better on the road next season. They won just 29 games away from Coors Field.
A former All-Star shortstop, Weiss spent 14 seasons in the major leagues, including four seasons with the Rockies in the 1990s. He also spent seven seasons, from 2002-08, as a special assistant to the general manager with the Rockies.
– By Arnie Stapleton, AP Sports Writer
AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed to this report.
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