The search has extended over 27 seasons, the entirety of the Rockies’ existence. They have had starting rotations of varying effectiveness.
And every now and then, they have caught glimpse of an ace, a bona fide No. 1 starter ready and able to assume all the weighty responsibility inherent in that role. But when it comes to sustained success at a high level, the necessity to live up to top billing over several seasons to truly be labeled an ace, well, the Rockies are still searching.
Former Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who played shortstop for the team for three years, was fortunate enough to play extensively on A’s and Braves teams with more than one ace – Dave Stewart and Bob Welch in Oakland and first-ballot Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in Atlanta.
So Weiss’ perspective of how position players view an ace comes from ample experience.
“This is what I tell pitchers how position players look at them,” said Weiss, the bench coach of the Braves. “When you walk into the clubhouse that day, the first thing a player does is look at the lineup to see if he’s playing. Then the next thing he does is to go down the (lineup) card and see who’s pitching and that sets the tone for the day.
“And when it’s your No. 1, not only do you expect to win that day, you’re surprised when you lose. And that’s the tone that’s set for the day. Their mind set is the same as the team’s. They’re surprised when they lose.”
For the full story, click: