Colorado Rockies: The buzz from Arenado’s return, Bernard’s debut
By Kevin Henry
Literally from A (Arenado, Nolan) to B (Bernard, Wynton), there were two talking points that had Colorado Rockies fans buzzing last week … and they were at polar opposite ends of the scales of emotions.
Colorado Rockies fans endured the now-annual return of Nolan Arenado and cheered the call-up of Wynton Bernard
In the span of just a few days, Colorado Rockies fans were reminded about one of the franchise’s biggest failures (the much-discussed and much-lamented trade of Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals) and given one of the best feel-good stories in recent memory (Bernard finally getting his chance to play in an MLB game after 2,882 minor league at-bats). It was a range of emotions at Coors Field last week, with the storylines sometimes overshadowing the play of the Rockies on the field as they split the six-game homestand with the Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks and dropped to 51-66 on the season.
Arenado is Colorado’s past, and Bernard is certainly the present … but Rockies fans are hungry for something good to happen for this team in the short- and long-term future. It’s been evident by the outpouring of support for Bernard and even some of the murmurs about Dinelson Lamet joining the team on a waiver claim just after the MLB trade deadline and performing well (five scoreless innings in his first three appearances) in a Rockies uniform.
We know all too well what happened with the Cardinals and Rockies in that February 2021 trade and how the Rockies are paying St. Louis to have Arenado man the hot corner. It’s still a sore point for many Colorado fans (just check out social media from the previous week) and it’s something that is going to always be an ink blot on Jeff Bridich’s tenure as Colorado’s general manager.
Since that magical Wild Card win at Wrigley Field in the 2018 postseason, things have not been all that rosy at 20th and Blake. Even those wearing purple-colored sunglasses have to admit away from their social media pedestals that Colorado is a franchise in need of something, anything good to happen to it.
And that’s where Bernard’s feel-good story comes in … as well as quality at-bats from Elehuris Montero … and news of promotions for players like Zac Veen and Michael Toglia. It’s not masking the issues that are seen on a nightly basis with the Rockies, but it’s at least showing that not everything has to be as low as a ball off the bat of Raimel Tapia (too soon?).
The Rockies aren’t making the postseason in 2022, so here’s an ask of Rockies leadership: Give fans something to keep them engaged as Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos take center stage. Give Rockies fans something to point to for next season as something that gets them through the dark winter ahead. Give the fans that aren’t just there for the sunset and the Party Deck something to hold on to for next season.
It’s been an emotional week at 20th and Blake … and the emotions will continue this week when Rox fans who tune in for the games will see number 28 in red and white. But where do the emotions go on Friday once the Rockies return home? What signs will there be for Colorado fans to cling to for the rest of what has been a disappointing season?
Colorado management’s plan for the future is murky. How about giving Rockies fans some kind of sign that there is actually light at the end of what has been a very dark four-year tunnel? After an emotional week and a long few seasons, any signs of progress toward building a competitive and winning franchise would be welcome news.