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DENVER – Here’s a taste of today’s pre-game banter by manager Bud Black with the press before the Rockies game two against the Diamondbacks:
On Trevor Story’s ability to step up for the club and seeing him step up:
“For Trev, it’s great to see improvement over the last couple of years. I know that in 2016, he had a great, breakout rookie year. Then, unfortunately the wrist injury (in late July that year). Last year, a little bit of a slow start. Some of things we talked about on the offensive side, we saw come in to play in the second half. Had a really good second half. This year, we saw the development, again, of some of the things we talked about: the on-base percentage; cutting down on strikeouts; the two-strike approach; shortening of the swing on situational at bats. So, the improvement and development of that have been fun to watch. It’s been great to see the commitment from Trev to do these things. And now we saw the deserving All-Star Game nod. I think we’ll potentially see a Gold Glove this winter, as well. I think the most important thing to Trev is his contribution to the team to help us win on a nightly basis whether it’s in the field on defense, whether it’s an at bat. Last night was a big swing to get that game 6-1. He’s done that numerous times where a base hit, putting the ball in play, has been instrumental in our winning whereas different times last year, you might not get that at bat or that ball in play. So, he’s doing it… with the sole intent for us to win, for the Rockies to win.”
On Story being strong-willed and his willingness to make adjustments:
-Black mentioned the buy-in needed for a coaching staff to get their players on the same page. Story did exactly that last year in order to make the necessary improvements to be successful. He also mentioned the patience it takes for certain adjustments to be reinforcements as some alterations don’t guarantee immediate success.
-He elaborated that a belief in one’s self is what makes all players great. For a player to get drafted and move through the minors, it’s common for them to think that what they’ve done to this point has already worked and making certain changes might not be a recipe for success.
On Nolan Arenado’s place in Rockies history:
“One of the greatest Rockies of all-time. And it’s just starting, I think. I’ve been around Nolan for a couple years. Saw him from the other side (in San Diego) for a few years and right now, if you ask people in Colorado and around the game, about Rockies baseball, he comes right to the forefront with Todd and Larry.”
On the first moment he recognized Nolan’s potential for greatness:
“The first time I saw him was in the Arizona Fall League (in 2011). I was done there doing some scouting and watching some Padres prospects and other prospects in that league, which is a great prospect league. Nolan Arenado was on the field this one game I saw. I remember he made a play to his right down the line and made the throw back to first base to get the guy out. Some of the people I was with were talking about Nolan. So that was my first recollection of the greatness that was about to happen in the big league.”
On the depth of the outfield and balancing who starts verse who doesn’t:
-Black acknowledged that it’s a good problem to have if you have good players. He discussed the factors that go into selecting a starting outfield, such as the best group for that game and upcoming matchups. With it being September, the players understand that they all have a role and can contribute to something special.
On his whereabouts on September 11, 2001 and recollections:
“I was home in San Diego. I was working for the Angels. I was doing some normal activities around the house and I remember my wife came into the room and she said, ‘Turn on the television,’ sort of frantically, so we turned the tv on and we saw what was happening in New York. I remember vividly. I don’t think anybody doesn’t remember where they were.”