Nothing like off-season to contemplate the seemingly innumerable number of reasons the train came off the rails. I’m the kind of person tucked into the cheap seats hoping our own silver slugger, Trevor Story, parks it in my perfectly seasoned black Rawlings Jose Canseco mitt. Read: kinda normal baseball fan whose forays into fantasy are more inclined toward tales that involve dragons and legacy swords. But I will admit I do like winning.
From Patrick Saunders’s mailbag this week, he hits on something I think about all the time. The thing about a team that goes beyond numbers and money and sometimes even talent. A writer asked what Saunders thought about the World Series. While the Astros, he said, had the better-stacked team, the Nats prevailed by being “the grittiest team we’ve seen in ages.”
Intangible — unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence. Altuve and his magic, magnetic energy aside, it was the difference between winning — or losing — a World Series title. The Washington Nationals had the kind of grit and unquantifiable zazz that got them through one of the most interesting Series I’ve ever beheld.
Who, I wonder, on the roster can be the glue that makes a team dig deeper? We had that guy, but now he gets to wear a Series ring and we’re back here in the cellar wringing our hands and wishing we didn’t love Baby Shark as much as we do. Sing for me, Gerardo Parra!
Could it be Tim Melville, a bright spot from this past season? Bringing cookies to work is dope. And he’s a solid dude. I’ll bet he’s got a sweatshirt somewhere that smells like barbecue and that is a super-homey — a likable thing in my book. I say not so fast on sending him down. But what do I know?
I like Tony Wolters. A lot. In fact, he’s described as “likable.” That is huge in my book. He’s that guy in the office everyone can’t wait to have show up. He pulls his weight, works on his game, gets the job done and makes everyone want to be there. But framing. What the state of (I really didn’t want to talk about this) our — ahem — pitching situation, that’s an issue. Up your game, Tony. You. Can. Do. It.
Short of hanging out in the clubhouse, who else can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? I say, when casting about for trades and players who can bolster the Rockies where they need it, find someone who possesses the intangible. Or a dragon. Find a damn dragon.
★ ★ ★
Who wore it best?
First, I like the idea of a team being named after a poisonous snake indigenous to the area. But believe me, if I’m tromping around the desert and I come across one of those snakes I don’t yell “Diamondback!” Nor do I froth, “D-back!” I’m screaming, as I hightail it, “Rattler!”
I have a name for the Arizona team that will remain in the privacy of my home. I can’t stand it when we drop a game to those guys, no matter how much they’ve improved sartorially. Seriously, sweet new unis, fellas. And the roll-out video is magnificent. I’d love to know what drove the marketing team to change them. Fan mail? Bad press from Uni Watch? Big ups on the re-design.
As for the Rockies, I like the vest look. Straight-up classy.