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Rockies Set New Standard For Worst Nepotism Hire

baseball with a rockies logo
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

There are two types of nepotism hires in sports. There are the ones who seem to understand the privilege of their position, and thus do us all the favor of going through their careers in relative obscurity. Then there are those who must insist that they actually earned this job through hard work, and that their last name has nothing to do with how they came to acquire their dream job. Take one look at the headline and photo of this article about Sterling Monfort, and see if you can figure out which type of guy he is.

So yes, the Colorado Rockies recently appointed 31-year-old Sterling Monfort, who just so happens to be the son of the team’s owner and the younger brother of the team’s vice president of corporate partnerships, as the head of their scouting department. The Denver Post, meanwhile, was happy to offer up a few column inches to the self-evidently ridiculous idea that Monfort’s appointment had nothing to do with the fact that his father owns the team and has no idea how to run it. You’ve got all the usual tropes in here—quotes from other Rockies employees about how young Sterling “works his butt off,” vague and meaningless platitudes from Sterling himself—but of course the story never gets around to describing anything that Monfort has actually accomplished in his baseball career, which began in 2013 when he became a coaching intern with the Rockies’ rookie-league team. The closest this article comes to describing any kind of skill that Sterling possesses is when assistant general manager of scouting Danny Montgomery declares that Sterling is pretty good at writing reports:

“We as an organization probably didn’t realize what we had with him (before 2019),” Montgomery said. “Once we got him out to California, we realized we had a jewel sitting right in that office who just needed to get out and spread his wings… He’s very thorough with his report writing, with the way he responds to people, with the sheer number of games (he attends).”

Denver Post

Well, I’ve seen enough. If a guy is “a jewel” who needs to “spread his wings” (?), and is “very thorough with his report writing,” then he surely deserves to become one of the youngest scouting directors in all of MLB.

This is all embarrassing for the obvious reasons, but there is an extra layer of humiliation that could only be supplied by an organization as bereft as the Rockies. Most professional sports franchises who want to throw a little shine on the coach’s or owner’s kid are usually wise enough to wait until the team is actually succeeding before they trot Daddy’s Most Special Boy out into the spotlight. The only way to try and retcon a nepotism hire as a merit-based hire is to point at all the success that the hire has led to. In the Rockies’ case, saying that Sterling earned his role is actually more ridiculous and insulting than just coming out and admitting that he was handed the job. Because the Rockies suck! They suck big-time! They have no team-building philosophy, they never win any games, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to rank their farm system anywhere higher than the bottom half of the league. If being a part of that mess, which Sterling has for the last nine years, is what merits a promotion, then the Rockies should just go ahead and contract themselves now.

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