Let’s flash all the way back to 2018, a year when the Rockies were on their way to their second consecutive postseason appearance. Still, there seemed to be a bit of uneasiness coming from Arenado.
Nick Groke’s article and words from Arenado on June 28 paint the picture of a player who, in Arenado’s words, is “pissed” at his situation … and Colorado’s losing ways at that moment (a team that was under .500 and in fourth place in the National League West).
"“I just get pissed because I don’t want to lose anymore,” Arenado said in that article. “I’ve only been to the playoffs once and it was only one game. And I really want more than that.”"
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Certainly we know, looking back, that the Rockies would win the Wild Card over the Cubs at the end of that season before being swept out of the NLDS by the Milwaukee Brewers. Arenado and the Rockies would get more time in the playoffs, but it would be short-lived.
There has also been plenty of talk about how Colorado’s lack of activity at the trade deadline that year may have cost the team the chance to win its first-ever National League West crown. Reliever Seunghwan Oh came over from Toronto in a deal and Matt Holliday was added to the roster in August. Other than that, the Rockies were silent when a few more moves with a “win now” mentality might have secured the division for Colorado. It was noticed by the players in the clubhouse and has been rumored to be a sticking point long after the Rockies were forced to head to Los Angeles for Game 163 to decide the division. A game, by the way, Colorado lost, forcing them to a marathon of back-to-back travel from Denver (last game of the regular season) to L.A. (Game 163) to Chicago (Wild Card) to Milwaukee (NLDS).
But let’s flash back to Groke’s article and the days after that. I caught up with Arenado inside the Colorado clubhouse for this interview shortly after the team returned from the road trip. Reading back on the article now, one of Arenado’s quotes jumps out.
"“I want the fans to know that I care,” Arenado told me about the words that came out in Groke’s article and the USA Today interview shortly thereafter. “I don’t want the fans to ever think I’m just here for the money or that I’m just happy to be here. I want to bring a championship. I want to win. I want to play in October. I want to have the fans here. We feed off them. I want them to know that.”"
Arenado wants to win. Arenado wants to be put in a position to win. If he doesn’t feel like that opportunity is there, he’s “pissed” as any competitor would be. It’s that simple. It’s also a feeling that will carry over into 2019.