Story has seen all of the projections for Colorado’s upcoming season. He’s heard the doom and gloom, the naysayers, and the prognosticators. He’s also taken a page out of the history books that is being used as an example and blueprint for this 2021 Rockies team.
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“I think it kind of happened in 2017,” Story explained of the Rockies squad that did enough to surpass expectations and earn a short-lived spot in the postseason. “I don’t think people were expecting us to win games at the rate that we were. We got into the Wild Card and almost won that game.
“Obviously, this is a different team, but there might be something to that. With no expectations, I think guys are able to play a little more freely and a little more comfortable and don’t have to worry so much about their performance. It kind of frees them up to play better.”
For Story, like Arenado and every other MLB player, winning matters. He wants to return to the postseason and recapture the feelings that seem like so long ago for Rockies fans, but actually weren’t.
“Once you get that taste, that’s all you want. That’s what we’ve been chasing since we were there in 2017 and 2018,” Story said. “Those feelings and those emotions are always in my mind, how it felt and how fun it was.
“I have a lot of great friends here. They’re lifelong friends and so that makes it fun to come to work every day and share that experience.”
The friends in the clubhouse have changed, but Story’s pursuit of winning has not. No matter how long Story wears a Rockies uniform and holds down the shortstop position at 20th and Blake, he’s committed to improving every day. It’s part of makes him who he is, and part of the reason he so quickly stepped into MLB’s limelight.
The athleticism, skills, and work ethic have made Story into one of the game’s top all-around shortstops. It’s also propelled him onto the “wish list” for many other teams. But that’s all in the background for Story now. It’s early March and he’s focused on Opening Day, coming up on April 1.
“I know a lot of people are counting us (Rockies) out, but you count out a bunch of competitors at a high level to that extent and that kind of rubs them the wrong way,” Story said. “You might see a different edge to this team this year.”