MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Bridich details how he became Rockies' GM

Q&A: Bridich details how he became Rockies' GM

Jeff Bridich, embarking on his third season as the general manager of the Rockies, admits the team is at a crossroads. Colorado is looking to become a factor in the National League West, and at the age of 39, it is a challenge he welcomes.

Bridich discussed his road to becoming a GM in this week's Q&A:

MLB.com: You come across a bit more serious than others in your profession. Is that your general nature?

Bridich: In terms of representing an organization publicly, I think there is a lot of thought. I'm fairly careful, fairly conscientious about what is said. If you ask my wife, I'm more careful than not. There's not a whole lot of time where I just fly off the handle or say things off the cuff. You're dealing with people's lives, their careers, things that players or people who work in an organization like the Rockies take pride in what they do. They worked long and hard to try and get where they are, and try to develop some expertise, so there is a level of seriousness.

MLB.com: You said we can ask your wife. So when you proposed, was it a drawn-out thought process?

Bridich: It actually was. I blame the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox were not supposed to win that World Series in 2004 in four games. They were supposed to go back to Boston so Sarah and I could go back to Boston where we met, and I could propose to her in Boston. But they won it in four games, which means I had to call an audible and figure things out, so I had to adjust. I had to hang on to the ring for longer than I wanted to. I was nervous. I was thinking, "Where do you put this ring that I just bought?" I had to find a place to lock it up, make sure she couldn't get to it, make sure it wasn't stolen somewhere. But of course, I blame the Red Sox.

MLB.com: You followed in your father's footsteps going to Harvard. Did you envision a career in pro baseball at that time?

Bridich: My dad played both football and baseball. That was part of the thought process: "Should I play football? Should I not?" Ultimately, the decision was no. I do have some regrets, but I think the reality of trying to succeed as an athlete and as a student-athlete for me was going to be challenging enough with one sport, let alone two. But at that time, I was so focused on playing. I loved playing the game of baseball. Were there professional aspirations? Yeah, absolutely. Were there aspirations or knowledge of the industry beyond playing? No, not really. Even with guys that I was fortunate enough to play with who are in the industry now -- Peter Woodfork and David Forst, who is the Oakland GM -- there wasn't a whole lot of discussion about, "Hey, you know, we should all go be baseball executives."

MLB.com: Did you have any plan of what to do after college?

Bridich: If it wasn't baseball, I was most likely going to go back and teach and coach, kind of like my dad. I went to a Jesuit high school in Milwaukee, Marquette High, and they had a two-year program that a graduate can come back and teach and coach and provide a service to the school and be in an environment you want to be in. I was planning on doing that and seeing where that would lead me. The other side of it was: "I love this thing called baseball. Let's just see if there is any type of opportunity in the game whatsoever and just listen about whatever type of opportunities are out there, whether it was with the Commissioner's Office or with a team any type of role." There was a lot to learn, and I was fortunate enough to get an internship.

MLB.com: You got your start in the Commissioner's Office, and that internship turned into a four-year stay in New York before the opportunity to join the Rockies. How critical was the timing of the Rockies' offer?

Bridich: At the time, it wasn't necessarily 100 percent Colorado. I felt like I needed a different challenge at the time than what the Commissioner's Office was offering. I was preparing to try and get with a club to be in a more competitive [setting] and to have more ownership over the environment, or I was going to go back to business school and further my education. Those two courses were running parallel to each other. It just so happened that a lot of my job in the Commissioner's Office had been working with teams on a daily basis. Usually it was Minor League issues -- contracts, rules, whatever -- so you develop a lot of relationships over the course of that time. At the time, Billy Eppler was packing up and leaving the Rockies for a different opportunity, and there was a need for us and player development. I was fortunate enough to get an interview.

MLB.com: Any hesitation when you received the job offer?

Bridich: None. It was one of those "wow" moments in life. However long this lasts, however long I work in baseball, it is a devotion to the lifestyle. There were times of soul searching, periods of educating myself early in my career, looking at people, how they do their jobs, looking at the demands of the industry. "Am I really up for this? Is this something I really want to do? Is this what's right for my family?" So all of those things that already happened, and you get to the point where you're committed to it, and when the opportunity does arise, it is one of those "holy cow, wow" moments for you.

MLB.com: But yet when you were working in the Rockies' organization, you didn't politic with members of the media to help you get a better job.

Bridich: Yeah. It's what felt comfortable for me. It is how I was raised. I was going to best respect the people who were my bosses, whether that was Dan O'Dowd, Bill Geivett or [owners] Dick and Charlie Monfort. They don't need me running around trying to be a media darling and popping off to the media for my own benefit. I was going to trust that good things were going to happen. And I felt that was what was going to represent me the best, represent the Rockies the best, represent my family the best, and I think it was a good choice.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.