Weiss weathering storm through trying times
Battered by injuries, Rockies have fallen 11 games back of Giants
DENVER -- Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss isn't your party guy.
Never has been. Never will be.
Earl Weaver would kick dirt on umpires, throw bases into the outfield and smoke a pack of cigarettes in the dugout during the course of managing a big league game.
Billy Martin was always looking for a fight, not just with the other team, but with his own players, ready at a moment's notice to live up to his billing a fiery manager.
It's not Weiss' style. To call him low-key would be a disservice.
It would be more appropriate to credit Weiss with being in control of his emotions. He looks to provide stability for his team, whether his team is winning, which it did more often than not in the first eight weeks of the season, or whether it is scuffling like a big dog, which has been the case for the past month now.
"I don't react," said Weiss. "I don't think the public needs to see that. I don't understand the effect of that. I feel like it is more important to show your composure if you are a leader."
Weiss was that way as a player, and he hasn't changed as a manager. He is a man of few words.
"He will give you a 10-word answer, and you can use all 20
Do not, however, underestimate Weiss' ability to have an impact.
"He was a quiet reason when we won the  World Series in Oakland," said Colorado coach Rene Lachemann, who coached Weiss in Oakland and managed him with the expansion Marlins. "He knows what needs to be done and he knows how to get his point across without a lot of fanfare."
Weiss is not going to have a meltdown in the midst of bad times. And that has been underscored in the last month.
The Rockies were in second place in the National League West on May 22, three games back of the Giants.
A few weeks later, Colorado walked out of Coors Field on Sunday afternoon 11 games back, having been swept at home by Milwaukee for only the second time in their history.
And it hasn't been pretty.
In the last month, the Rockies have lost right fielder Michael Cuddyer (fractured left shoulder socket), left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (left index finger surgery), and third baseman Nolan Arenado (fractured left middle finger) their Nos. 2, 3 and 6 hitters, three potential All-Stars and two Glove Glove-caliber defensive players from their lineup.
As if the fact that Colorado already had starting pitchers Tyler Chatwood (right elbow strain) and Brett Anderson (fractured left index finger) on the disabled list wasn't taxing enough, in the last month, the club has also added Jordan Lyles (fractured left hand) to the disabled list, dispatched Franklin Morales to the bullpen and sent Juan Nicasio to the Minors.
The end result was in a six-day period of their last homestand, the Rockies had three starters make their big league debuts, including Eddie Butler, who immediately went on the DL with a right rotator cuff inflammation, which led to the promotion of Christian Friedrich.
If all that wasn't challenging enough, the last couple of days, Colorado has been on the center stage in the world of bloopers, including a three-run wild pitch on Saturday.
"I don't react," Weiss said of his stoic postgame persona. "I show up tomorrow and trying to win a game tomorrow."
That is, after all, the goal each day.
And while injuries are no excuse for failure, they can be a reason.
Think about it.
After a rain-forced suspension of a game between the Rockies and Giants that was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning on May 22, Colorado was very much a factor in the NL playoff hunt. The Rockies had enough depth to withstand early injury to key players, led the NL with 257 runs scored, ranked fourth in fielding percentage at .985 and had a respectable 4.09 ERA.
In the last month, however, Colorado has a 6.12 ERA, ranks last in the Majors with a .979 fielding percentage, and is fifth in the NL with 127 runs scored -- 48 fewer than NL-leading Milwaukee.
A week ago, there was a sign of recovery. The Rockies had a five-game winning streak that included a sweep of the Giants in San Francisco. But then came back-to-back sweeps by the Dodgers in Los Angeles, including being no-hit by Clayton Kershaw, and at home against the Brewers.
"It hasn't been a lack of focus," Weiss said when asked about the struggles of the team, "maybe a lack of execution."
And it hasn't been a lack of desire on the part of Weiss, even if he keeps his frustrations to himself.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.