Former Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been making his rounds with the media this week after the Rockies traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a guest of ESPN 101 in St. Louis for two different shows on Thursday.
While most of both interviews mainly spoke with Arenado about his personal life and hobbies, his relationship with his former teammate and former Cardinal Matt Holliday (and a story about them not having any cash for admittance to Holliday’s son’s basketball game and running out of gas in the middle of the Oklahoma highway on the same night), giving him some advice on St. Louis life, and him joining the Cardinals organization, Arenado said something about why the Cardinals were among his “top three” choices for a trade.
Simply put, it was the Cardinals winning culture. They are the most winning team in the National League with their 11 World Series titles and 19 World Series appearances, with two wins and three appearances coming since 2004. They haven’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1994 and 1995 and the last time they finished with the worst record in the NL was in 1918. Since then, they have only finished last in their division once (1990).
That differs vastly from the Rockies, who have won zero NL West titles in their 28 season history, six last-place finishes in the NL West, and only one World Series appearance in 2007.
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As you probably know by, Arenado has said numerous times that at this point in his career, he wants to win and, according to him
"“When you join the Cardinals, that’s the thing,” said Arenado on Karraker & Smallmon, ESPN 101’s morning show in St. Louis. “I remember talking to [Cardinals] players and coaches and the only goals they have are ‘listen, our goal is that we want to win the division and get to the World Series. That’s our only goals (sic),’ and it was just great to hear something like that. I’ve never heard anything like that so it was awesome…”"
You can check out the entire segment with that quote here (the question that received that response starts at about 15:10) and you can check out his other segment on ESPN 101 in St. Louis here, which includes his stories with Matt Holliday.
The culture is one of the bigger problems that the Rockies have right now and Jeff Bridich was asked about it on Tuesday. However, he didn’t really answer the question, citing that the reports from players and personnel saying that to the media have said so anonymously.
Frankly, there’s not a whole lot that the Rockies look like they are doing right at the moment but, perhaps, they will prove the nay-sayers wrong. But you can’t expect that the nay-sayers will be wrong on so many things when they have been proven right countless times in the past few years.