It has been just six weeks into postponement and we all ache for our baseball routine. Nolan Arenado is no different.
Without routine competition, what can competitive people do to maintain their mentality? ESPN provides the first-person narrative of the all-star third baseman as he awaits MLB’s green light. His competitive endeavors in a baseball lockout are widely limited to batting cage sessions, evening sessions of MLB The Show, and film sessions of old at-bats.
“After breakfast, I’m rewatching Rockies games. I usually watch games against the Dodgers or see my at-bats against really good pitchers, like Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Jack Flaherty.” The perspective of a hitter can be altered when facing a pitching machine more than an actual pitcher, but fortunately for Arenado, a simple internet search for highlights can serve as timely motivation.
“I’ve been trying to stay away from being super negative. I’ve been focused on that there’s something good that’s going to come out of this. I tell myself be happy, be happy that I’m healthy, be happy that my job is to play baseball.”
Rockies infielder Josh Fuentes has reason to be happy working with his cousin Arenado, at least: Fuentes reaped benefits of working with Arenado in the spring training we were able to see. The two are reportedly hitting together this April along with Trayce Thompson (now of the Diamondbacks).
“Nearly every team has guaranteed baseball-operations employees payment through May 31—a date, sources said, that is no accident.”
With so much uncertainty in the public health landscape, we can’t know for certain if the end of May is feasible to resume operations—but MLB seems to be fixating their attention to May 31 from several policies they have enacted. Baseball has taken on a “contradictory existence” as multiple outcomes for 2020 resumption are considered.
Passan says action will come this year, maybe not as immediate as May 31, but at least at some point after. Stay-at-home restrictions in multiple states are loosening, and if favorable outcome ensues, May 31 could be a date where things are set in motion.
Passan provides interesting insights on virus testing, citing how test kit accessibility may be easier with MLB’s “financial might and experience with drug testing.” This could come with backlash if MLB were taking tests away from people in serious need. Passan tells of a solution that Italian professional soccer league Serie A is reportedly implementing: donating five test kits for every one used.
Minor leaguers were initially paid through April 8, and that has been extended to May 31 as well. Passan speaks on how the minor league schedule remains unlikely; he does address how they could get some degree of work in at spring training sites.
Three GM’s have worked for the Colorado Rockies in franchise history: Bob Gebhard (1992-99), Dan O’Dowd (1999-14) and Jeff Bridich (2014-present). Bridich is the winningest. O’Dowd saw the most postseason success. Gebhard put a new franchise in motion.
All three have been part of interesting acquisitions—ones that can make Rockies fans rejoice and lament.
Ones that make Rockies fans rejoice:
- Gebhard: assembled team from scratch, signed Larry Walker, brought playoff baseball to Denver in year three
- O’Dowd: dealt Matt Holliday for Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street (“Holliday was not going to re-sign with Colorado when his contract was up, so O’Dowd shipped him and got an all-star and fan favorite”)
- Bridich: dealt Corey Dickerson to Tampa Bay in package deal that brought German Marquez to Colorado
Ones that make Rockies fans lament:
- Gebhard: traded pitcher Andy Ashby, catcher Brad Ausmus, reliever Doug Bochtler to Padres for pitchers Greg Harris and Bruce Hurst (Harris had an ERA of 6.60 in his two years in Colorado; Hurst pitched in three games)
- O’Dowd: drafted Greg Reynolds second overall in 2006, passing on Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Tim Lincecum
- Bridich: still pushing for a return on a sizable bullpen investment
In serious defense of all general manager decisions, it is far too easy to analyze such decisions in hindsight.
It’s still interesting to imagine a world where Clayton Kershaw or Tim Lincecum suited up for Colorado.
Who is the best general manager in Rockies history?
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