A matter of trust with Rockies
The Denver Post
TUCSON – General manager Dan O’Dowd’s new five-year contract extension is a clear reflection of the Rockies’ ascension into the realm of serious contenders in the National League. Just don’t count on it becoming a lengthy sound bite from O’Dowd.
The extension, which would give O’Dowd 15 years on the job, is evidence of how far the organization has come after a rocky first few years under his leadership. Today, O’Dowd’s vision is all about intangibles.
Trust, accountability, team goals before individual ones. Oh, and selflessness. In the end, that’s why he’s uncomfortable talking about his contract.
“A contract is nothing more than a piece of paper that guarantees you X amount of dollars for X amount of years,” O’Dowd said. “It doesn’t guarantee you’ll stay on your job and it doesn’t guarantee meaning in your job.
“A handshake from (owners) Charlie and Dick Monfort has more importance to me than a contract, because that’s the essence of the type of trust we now have in the organization that I think is the most unique in all of professional sports.”
How strong is the trust? Consider this: O’Dowd’s five-year contract and Jim Tracy’s three-year deal are the only multiyear agreements in the organization, except for players. And, according to O’Dowd, everyone in the team’s scouting and player-personnel departments has been on a one-year deal for six years, and virtually no one has left, and every member of the business side, including team president Keli McGregor, works on a handshake deal with the Monforts.
That feeling of trust manifests itself in many ways.
Take last week, for instance, when Todd Helton signed a two-year contract extension to ensure he would retire a Rockie and in the process deferred millions of dollars to help ownership keep key players after this season. Or Aaron Cook making a point of being in Tracy’s office to pass the torch of staff ace to Ubaldo Jimenez after Jimenez had been named the opening-day starter. Or Jimenez taking time to mentor the organization’s young Hispanic pitchers.
Ask Helton about the Rockies’ mantra and he sums it up like this: “I just think winning cures everything.”