Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort, fiercely loyal to his employees, perhaps to a fault, had a critical decision to make. He had to choose this past winter between firing general manager Jeff Bridich or trading All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado. Monfort knew the two were not going to co-exist, and the situation was going to get ugly if no move was made. Monfort sided with Bridich. He ordered Bridich to find the best deal he could and trade Arenado. They gave him away to the St. Louis Cardinals in a laughable trade, called the “dumbest trade in Colorado sports history’’ by the Denver Post, with the Rockies even paying $51 million of his remaining $199 million salary. And now, 21 games into the season, they have neither man. Bridich, after nearly 17 years in the organization, walked away Monday, either believing the situation was untenable, or no longer willing to take the stress and accept the burden of the organization’s downfall. Really, the only surprising aspect of the announcement, Rockies front-office employees will tell you, was the timing. They anticipated that Bridich might resign, if he was not fired, this past winter. They thought it could certainly happen this winter. But not now, just three weeks into the season. The breakup was inevitable. The Rockies called it “a mutual’’ decision,’’ and although it certainly smells of a firing considering it’s so early in the season and there is no replacement awaiting, Rockies executives told USA TODAY Sports that it was Bridich’s decision. Bridich told several executives on Sunday that he was resigning, and on Monday it became official when employees received an urgent email telling everyone to be on a Zoom call in 20 minutes. The call, with Monfort, Bridich, chief operating officer Greg Feasel (who was promoted to president) and executive vice president Hal Roth, was short, sweet and unemotional. There were no tearful good-byes, just a stoic one, with Monfort telling everyone that this was Bridich’s call. He didn’t ask him to resign or accept a demotion. It was Bridich who came to him and offered his resignation, saying it was simply time.“After recent conversations with Dick and Greg regarding the organization and its future,’’ Bridich said in a statement, “it became abundantly clear that ushering in a new leadership structure is critically important. With that in mind, we arrived at this decision to part ways, and ultimately it will be what is best for the Rockies and for me….“Dick has a clear vision for the Rockies, and after nearly seven years as general manager, I believe it is time for someone else to help lead that vision.’’Bridich, according to those on the Zoom call, actually looked relieved, as if a huge weight were lifted off his shoulders.“This is something,’’ Bridich told the group, “that I need to do.
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Article Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2021/04/26/rockies-gm-jeff-bridich-departure-seemed-inevitable/7390633002/
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