Isn’t it mystifying? A crowd rises and dances for a pinch hitter who’s slashing .234/.293/.391 with 38 runs, 48 RBI, eight stolen bases, and eight homers in 204 plate appearances — all to the soundtrack of an obnoxious kid’s song that threatens to get stuck in your head for days.
Not when it’s Gerardo Parra. In the age of endless stats and head-bashing analytics, Parra has something that doesn’t show up in the numbers. He’s got the vibe. He’s got the swagger. He brings life and laughs, and he’s helping the Nationals bring the World Series to the nation’s capital for the first time in 86 years.
From Baby Shark and the pink sunglasses, to his infectious energy and optimism, it’s hard not to miss Parra. Maybe he wasn’t an everyday player, but there is something to be said for that kind of presence. Losing Carlos Gonzalez and Parra at the same time left a void that may not show up in the stat sheets, but might matter in the overall win-loss record and mindset of the team.
I know I have a case of the rose-colored-lens memories in just focusing on the good stuff Parra brought and forgetting his lower average and power numbers, but he still came up clutch for the Rockies many times with a rifle arm from left field or a timely pitch hit. But more importantly, who is doing dance ceremonies to get rid of bad bat mojo when players are in a funk? Remember how CarGo hit a homer after Parra got the demons out of his bat? Dang, I miss him.
I think one of Jeff Bridich’s faults is not factoring in personality and leadership in bringing in a fun-loving, outgoing figure to the dugout. It’s hard to look at Parra right now and not see the value he brings. While the Rockies have some great leaders in guys like Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado, they are more the lead-by-example and mentor guys in the clubhouse after the game types of guys, just like Todd Helton before them, instead of the dancing types. We do have the young guys of Yonathan Daza and Yonder Alonso, who brought us the cucarachas, and maybe they can come up with a winning hand gesture in the future.
Juliet Macur’s New York Times article is mostly about the hype in D.C. in light of all the winning (the Capitals, the Mystics, and now the Nationals), the best part is the shout out to Parra and the joy he has brought to the clubhouse. When Parra started out with the Nationals after being let go by the Giants, he was 2-for-30 and in a funk. So, he met with Manager Dave Martinez, who reminded him that his role is to “bring energy” and “Play that music, get loud and have fun.”
Dancing. Hugs. Excitement. We need that guy. That guy is good for the team and great for the fans.
So that brings us to the question:
Who is your favorite outgoing leader in Rockies history? You know, the guy who lightens the mood, brings humor, and reminds everyone on the bench and in the stands to have some fun.
This poll is closed
David Dahl has been that promising young player has had Rockies fans saying, “Just wait for this David Dahl guy.” He proved that by earning his first All-Star selection in 2019. Then came freak-show injuries. A ruptured spleen? Seriously? Then a rib injury that knocked him out in 2017, a broken foot last year, and then high ankle sprain ended this year early. It’s just bad luck.
At the All-Star break, he was slashing .308/352/.530 with 12 homers, 23 doubles, and 51 RBI. Clearly, the promise remains. He has a gorgeous swing and could be a huge asset in the lineup and a clear upgrade in center field. But now there is skepticism about his ability to stay on the field for an entire season.
Do you ever wonder what players do during the offseason? Family time? Golf? Traveling? Does buying at 1974 Volkswagen Westfalia, which is an old VW bus with an amazing popup on it, and chilling on the beach enter your imagination?
Thanks to Nick Groke’s article, now we know this vehicle purchase has been on Nolan Arenado’s bucket list. With his $260 million contract, Nolan has some money to spend on whatever he wants. And he chose this. How much do we love this guy?
Outside of a great picture and descriptions of his sweet ride that is complete with a bed and couch, as well as plenty of space for beach and golf gear, Groke’s wave-riding-metaphor article focuses on how Arenado tried to stay positive, improve as a hitter at the plate, and keep grinding even when the team was drowning in struggling pitchers and suffocating slumps. Arenado’s performance is unquestionable, but this is an interesting look at Nolan’s mental side, which is showing the maturity of a veteran and of being the Rockies highest-ever-paid player, in overcoming the adversity of losing to still perform at the highest level.
When thinking of ways Rockies who bummed you out the most this year, it is a competitive list, but David Sharp went with Kyle Freeland, Daniel Murphy, Wade Davis, and Brendan Rodgers. K-Free’s collapse and Davis’s meltdown would likely garner general consensus, but Murphy and Rodgers were thought-provoking selections. However, the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense.
Murphy was the Rockies only “major” acquisition last offseason. I was never excited about Murphy because of his anti-gay comments, his age (34), and his injury-prone status. I was disappointed we signed him, disappointed that he looks out of his element at first base, and sad that his hitting dropped off, but not surprised. Maybe the finger injury can be blamed for some of his issues, or it’s just another Rockies miss on landing an aging free agent. Rodgers still has a lot of promise, but he didn’t deliver immediately. Ryan McMahon capitalized on the playing time at second and seems to be the frontrunner for the future. Also, it just seems like Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee belong on every bad list for the Rockies, but they were disappointments before 2019. They aren’t new disappointments; they just continue in that role.