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Woody Paige: Vote early and often for Nolan Arenado to start All-Star Game

June 20, 2017 Updated: June 21, 2017 at 9:46 am
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photo - Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado yells after hitting a two-run triple off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Denver. Colorado won 4-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado yells after hitting a two-run triple off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Denver. Colorado won 4-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 

Vote now for Nolan Arenado. Vote often.

NoDo performed his Mojo in LoDo again Tuesday night, slamming a two-run triple off the right field wall in the eighth inning to give the Rockies a 4-3 comeback victory over the Diamondbacks. On Sunday afternoon all Nolan did was crush a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to propel the Rox over the Giants, 7-5. Move over, Roy Hobbs and Joe Hardy. Except they are fictional baseball heroes, and Nolan Arenado is as real as it gets, and the Rockies have won six straight.

Nolan for All-Star starter, MVP and Colorado governor.

A buffoon for some silly sports website claims that the Rockies' third baseman trails the Cubs' Kris Bryant by "3 million votes'' in the All-Star balloting.

The basement-dwelling bottom-feeder's pitch was just a bit outside.

He only missed by about 2.7 million. Bryant was leading with 1,603,326 to 1,300,612 going into the final 10 days of fan voting.

You know about elections involving Chicago.

Kris was the deserving Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the MVP in the Cubs' remarkable '16 World Series championship.

But this is 2017, and Nolan - a four-time Gold Glove winner, a recipient of the Silver Slugger Award twice and a member of the World Baseball Classic title team this spring - must be the starting third baseman for the National League in the Midsummer Night's Dream Game.

It's up to you to make it happen, Colorado and the nation beyond Chicago.

At least, the voters are getting the outfield right. Charlie Blackmon is behind only Bryce Harper and way ahead of the rest of the field. He will play in his second All-Star game.

Because of the Rockies' best 71-game start, they have a legitimate chance to set the club record for most players selected for the All-Star game - four or five. Multiple seasons three Rox made the NL team. This year Blackmon and Arenado are definitely in, and others who will be considered by manager Joe Maddon are rookie pitchers Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland, veteran closer Greg Holland and second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

Arenado is worthy of starting the starfest after serving as a sub the past two years, and not because he hit for the cycle Sunday, and numbed the San Francisco Lilliputians, or even because of back-to-back heroics.

Just compare Nolan's numbers with Kris' entering Tuesday's win: Batting average, .299 to .259; home runs, 15 each; runs batted in, 55 to 28; hits, 84 to 62; runs, 47 to 44; doubles, 26 to 14; triples, 3 to 1; walks, 22 to 47; strikeouts, 54 to 62; OBP, .352 to .390; SLG, .573 to .515; OPS, .925 to .905; errors, 1 to 7; and Fangraphs WAR (wins above replacement): 2.7 to 2.4.

Arenado beats Bryant in 11 categories, loses two and is tied in one (homers). Arenado is superior on offense and vastly superior on defense, and has a nasty scar over his eye from the Rox pile Sunday.

With Arenado's leadership, the Rockies are in first place in the NL West with the most victories in the league.

Nolan is a genuine MVP, and he probably would win the state's gubernatorial race.

In 2012 then Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd pulled a dumb-cluck move by "punishing'' Arenado with another season in the minors, and I "castigated'' him for a full year. At spring training of 2013 I wrote that Nolan "is a natural who can rake at the plate and vacuum at third. ... Do the right thing Rockies. Take Arenado home to Denver. He must start at third this season.''

Arenado has played 632 games in four-plus seasons, with 126 home runs, 431 RBIs and a .286 batting average, and he is the most dynamic defensive third baseman since Brooks Robinson. As a two-way player he can belong in the Mike Schmidt-George Brett-Chipper Jones paragraph.

It's Mile High time for Nolan to be an All-Star starter.

Here's how:

I have voted Tuesday for Nolan five times on mlb.com. I will vote for him five times daily until reaching the 35 maximum. You can, too.

If everybody who has attended a Rox game in Denver this season votes 35 times, Arenado will do a Roy Orbison on Bryant. Blew By You.

And that buffoon can write correctly that Nolan won the third base position by "3 million votes.''

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