Rockies' Top 4 managers: Harding's take

June 16th, 2020

DENVER -- No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and with that in mind, we asked each of our beat reporters to rank the top five players by position in the history of their franchise, based on their career while playing for that club.

Rockies' all-time team: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | Bench | RHP | LHP | Relievers

These rankings are for fun and debate purposes only. In this case, we went with the four managers who took the team to the postseason. If you don’t agree with the order, participate in the Twitter poll to vote for your favorite manager.

1) Clint Hurdle (2002-09)
Record: 534-625

Hurdle was promoted from hitting coach to replace Buddy Bell during the 2002 season. The team was a long way from winning, and just three members of that Rockies squad were still around in 2007, when Colorado made its World Series run. Hurdle's best work was done in the run-up. While first baseman Todd Helton was the face of the franchise, Hurdle’s booming voice was its sound. He guided young players and was the voice fans wanted to hear.

Then, in 2007, Hurdle remained the colorful man with the quotes, but during games he turned the players loose, even during a couple of rough patches. When his touch was needed, especially with a veteran bullpen that had been built, Hurdle made the right call. Hurdle was that rare manager who survived the tough years and enjoyed the glory.

2) Bud Black (2017-present)
Record: 249-238

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Black, the only manager to take the team to the postseason twice (2017-18), is not far from topping this list. He was fully expecting a turnaround from last year’s 71-91 struggle.

Black took over after the Rockies had been through some rough years, and his background as a pitcher and pitching coach put him in position to handle the issue that has vexed the Rockies throughout their existence. In 2017, he squeezed a postseason berth out of a staff that started mostly rookies. In ’18, he asked more of the same starters, and they led the National League in innings pitched by starters.

3) Don Baylor (1993-98)
Record: 440-469

The original Rockies manager and a beloved figure in club history, Baylor took the 1995 team to the postseason in just its third year -- at the time the earliest postseason trip for any team in expansion history.

While Coors Field ate away at the pitching staff, the excitement of Baylor Ball was undeniable. His 1996 squad was the first in Major League history to eclipse 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases in the same season.

4) Jim Tracy (2009-12)
Record: 294-308

Tracy took over for Hurdle when the 2009 squad started in a funk, and he managed that team to an NL Wild Card berth. Actually, the '10 team was arguably the best in the history of the franchise. Ubaldo Jiménez had his best year, Carlos González won a batting title and Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton also had big years. Only an injury-riddled collapse at the end cost the team a postseason berth.

Poor pitching and turmoil within the front office cost the team momentum afterward, and Tracy resigned after 2012.