The Inaugural Rockies-Nolan Arenado Reunion Series begins Friday night.
Most everybody except the two men responsible for the event will be at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
One is in hiding; the other is in exile.
Perhaps they’ll get together and have a pity party.
Arenado is doing fine, thank you. He’s playing third base for the Cardinals, who are in tied for the second-best record in the National League and lead the Central Division.
The Rockies aren’t doing so well, so sorry. They have the worst record in the National League and are last in the West Division.
Through 31 games, The Cards seem like they are on the way to the postseason, and the Rox are right on pace at 12-19, a .387 winning percentage, to lose 99-100 games, which would undercut the 64-98 club.
Welcome to the Rockies’ interim general manager job Bill Schmidt, who says he is interested in the permanent title. Of course he is in an organization whose owner is more loyal than a golden retriever.
Schmidt has been elevated from vice president of scouting, a position that was responsible for the draft. The Rox have been awarded top 10 first-round picks in the last nine drafts, and Schmidt’s minor-league system has been ranked in the bottom third for most of that span and currently is among the lowest three.
But Dick Monfort, who believes himself to be the grand Poo-bah, said to me in February that he pays no attention to such classifications. He once told me Dan O’Dowd was the premier baseball general manager. Another time he told me, when I recommended that the Rockies sign an outstanding Cuban first baseman, he’d never heard of him. Jose Abreu of the White Sox was American League MVP last year.
Monfort genuinely thought before the season the Rockies would be contenders without Arenado and with general manager Jeff “The Brain’’ Bridich.
Monfort’s expertise is in cow pies and let-them-eat cakes.
The invisible owner won’t be on display for the Rockies-Cardinals three games this weekend. Bridich, who quit or was fired April 26, has disappeared to where deposed baseball executives go.
Now, Schmidt and president of baseball operations Greg Feasel are supposedly running the show. Feasel’s competence primarily is based on time spent as a player with the USFL’s Denver Gold.
For those eager that Dick Monfort and his brother Charlie, whose absence is about the same as The Man In The Iron Mask, sell the franchise, the brothers are grooming sons Walker, VP of corporate partnerships, and Sterling, assistant director of scouting, to assume command of the franchise eventually.
Denver doesn’t need more sons and daughters in power of the city’s five major professional teams.
Dick Monfort, according to my sources, was against playing the 2020 season. Without a game, he was estimated to lose $20 million. With an abbreviated season, the Rockies were in a $40 million hole. The Rox shouldn’t have played. They finished 26-34 last year and were the most disgusting team in baseball down the stretch. The stench has carried over.
Meanwhile, Arenado escaped – becoming the Rockies’ third superstar to make it to St. Louis. Matt Holliday spent eight seasons with the Cardinals and Larry Walker two. Each became postseason regulars.
As will Arenado.
On opening day Nolan hit a home run. When a couple at a local hospital saw the blast on TV, they named their new-born son Nolan. A week ago against the Nationals, when Bryce Harper fouled a pitch toward the seats behind third base, Nolan raced from his shifted position at short 91 feet, slid across the dirt and made a sensational over-the-head catch.
Get accustomed, St. Louis.
Arenado is hitting .277 with five home runs and a team-leading 22 runs batting in.
For the Rockies, Ryan McMahon and Jose Fuentes, Arenado’s younger cousin, have combined to play all 31 games at third. McMahon is hitting .265 with eight homers and 21 RBIs, and Fuentes is at .202, 2 and 10.
Trevor Story, Arenado’s closest friend with the Rockies, has lifted his numbers to .304, 4 and 20.
The two will embrace prior to Friday’s game.
Arenado may sing to Story Bob Seger’s “Get Out Of Denver, Go.”