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Rockies finally earn their first win, and so does Daniel Bard

Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, July 26, 2020

Out 7 years with yips, pitcher wins MLB return |

I think we can all agree that 2020 hasn’t exactly been the best year ever for many people. In fact, I’d venture a guess that we’d all give it 1/10, would not recommend. But that doesn’t mean 2020 will be completely void of feel good stories. In fact, the Rockies will have one of them no matter what happens the rest of the season.

Daniel Bard last pitched in a Major League Baseball game, Nolan Arenado was still a minor leaguer. The last time he earned a win, Nolan was a Tulsa Driller. It was a long and winding road for Bard, but it culminated yesterday with what can only be called a gratifying victory.

Oh, and the dude touched 99 on the radar gun, so this was no charity appearance for him. Not only is it a feel good story, but he could be a legitimate contributor to a Rockies bullpen that will need all the help it can get in this 60-game sprint.

How Trevor Story honored Ian Desmond on Opening Night | Roxpile

On Opening Day, every team stood on the first and third baseline like normal and held a black piece of fabric in a display of solidarity with African-American players and the wider community. The Rangers put an outline of the MLB logo on the back of the mound with “United for Change” written underneath. But Trevor Story decided to take one step further to honor his friend and teammate who won’t be with the team for the 2020 season.

Ian Desmond was one of the first MLB players to opt out of the 2020 season, announcing his decision in a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post on June 29. In the wake of the protests after the death of George Floyd, Story has been vocal (by baseball player standards, at least) in his support of his teammates and of working for change. So in that way it was no surprise that he chose to wear a number 20 armband for Opening Day. If there is any question as to whether the Rockies feel abandoned by Desmond or in any way resentful toward his decision, Story’s simple gesture showed that at least one player is in Ian’s corner.

Saunders: MLB’s 16-team playoff format is a winner — for one year only | Denver Post ($)

Let’s get weird.

That’s the message from Patrick Saunders regarding the 2020 season’s new playoff structure. Saunders is a self-described baseball traditionalist (“I might even be a curmudgeon”), but he’s ready to embrace the crazy that comes with the shortened 2020 season. Featuring eight playoff teams from each league and a best-of-three wild card series to open up the playoffs expands the footprint of baseball this October. It makes sense for the players, teams, and fans, but that increased footprint can also attract new eyeballs to the sport, and that could be the most beneficial part of it all.

But don’t ask Saunders to get on board past this year.

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