June 18 2009, 8:35 AM
Most sports fans would agree that the firing of Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle on May 29 was long overdue. The team was 18-28, and 14.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. Now bench coach Jim Tracy has taken over, and the team is burning through opponents. Including last night's 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rockies have won 12 of their last 13 games, and are one game under .500 (32-33). So it turns out that the team's decision to fire Hurdle in the middle of the season--rather than the beginning or end--put it in a better position to make the playoffs. The Wall Street Journal reports that replacing coaches between the 35th and 95th game has a higher rate of success (.470) than teams that do it too early or too late (.454). Pitcher Aaron Cook notched his 58th win with the team last night, tying for the lead with former Rockies pitcher Jason Jennings, notes The Denver Post. The Rockies will try to win the series against the Rays today at Coors Field, starting at 1:10 p.m. (Fox Sports Net).