For a brief time on Tuesday night, Rockies fans had joy in their hearts as Larry Walker was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first player to wear the purple pinstripes to gain admission into the Hall.
That joy will still be there on Wednesday morning … but Rockies fans will also be wondering what the next chapter of the Arenado-Bridich feud might bring as well as what it will mean for the near-term and far-term future of the franchise.
On the same day that Monfort told reporters the Rockies wouldn’t be making some big splash, he was also asked about the opt-out clause in Arenado’s contract that could have him leaving the Rockies after the 2021 season. Part of his response was this:
"“If there’s a list of issues that we need to deal with, that is like No. 775 on the page,” Monfort said. “So I don’t think any of us are really worried about it at this time.”"
Since that day, the specter of Arenado leaving has crept up 774 spots on that list. After all, as Saunders quoted a source in his most recent article, “Nolan has become disillusioned with the focus and direction of the team.”
There is still a chance for reconciliation, but it will need to happen swiftly. With Colorado’s Rockies Fest happening Saturday and spring training kicking off within three weeks, there will be plenty of questions asked about the back-and-forth between Arenado and Bridich and plenty of opportunities for this to become a massive distraction for a franchise that (at least internally) believes it is good enough to get back to the postseason in 2020.
Can a truce happen and can a relationship be pieced back together? It will take a lot of work, but, yes, it’s possible. However, it will take more than words. It will take some promises being made, some trust that those promises will happen, and those promises to actually happen. Without any of those three steps being achieved, Arenado’s time in Denver will be short-lived and stressful for all involved.
And let’s remember that it isn’t just Arenado’s relationship with the team in jeopardy here. It is an entire fan base that is enraged with the current situation and how it has reached this point. It’s hard to remember a Rockies season that has neared its start with so much venom built up within its most passionate supporters.
The ball seems to lie in the court of the Rockies front office. It’s very evident from the recent quotes where Arenado stands and where his feelings have come from. The next move from Bridich is one of the most critical decisions in franchise history.