Saturday, August 07, 2004

Well, What Now? 

Even at the height of the Randy Johnson trade hysteria, the focus was never so not on the field as in the past 24 hours.  The Republic's article on the D-Backs' 4-2 loss to Atlanta was brief, almost cursory in nature.  It's scary, of course, that Brandon Webb, a sinker-ball pitcher, gave up 3 home runs, including one to the pitcher.  Maybe that deserves a little more attention.  But the smallness felt right, because Jerry Colangelo's ouster (departure, deposing, whatever) is big news.

It doesn't seem worth the effort to go over the history of what led to this point, except that as best I can tell, the problems the ownership group had with Colangelo were not necessarily financial in nature.  See this quote from Craig Harris' article in the Republic:

"In June, Colangelo had a major falling out with the partners, when they were not kept abreast of the financial commitment needed to sign No. 1 draft choice Stephen Drew, who will command a large signing bonus, the owner said."

I glean two things from this statement:
1) The owners are a bunch of idiots -- how could you not know that Stephen Drew would cost a significant amount of money to sign?  I mean, I know the owners have other things to do in their lives, some even have other jobs, but so do I, and I knew Drew would be costly, and I don't have $50+ million invested in this team.
2) Leaving that aside, the other big thing is that this seemed to be a communication problem.  Colangelo "made decisions without informing the partners, said one owner, who asked not to be named."  For whatever reason, Colangelo thought he had the freedom to make moves, and didn't tell the owners enough about his intentions.  Whether this is a failure on the owners' part to make clear Colangelo's boundaries or a failure on Colangelo's part to keep the owners informed, it clearly was a failure.

The other statement of note from Harris' article is that the "owners plan to keep the payroll in the $70 million range.... [owner] Jensen has said.  But the group still wants to sign slugger Richie Sexson..."  (Of course, elsewhere in the Republic, Sexson said he didn't "necessarily feel like [he] owe[d] anybody" to re-sign.  We shall see.)

I don't know if Jeff Moorad will be a good or bad CEO, though of course I hope he's a good one.  But at the very least, he's now the owners' guy, and the lines of command are clear.

Best of luck to you, Jerry.

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