Continuing our look at the future of Clint Hurdle as Colorado Rockies manager, we now hear from Rockies CEO Charlie Monfort.

Monfort recently spoke with Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News, and offered candid comments on the status of GM Dan O’Dowd and Clint Hurdle heading towards 2009. He also reveals his excuse for the Rockies poor 2008 showing. It’s a doosy.

KRIEGER: Monfort: Rockies’ fall began in spring.

On Matt Holliday’s contract distracting the team:

“I think the team knew that there were discussions going on and when those discussions didn’t prove to be fruitful, everyone sort of said, ‘Oh, wow, is Matt going to be here?’ rather than just worrying about what they needed to worry about, and that’s being the best they could be at their position.”

Townie’s Take: Do any of our players have testicles? Seriously, this is the excuse the CEO of a major league baseball team is running with? They’re worried about Matt Holliday getting paid and being in their locker room to the point where they can’t focus on their own jobs. Wow.

If true, how the hell did we end with so many mental midgets on our team?

On Colorado’s preparation in 2008:

“As for preparation, I think Clint’ll tell you he thought that last year they proved they could handle the pressure, they could handle being prepared to play, having the fire in the gut to play. And as he looks back over the season, I think he’ll tell you that maybe he gave them a little more credit to handle that than he should have.”

Townie’s Take: Again, we’re coming down a little harshly on Clint here when, in my opinion, this one is entirely on the players. What did they do in the offseason to prepare and improve? From what I saw on the field, very little. Too many guys must have been satisfied with 2007, feeling like there was nothing left for them to learn and improve at.

I’m pointing fingers directly at guys like Garrett Atkins, Troy Tulowitzki, Willy Taveras, Yorvit Torrealba, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales. Still a lot of untapped potential in those guys, and yet all suffered from regressions in 2008. That can’t be pinned on Hurdle.

Now if you want to talk about preparation as far as gameplans, unnecessary lineup switches, so on… we may have a good discussion.

What I think we’re establishing here is this roster is stocked with too many softees. Distracted by Matt Holliday’s contract? Weak. Lacking fire and desire to be prepared to play baseball and to improve at their craft. Inexcusable and pathetic.

Wouldn’t that be an O’Dowd problem?

By the way. Was it Clint Hurdle’s idea to film all those commercials and music videos in spring training?

Right — I didn’t think so.

On the status of Dan O’Dowd and Clint Hurdle:

“I think it’s a telling year. I still feel comfortable with the strength we have in the farm system, and that’ll have to continue to prove itself for Dan to warrant his position, which I think so far it has. We had a nice, long meeting with Clint and I think Clint assessed himself very well about what he needs to do different. And we’ll see. They both have a year left and we’re willing to let it play out and see how next year goes.”

Townie’s Take: So no opening day extensions this time around. What I also gather from that is ownership is content with the direction Dan O’Dowd is taking the ballclub. It’s hard to argue with that given the strength of the minor league system in a lot of the key areas. However, most of the satisfaction likely comes from O’Dowd’s adherence to their “short arms, deep pockets” payroll.

O’Dowd doesn’t rock the boat or make any demands. He doesn’t complain about being handcuffed with a sad budget in a major market like Denver. He’s content staying the course and participating in ownership’s shortchanging of the fans.

Hurdle doesn’t rock the boat either. He’s just a little closer to the action, therefore easier to blame for the team’s shortcomings.