The Colorado Rockies, like all of us, have had to adjust to spending more time at home than usual.
As we head into Memorial Day weekend, this is usually a time where people are discussing their plans with dozens of people for a cookout or to go to a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field. Obviously, that’s not the case for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While all 50 states have entered at least some form of reopening, we seem to be a long way away from being able to go to Coors Field and see Rockies games in person. For the Rockies and coaching staff, some of them haven’t been at home in April in years or even decades since they have been in the majors, minors, or in a college summer league since they have been late teenagers.
They have all had to go through some adjustments, as we all have, during the last few months.
Rockies manager Bud Black had an exclusive conversation with Rox Pile on Wednesday morning and talked about some of the things that he has done in the past few weeks and months that he regularly wouldn’t have done.
“The last couple of months, I’ve been in different types of communication [over] different topics…”said Black. “[T]he messaging and conversations is something we’ve never gone through before…The players, obviously, are communicating amongst themselves, just staying connected and our [front office, coaching staff, medical staff, and strength and conditioning staff are] connecting to the players in different forms…I think we’ve all become proficient at Zoom…but everybody is in the same boat. Just talking with other managers and coaches and our coaches, everybody is doing the same thing: laying low, staying at home, [and] adhering to the guidelines…”
Black said how Rockies’ pitching coach Steve Foster and new bullpen coach Darryl Scott have done an “outstanding job” at staying on top of the Rockies pitching staff and trying to stay in a routine of throwing to stay as fresh as possible.
Scott, who is still in the Phoenix area since he lives there, has been in contact with some of the Rockies pitching staff that is also still in the Phoenix area like German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Peter Lambert, who Black told us is recovering nicely as we discussed in this article.
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Hitting coach Dave Magadan and assistant coach Jeff Salazar have been in touch with all of the hitters and also, the Rockies strength and conditioning team has been in constant contact with players too. That’s why Black said that he “feels as though we’re in good shape” for whenever baseball resumes. However, Black said that “the frustrating part is that there’s no answers but now, presently, on May 20th, there seems to be some momentum [on a return of baseball.”
With things being different and the situation on the return of baseball and the situation on the pandemic being so fluid since it has been much different in different areas of the country, the new way of things has taken some getting used to.
“[W]hen we were told in Scottsdale that there’s going to be a little bit of a break–at first, we didn’t know how long [this would last], we were still in that mode of ‘the season’s going to be two weeks away’ and now, it’s going to be interrupted,” said Black.
“There was some [discomfort] of where [the situation was] headed so there was a daily ‘what do we do’ type feeling that was going on. And then once we were told to go home…it took about two weeks to finally sort of settle in and realize that this was going to be a long-term thing, I think that everybody settled into [things] and ‘you’ve found your groove of how you’re going to go through this.”
“For me, there was a three week period of ‘this is different, this is weird being home in April’, staying at home…I was cleaning my garage, purging my closet…all those things and I figured out that the players were doing the same things…”
With the “momentum” of baseball returning, particularly after the blessing of a decent amount of government officials, including numerous governors this week and each and every one of the 50 states having some form of reopening taking place today, there’s a lot of hope that we are on the backend of all this and hopefully, we can once again do the things we love with the people we know and love.