The Colorado Rockies promoted Jeff Bridich to general manager today, replacing Dan O'Dowd, who had led the organization for fifteen seasons. With only two postseason appearances to speak of in O'Dowd's decade and a half, a fresh start was certainly needed. The Rockies, owners of the second-worst record in the league, will be the 37 year-old Bridich's first general managing gig.
Did Colorado need this kind of Rocky Mountain freshness? Maybe so -- the club has been mired in the foothills of the NL West for years. Plus, Bridich, despite the fresh face, is no novice to the front office. Let's take a further look at the new Colorado GM's profile.
Bridich is a Harvard grad, a former college baseball player, and payroll savant. After playing for the Crimson and graduating from Harvard in 2000, Bridich took a job in the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
For three years, Bridich aided major league teams with their minor league contracts, per a bio the Rockies tweeted. Bridich began his Coloradan stint in 2004 as manager of minor league operations, before beginning a five-run as senior director of baseball operations in 2006. In 2011, ex-GM O'Dowd promoted Bridich to senior director of player development, where he's served since.
For the last three seasons, Bridich has essentially run the Rockies' minor league system, while serving as O'Dowd's "right-hand man," that from the Denver Post's Patrick Saunders.
So Bridich is bright, and young, and baseball-minded, with a decade-plus of contract, payroll, transactional, and financial experience. Basically, he's the Dream GM of 2014.
But Bridich is also a familiar face in a job that perhaps needed someone from outside the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Bridich has the pedigree, for sure, but he's also got the blood from Colorado's meager minor league development on his hands. Of course, Baseball America did rank the Rockies 11th in its annual organization rankings -- Rockies fans are just left to wonder when that talent will arrive in the Mile High city.
Bridich has some immediate concerns -- Troy Tulowitzki; acquiring MLB-ready talent for 2015; fast-tracking prospect development; Troy Tulowitkzi; and Troy Tulowitzki -- but for now, his relatively fresh face will do.