Looking back at Dan O’Dowd’s 15 years as Rockies general manager – Purple Row
The second general manager in franchise history saw some high highs and some incredibly low lows throughout his decade and a half at the helm.
In his first offseason as Rockies GM, O’Dowd started to build his reputation as “Dealin’ Dan,” breaking up the Blake Street Bombers by trading Dante Bichette to the Reds for reliever Stan Belinda and outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds and Vinny Castilla to the Devil Rays for pitcher Rolando Arrojo. He also rebuilt the bullpen, adding Julian Tavarez, Mike Myers and Jose Jimenez while trading away Curtis Leskanic and Dave Veres.
The Rockies finished 82-80 in O’Dowd’s first season at the helm, and that winter he made the two signings that would define his tenure with the Rockies.
On December 4, 2000, O’Dowd signed 30-year-old left-handed pitcher Denny Neagle, who had two All-Star appearances to his name, to a five-year, $51 million contract, eight days later he doubled down on his commitment to pitching, signing another southpaw, 27-year-old Mike Hampton, who was second to Randy Johnson voting for the 1999 Cy Young Award, to an eight-year, $121 million deal, the largest in baseball history at the time.
Hampton and Neagle’s career highlight reels as Rockies would be best set to John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” because they came to Coors Field and got lit up like a couple of firecrackers on the Fourth of July.
Hampton lasted just two seasons in Colorado, posting a 5.75 ERA and …read more