It’s a fair question to ask … and one that seems to be asked time and time again by fans of the Colorado Rockies. Will Nolan Arenado ever get the respect he deserves?
Yesterday, MLB.com came out with its list of the best third basemen in the game today. There sits Arenado in fourth place, behind Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. It’s a head-scratching placement for Colorado’s third baseman who has captured four Gold Gloves awards. Oh, by the way, he’s one of only two players to begin his career by winning three Gold Gloves (joining Boston’s Frank Malzone who made history in the late 1950s).
Gold Gloves. Fielding Bible Awards. Silver Slugger Awards. It doesn’t seem to matter for Arenado. Whatever he wins, it’s not enough. It only seems to matter that he plays at Coors Field. It’s a shame, in all honesty. But, much like we’ve stated about Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame candidacy, playing at altitude seems to be a big asterisk for so many people and overshadows some amazing players who have called 20th and Blake home.
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While all of us who watch the Rockies on a regular basis know how special Arenado is, both at the plate and in the field, it still seems to be a secret that doesn’t extend past the Mountain time zone. It’s a snub that probably won’t be changed until the Rockies make it into the postseason … and even then there will still be some who are quick to brush off any success.
Can you imagine if Kris Bryant and Arenado were to do some strange version of “Freaky Friday” and switch teams for one season? At Wrigley Field and on national TV so many times, Arenado would finally be seen for the great offensive and defensive player he is.
We can’t move Denver down from altitude. We can’t move the city to the East Coast. We certainly can’t count on national TV networks showing the Rockies with any consistency until they start making their playoff push. Until then, we’ll just have to do what we’ve been doing for years now … enjoy Nolan being Nolan, the game’s best third baseman, no matter what “national experts” might say.