Colorado Rockies: Hey Nolan, it’s time to fire up your teammates
By Kevin Henry
Dear Nolan Arenado…
I hope all is well in Kansas City. I hope you and the rest of the Colorado Rockies are enjoying some barbecue while you’re there. I know DJ LeMahieu and Ian Desmond were able to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on the day off on Monday. Maybe you’ll get the chance to get over there and see some of that great history while you’re in town.
I know you are not much of a social media guy so I thought I would write you this open letter in hopes that you will see it somehow through the wonders of SEO and news feeds on your phone. You see, I have a favor to ask you.
As a journalist covering the team, I know I am not supposed to actually “cheer” for the team I am covering. My professors within the University of Oklahoma’s journalism department mentioned time and time again that we writers are supposed to be fair and impartial. However, I also know I am human (as are my great colleagues in the press box) and when you cover a team for a few years and get to know the players in the locker room as human beings, you start not only pulling for them to be successful personally but as a team as well.
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With that in mind, it has been an amazing ride so far this season, watching the Rockies jump out to a 47-26 start on June 20 and show the nation this was a team that should be taken very, very seriously. Just two days before that, your walkoff homer for the cycle was a moment for the ages. You talked about how fun it was to play in front of the fans in Denver and how into the games they were. The fans started to sense that this was going to be a special year. That’s part of the reason why the last two months have been so tough to watch.
We know you have sensed it. We know you have been frustrated by how things have been going as well. We know you are a competitor who not only hates to lose. That’s why I am writing you today.
Something needs to change to break Colorado out of its recent slump. Something needs to light a fire under this team now in order for September and October to be the magical months we believed they would be. That is where you come in.
Remember last season when you lit into Nick Hundley and anyone else who would listen in the dugout during a game in San Diego? We need that again. We need a moment that shakes things up and gets people talking and rallies the troops for the postseason run. We need to see a fire coming out of you that ignites your teammates. The same Nolan who was screaming at the top of his lungs after the walkoff win against San Francisco needs to show up in the dugout soon, this time telling his teammates OK isn’t good enough.
This is your team. This is your moment. Sure, predictions say this team has the chance to be good for years to come. But why not capitalize on this moment and take this team as far as it possibly can? Why not grab this opportunity and see what 2017 can hold?
You are the leader of this team. Please use your voice and your passion to snap the Rockies out of their funk. We know it can happen. It’s just going to take a spark to get it going. And it seems like it’s going to be take more of a spark than just an eye-popping defensive play.
We know you see the standings. We know you know the battle going on to not only host the Wild Card game, but make sure you’re actually playing in it. We also know that things can’t keep going the way they have been going if 2017 is going to be remembered for more good than heartbreaking moments.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for hearing me out. Thanks for being as passionate about the game as we wish every Major League player would be.
Next: Reliving the emotional return of Chad Bettis to the mound
Keep smacking homers and making jaw-dropping plays in the field. We will be right behind you cheering you on, from the stands and in the press box as well (even if we have to do it under our breath).