On Tuesday, Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich finally answered some questions about the offseason tension that has seemingly been building between the organization and their All-Star third baseman, Nolan Arenado.
After dodging the question about his relationship with Arenado to open spring training, the Colorado Rockies GM made it clear on Tuesday he was not only trying to “right the ship” with the face of his franchise, but also with Colorado’s fans as well.
"“Sometimes there are just natural disagreements and miscommunication over time and so you continue to work to right the ship,” Bridich told reporters during the annual Cactus League media day activities on Tuesday."
With the rumors of a potential Arenado trade swirling and the front office offering no comment or explanation for the weeks leading up to spring training, many Rockies fans felt frustrated and alienated, venting on social media and during the annual RockiesFest gathering at Coors Field in January. Bridich chose not to speak to the media during that event, leaving the questions to Rockies manager Bud Black as well as players such as Trevor Story, David Dahl, and Kyle Freeland during a quick media session.
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On Tuesday, however, Bridich offered some words to the Rockies fanbase about where things have gone with Arenado and why he has been quiet.
"“I’m sorry that our fans, if they’ve been … I’m sorry that it went this way,” Bridich said. “If it’s caused them angst, they’re our best supporters of Nolan. They’re the best supporters of the organization. Certainly you don’t want there to be turmoil or crises or anything like that. Sometimes there are professional disagreements in a business. But, apart from that, we’ve never handled things internally publicly. A lot of that is about out of respect. It’s out of respect to the organization. It’s out of respect to the players in the organization. I think it’s appropriate that a lot of inner team business is kept as such. That’s a big reason why I haven’t been out making statements. It’s keeping with that policy, that best practices policy, for us.”"
Note: You can hear the interview and see Bridich’s body language by clicking here.
Bridich admitted that he and Arenado have not sat down during spring training yet but “trusts” that the two will.
While the words were welcome, there is still plenty of questions and scenarios to dig through when it comes to Bridich, Arenado, and where things are heading in their relationship and ability to truly make things work together.
Knowing that, there are also still plenty of questions from supporters of the franchise, including whether Arenado will be with the Rockies throughout the 2020 season. Did Bridich’s words make an impact on a disgruntled fanbase? Talking to some Rockies fans on Tuesday night, the answer seems to be summed up best in one quote from one long-time fan, “It’s a start, but there is still a long ways to go.”
Yes, Bridich’s words were a start, but they were certainly more than Rockies fans have heard in weeks. The next words between Arenado and Bridich will likely come in private, between the two men. Those could be the most important words of the offseason and will likely set the table for the rest of the season and beyond.