I really don't want to begin dwelling on this lame-duck manager situation more than is really necessary before the games even begin. Indeed, I am way behind with my Hastily Assembled Previews -- the dice came up on the Tigers yesterday, and I don't feel adequately prepared to scale that hurdle (get it?) quite yet. But the fact remains, Clint Hurdle doesn't have a contract for next year. Rockies ownership has rather indelicately sent signals that it intends to extend Dan O'Dowd and not Hurdle unless the team wins substantially more games in 2007. Hurdle has evidently already tightened up and is far more likely to cost his team wins than boost their total with the two things he knows how to do: 1) order pitchers to throw at guys and 2) bunt a lot.
The reason I am bringing this up again is I was reading Jon Heyman's piece for SI.com about general managers who might be on the hot seat this year and Heyman's entry for Dan O'Dowd at #8 seemed to cast more doubt on Hurdle's future than on O'Dowd's: "[The Rockies'] young starters are solid, and few teams have better positional prospects on the cusp. If the team proves to be a year away, it seems more likely that manager Clint Hurdle could be in trouble than O'Dowd."
If the national writers at Sports Illustrated have correctly read the Monforts' intentions, it's impossible that Clint Hurdle doesn't know the score. Unless the Rockies actually shock us all and play winning baseball this season, this is going to be the story all season long.