On Wednesday night, the Post reported that Nolan Arenado reached out to them with a message that he is done talking about trade rumors and Jeff Bridich after Tuesday’s statements of being disrespected after Bridich announced that the Rockies were not moving forward with any trade proposals for the franchise cornerstone. Nolan is just going to prepare for playing baseball. Here is Arenado’s statement:
“There has been a lot of stuff going on that nobody knows about and I was reacting to what was said, and (that) was out of character for me because I’m very private with my life. The Rockies have been talking to my agent and me this offseason about a number of things that will remain between us. I will not speak on these things anymore. I’m getting ready for the upcoming season. I’m working hard to get better for my teammates and fans.”
It is great that he reached out to say that. I am trying to hope that it will help deescalate tension so that we can see Arenado in a Rockies jersey next year (and hopefully beyond). I don’t blame him for being frustrated and his initial response. Hopefully there is a lot more talking between the two sides. We just may not know about it.
Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla weighs in on the drama with a “modest proposal” of the Rockies keeping Arenado at third base, but also promoting him to GM so he could dismiss Bridich. He first tweeted about this proposal on Monday and Renee Dechert wrote about it here at Purple Row.
Kiszla focuses the piece on how the Dick Monfort runs the team like a family, even referring to the grown men he employs as “kids.” In doing so, he fosters the spirit of a family that makes players trust and sign contracts. Kiszla says Arenado got caught up in making that “mistake” because that deal demands loyalty and players can never second guess how the organization is being run or the choices that are made. While Kiszla definitely admits that Bridich has a short temper and can react rashly, he sees this atmosphere as coming from the top. For example, he mentions that at one point in 2007, Todd Helton told him that “team management had taken his loyalty for granted.”
This might work for a team that can make money by filling seats of fans looking for something to do on summer nights and building McGregor Square. This strategy doesn’t work for a team that wants to be a contender and one day win the NL West (not to mention the NL Pennant or World Series).
In this editorial, Aaron Hunt wants the front office cleared out, but says that even if the Rockies were to fire Bridich, the damage done wouldn’t just be fixed. With the Arenado situation and Trevor Story’s having to go to arbitration over $750,000, the business part of the organization is a mess. Hunt says that even if Arenado stays, the relationship with the organization might be beyond repair.
Therefore, Hunt purposes that a new GM might be better off selling off assets like Story and Charlie Blackmon, and starting over in 2021 when there will be more money since the expensive free agent signings of Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, Ian Desmond, and Daniel Murphy are off the books. It’s a drastic change. It sure doesn’t seem like this is the only option, but certainly an option I guess.
Well, we are back to trade rumors, suggestions, and predictions. It’s not fun, especially because all the talks of “inevitable” and “50/50” and “not preposterous” probably didn’t help the mess of a situation in which we currently find ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I think the blame here is on Jeff Bridich (#TeamNolan) and I know Arenado said he wasn’t mad about the trade rumors, but reporters acting as prognosticators in reports where fact and opinion start to blur, doesn’t help. There are some great baseball reporters out there and their access to sources and great stories make the Rockpiles possible. I just wish there was a little more clarity around what is from sources and what is opinions of the writers. My little rant aside, here is the latest of the rumors that for just one moment on Wednesday we thought might be over.
In this piece by Brittany Ghiroli and David O’Brien they believe Nolan wants out, saying “he is doing his best to ensure he won’t be with the Colorado Rockies this season” and that he is “forcing the Rockies to trade him one text message at a time.” They might be right, but it seems like it is a lot to insinuate from a few texts with that much certainty. In light of his new comments to the Denver Post on Wednesday night, this might have been an overreach. Maybe I am just in denial that the Rockies could do this to Nolan and the fans (again). Maybe I am hoping Dick Monfort will step up to Bridich and show him that there are many GMs out there, but only one Nolan. However, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding was on Altitude Radio Wednesday morning in Denver with Moser, Lombardi & Kane and said that he believes Monfort is backing Bridich. He believes that Bridich is not on the hot seat and will be left to sort out this situation the best way he sees fit. There goes the hope that the organization could learn lessons from past mistakes.
Anyway, back to the article, Ghiroli and O’Brien say that the Braves or Nationals should seize on Colorado’s chaos and try to orchestrate a trade for Arenado. Nolan might do it because both teams are 2019 playoff teams, with Washington obviously being defending champions. Because the Rockies created this mess, they might be more likely to pull off a trade now and go from seeking “the perfect package and instead find “best deal.”
The article goes over the pros and cons of trading for Nolan and they are the same for both teams. Pro: They get Nolan. Con: They deplete their farm systems to do it. X-Factor: Both teams have promising third basemen prospects in Atlanta’s Austin Riley and Washington’s Carter Kieboom.
Larry Walker and Derek Jeter will go into the Hall of Fame together. Pretty cool. On Wednesday, both sat side by side at the Hall of Fame press conference and put on Hall of Fame jerseys. Walker made fun of himself by saying, “This is way better than the SpongeBob shirt I wore yesterday.” Jeter said, “No, it’s not.” Awesome.
Both amazing baseball players appear genuinely grateful and Walker admitted to still being in shock. You and all Rockies fans. This makes that April 19th game when the Rockies will retire Walker’s number even better.
The Denver Post dedicated quite a bit of space to Walker’s historic accomplishment by putting Patrick Saunders’ story on the front page of the paper and more on the front of sports section.
Saunders’ tribute is full of great quotes from Walt Weiss, who says, “I tell people that Larry was not only a five-tool player; he was elite in all five categories,” and Clint Hurdle, who says, “He was the most skilled player I ever coached or managed. I was blessed to play with (Hall of Famer) George Brett, who was the most skilled player I ever teamed with, and I got to see a lot of really good players in the 45 years I was in the game. But Larry and George are at the top of the list.”
Kizla admits that he never voted for Larry Walker in the past nine years in his Hall of Fame ballot, but finally did this time. It’s good he did the right thing, but admitted that he didn’t before because he heard from some players that Walker wasn’t a team player. But now he it’s other writers using Coors Field or Walker’s infrequency in playing a whole season healthy. It’s ridiculous that a player’s home field and altitude as well as injuries he sustained from playing the game so hard, are held in the same vein as people holding back votes from steroid users. They were cheaters. Larry wasn’t. He is finally being rewarded.
Kiszla reveals the rest of his ballot as well: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Shilling, Todd Helton, and he wasn’t the one writer not to vote for Derek Jeter. He then invites Twitter wrath while also condemning it for even questioning the greatness of Peter Gammons, “one of the finest baseball poets ever to smell freshly cut outfield grass in spring,” who left Walker off his ballot (turns out it wasn’t needed). Kiszla tweeted in 2014 that Larry would never be in the Hall and we should get used it. Now he said he had a change of heart. Better late than never.
Walker admitted on Twitter earlier on Tuesday that he didn’t think he’d get enough votes. Maybe he put on the SpongeBob shirt to feel better. He didn’t think he was getting the call. Then he did. And the world got to see the SpongeBob shirt. Maybe it should go in the Hall of Fall too. I think it’s great. Things are way too serious right now in baseball with Rockies’ turmoil and tech-savvy sign-stealing scandals. I’m grateful for Larry and SpongeBob.
If you are feeling down (since you have Jeff Bridich as a GM), watch the Twitter video where Larry finds out. Just don’t read the comments.
This better break a Purple Row record for post with the most SpongeBob references. This is just more in-depth on Walker’s now famous shirt. He said his kids were like “really?” But then later also said they applauded him for trending on Twitter.
When Larry Walker switched from hockey to baseball, he left behind Canada’s national pastime and to take up America’s. As he rose through the MLB ranks to become an All-Star, an MVP, and now a Hall of Famer, he made baseball cool in Canada. He created lots of fans, was a player for kids to look up to as a non-hockey option, and he gave Canadians a lot to cheer for on Tuesday night. As the second Canadian elected to the Hall, he has great company in Cub great Fergie Jenkins. Walker is more recent and brought a new generation baseball joy. This is a great article by Canadian writer Andrew Stoeten (who covers the Blue Jays) to celebrate that.
For a small break from Arenado and Walker news, Drew Creasman writes about four young players who could make a big difference for the Rockies in 2020. Three of them gave us a lot to be excited about in 2019: Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson, and Sam Hilliard. The other is a highly-touted draft pick who is still looking to break through at the Major League level in Brendan Rodgers.
Creasman really believes McMahon could be an All-Star if he stays healthy and can keep building off 2019. That would be a big boost for an offense that really missed DJ LaMehieu last season. Hampson had a great finish last season, but needs to be more consistent to earn the go-to utility man role. Hilliard has a high ceiling and had a great September, but he just needs to prove himself over a longer period of time and when games really matter.
For a continued break, Baseball America is ranking Brendan Rodgers at No. 23 in their top 100. We only got a small glimpse from the third overall 2016 draft pick in 2019 before he’s season ended with a surgery-requiring shoulder injury. After hitting for average and power at Triple-A, Rodgers did neither in the big leagues, hitting .224/.272/.250 in 25 games. Hopefully 2020 will be the year Rodgers can make all the promising projections a reality. The only question is where will he play in the infield and who else will be there with him?