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Winning comes over enjoyment for focused Weiss

Winning comes over enjoyment for focused Weiss

SAN DIEGO -- Ask Rockies first-year manager Walt Weiss how much he is enjoying the job, and he pauses and chuckles.

He says the question comes his way a lot. It's understandable. He gave up coaching his son at Regis Jesuit Academy near Denver to accept a one-year contract to run a Rockies team that finished 2012 last in the National League West, and is struggling again.

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Each time he is asked, Weiss has to stop and think, but it's not because he has to think of the way to give an answer. He hesitates because he's not wired to answer that question.

"It's a tough question to answer, but I don't know if I necessarily really look for enjoyment," Weiss said. "I'm looking to take our best shot to win a game that day. I don't get caught up in enjoyment. I enjoy being around our guys. I enjoy being part of a team. I enjoy the leadership aspect of it. But I don't come to the park looking for enjoyment.

"That goes along with it, because it's fun to be a part of a club, especially at this level. But my focus is just taking our best shot every day."

Weiss' traits as a player for 14 years in the Majors were the qualities that led the Rockies to make him the sixth manager in their history, and he's as advertised. He's a kind of guy who's totally devoted to trying to win the day's game.

One adjustment has been learning to take the long-term view of a rough season. The Rockies were 11 games below .500 going into Sunday's contest with the Padres. But Weiss sees a lot to like.

"A lot of good things have happened coming off a really difficult year last year," Weiss said. "There's some definite signs of progress. We're not there yet. But we're certainly headed in the right direction. Look at our pitching, how much it has improved from last year to this year, how much the defense has improved.

"What's been tough is when our frontline guys, our horses, have gotten hurt, we've struggled. That's the case with most teams. Some teams maybe have the resources to be able to cover when some of the horses go down. At the same time, it's given our young guys an opportunity to show their skills and a lot of them have shown up really well."

So Weiss is a guy too busy trying to win to stop and enjoy things all that often.

"I enjoy it when we win. I like the fact I'm part of a team trying to win Major League Baseball games. That's the enjoyment for me," he said. "That's the easiest way for me to put it. Losses are tough. Losses should always be tough. But trying to win big league games with our club every night, that's what's fun."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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