-- DENVER (Ticker) -- Bob Gebhard, who needed only three seasons to make the Colorado Rockies the fastest expansion team to reach the postseason, reportedly will be fired as general manager. According to the Denver Post, the Rockies' ownership group made the much-speculated decision to fire the only GM in franchise history as early as today, with the team occupying last place in the National League West. Team spokesman Jay Alves dismissed the report, saying only "rumor, innuendo, no comment." Gebhard, 56, ended a successful stint with the Minnesota Twins to join the Rockies, constructing the team from scratch. By 1995, in just its third season, his team won the first NL wild card. With the likes of Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette, the Rockies posted the best opening six-year winning percentage (.484) of any expansion team in history. After finishing 21 games out of first place last season at 77-85, rumors had either Gebhard, manager Don Baylor or both being axed. Gebhard survived, but Baylor, the only manager in franchise history, was not as lucky. He was fired before becoming hitting coach of the Atlanta Braves, who are in town for a four-game series that starts today. Baylor was replaced in the offseason by one of the most successful skippers this decade, Jim Leyland. But with an inconsistent offense and sup-par pitching staff, the Rockies are just 52-67, fifth in the division, 15 1/2 games behind the second-year Arizona Diamondbacks. They have the third-worst record in the National League. Gebhard, who pitched in 11 major league seasons with Minnesota and Montreal, worked in the Twins' front office when they won World Series titles in 1987 and 1991.
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