Matt Williams gets all the hawt chix. - Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
The Denver Post reported yesterday that our third-base coach, Matt Williams, is one of the candidates for the vacant post of Colorado Rockies' manager.
The story cites the beloved "major-league source" for the information, and lists a number of other candidates for the job. These include Walt Weiss, whose most recent job in the sport was coaching...er. Regis Jesuit High School. Clearly this makes him ideally qualified to lead the Rockies, who just suffered the worst season in franchise history, narrowly avoiding 100 losses. However, he had been a special assistant to the Rockies GM, Dan O'Dowd, and played four years with the Rockies.
Jason Giambi and current bench coach Tom Runnells are also said to have had interviews, with others listed as "Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Padres front office special assistant Brad Ausmus, A's third-base coach Mike Gallego and Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach." So there's clearly still some way to go before any decision is made. The successful applicant will be replacing Jim Tracy, who compiled a record of 294-308 over four seasons with the team, but was unable to break the pristine record of 20 years without a division win [it's odd neither 1993 expansion team has ever won their division; over five less years, the 1998 franchises have seven titles between them].
Williams doesn't exactly have a lot of managerial experience. His first time at the helm came as an emergency stand-in for Double-A Mobile in 2007, when their manager, Brett Butler, suffered a stroke in late July, and WIlliams took over for the last couple of month. The team finished with a 71-68 record and in fifth place. He became the Diamondbacks' first-base coach in 2010, and moved to the other side of the diamond in 2011. This year, he specialized in waving Jason Kubel around to die at home-plate. Or maybe it just seemed that way.
He is under contract for next season. so presumably the Diamondbacks would need to give the Rockies permission to interview him. I doubt that'll be a problem. It's also interesting to note that in his current job, as manager of the Arizona Fall League Salt River Rafters (he also was a temporary manager in this league a few years ago), Williams has been fairly open that he is using it as a "stepping-stone" to a position in the major leagues, saying. "I don't know anybody in their right mind who wouldn't want to be a manager. I certainly do. It's not easy. There are 30 positions. You have to be good at what you do to get to that point, and I'm working toward that."
We'll see whether his chance could be as soon as next season, and not too far away from the Diamondbacks.