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Nolan Arenado benched for not hustling

The grind of this horrible season, even during an 8-1 victory over the Pirates on Friday night, has reached a level where one of the Colorado Rockies’ most beloved players showed his frustration by not hustling on a seemingly harmless ground ball.

Nolan Arenado squibbed one to Pittsburgh pitcher Charlie Morton. Upset with himself and knowing he had made an easy out, Arenado did what so many players do in that instance: he loafed down to first base. Unfortunately for him and for the Rockies, Morton actually bobbled the ball.

Arenado likely would have been safe if he had been running; instead Morton was able to recover and record the out at first base.

This understandably did not sit well with Walt Weiss, who has to watch his team make enough stupid outs on the base paths when they are trying their hardest. Weiss benched Arenado, with the following explanation (from MLB.com):

“We’ve talked a lot about playing the game hard and playing the game right, and how important that is,” Weiss said. “Especially when you’ve been getting your [butt] kicked for a while, it’s even more important. It’s imperative. So I just felt like Nolan didn’t meet that standard at that point.

“Now, Nolan’s a great kid. He’s a great player. That’s how I saw it.”

It is at this point that Arenado probably wishes he wasn’t such a slow runner. He might have been able to get away with this one.

We have become accustomed to watching all Rockies not named Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez absolutely bust their humps to try and beat plays at first base ever since the Michael Cuddyer era started in Colorado.

That did make this moment a surprise, but ultimately it is nothing more than a blip for a young player who will be one of the faces of the franchise for years to come.

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