Are there any reasons to look forward to the Rockies season?
I get it. I know the Rockies aren’t going to win the World Series this year. You would think after unloading Nolan Arenado, and letting Trevor Story and Jon Gray walk without getting anything in return and, oh yeah, throw in a baseball lockout that once again exposed the tone deafness of owners and players, that I would be down on baseball in general and the Rockies in particular.
That day of irrelevance will come. Probably around the first day of a Russell Wilson led practice at Dove Valley. But until then, I’m here to spread optimism and buy into the “hope springs eternal” euphoria that surrounds every Major League Baseball team this time of year.
So here are reasons to look forward to Rockies baseball:
• Kris Bryant. What a great time to be Kris Bryant. He’s getting paid a ton of money to provide some much needed star power. He’ll hit a bunch of tape measure home runs and go out and play stress-free baseball in a town where fans and media won’t expect much. Hey, he’s got his ring. Now, he gets to go out and just play the game and make crazy coin to do it. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
• Charlie Blackmon. He’s now the face of the Rockies, right? Now going into his 12th year with the team! Wow! The bat has slowed a bit and he’s getting by on grit and guile in the outfield but the dude can fall out of bed and rake, and the beard is still magnificent.
• The development of Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rogers. Say what you will about the Rockies (insert punch lines here), but they have done a real good job of finding and developing good young positional players. McMahon and Rogers are two of the latest.
• The allure of a German Marquez start which contains the potential of dominant, even no hit pitching that shatters the myth pitchers can’t dominate at Coors Field.
• The rebound of hometown hero Kyle Freeland. Here’s hoping he can get back to his 2018 level of dominance.
• Bud Black. The Rockies are lucky to have this guy. Put him in a major market with more resources to win and the fans and media would love him. Heading into his sixth year on the job, he’s only ten games under .500 all told. That’s pretty remarkable. Plus, he’s the ultimate company man.
• The new DH rule. Thank the baseball gods for this! Talk about a move that was about 40 years overdue! The days of watching overmatched pitchers try to hit are gone. Spare me the antiquated drivel about the “strategy” of the National League. Baseball games need more offense and balls in play, not less. Baseball needs to keep making changes to energize the game. If that means the old guard is offended, too bad. Baseball needs to take a page from the NFL. Football will change rules immediately to keep the game fan friendly. Let’s hope baseball follows suit.
• Being able to watch the Rox on TV! Hey, they may not be that good, but at least the overwhelming majority of Coloradans will be able to watch them. After the two-year debacle that has been the Altitude/Comcast fiasco, I’ll take what I can get.
We’ll leave talk of June swoons and “all Dick Montfort cares about is a full party deck” to another day. For now?