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Play Ball

A letter from the editor of our April 2018 issue.

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Baseball is something of an anachronism in this age of impatience and instant gratification. There’s no clock to tell players or fans when the game’s over, the pace is leisurely, and the rules are quirky. And, much like the game itself, the Colorado Rockies’ all-everything third baseman, Nolan Arenado, is something of a throwback. The 26-year-old isn’t part of the Twittersphere, and he doesn’t have an Instagram account. He’s not constantly building his brand. He even looks a little like a player from days of yore, with his well-worn ball cap, floppy glove, and eye black smeared about his face. Leave the bat flips—and hair flips—to Bryce Harper; Arenado just wants to play ball. 5280 senior staff writer Robert Sanchez chronicled that passion, and Arenado’s journey to become one of the very best players in the game, in this month’s feature “Nolan“. “I want to win,” Arenado told Sanchez. “I want to go to the playoffs, and that’s what drives me.” That attitude should delight every Rockies fan going into a season that Sanchez calls “the most important in the team’s existence.” But the Rockies’ opportunity to reach the postseason in this decade may be in question. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu are in contract years. The team’s new—and expensive—bullpen is unproven. And, of course, Arenado is up for arbitration next year. To keep what is arguably the franchise’s most promising team in years together beyond 2018, the Rox will have to win—and then the front office will have to pay its stars. If the organization can pull that off and maintain the foundation of this talented squad despite free agency—well, now, that would be a real throwback.

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