As the sky turned from ash to blue, as the clouds parted like curtains, a girl named Rainy stood behind the marble, beaming in the sun.
Rainy. Can you believe it? Only in Denver. Only at Coors Field. Only after a weather delay. Only on Nolan Night.
“I bleed purple, âRainy Santillanez said from the comfy seats in Section 129, where she sat with Mother Desiree and a homemade panel so huge it stretched from the floor to her hip.
âNolan (Arenado) had obviously been here for eight years. He also stole my heart.
With that, she opened her cardboard Valentine’s Day to Arenado, the former Rockies third baseman, a folded job that read:
NEW COLORS = NEW SELFIE
In the middle was this massive selfie of the two of them, taken near the canoe at the house in Coors.
âPhoto day,â Santillanez explained. “Two years ago.”
The closure on Blake Street wore a lot of hats on Thursday. Santillanez brought a purple one with a Rockies logo that clashed with his white Cardinals jersey.
Arenado, the All-Star starter stolen from our fair market town by the Cardinals for five lottery tickets, $ 51 million and a bag of magic beans, spent about a minute removing his rouge.
The first round was a warm hug and a kick to the teeth. It was a celebration and an elegy, classy and sad, all in the same breath. As much as the Rockies fans deserved this, they deserved better.
The number 28 patted his former teammate, Colorado wide receiver Elias Diaz, on the back. He greeted the fans behind the plate. Then the third baseline. Then the first baseline. A bittersweet hello. And a good bye.
More than a minute passed before Diaz, who had joined in the applause, stepped back behind the plate to start the party, Arenado seemed to be fighting back tears. And lose. Wrong.
“I still have love for (Rockies fans),” the former Colorado star said before the game.
If Thursday was a barometer, they love it back. Most of them. Eighty percent of them, anyway. Give or take. Lotsa red mixed with all that purple.
“I know not everyone will be in love,” Arenado said during a pre-game Zoom with reporters. âAnd I understand it. And that’s OK.
âI hope that people who are no longer huge fans of me can remember some of the great things that happened when I was here because that’s all I tried to do is to do great things for the city. And that was my main goal. So if they can, I hope they can look at that. If not, it’s good. The sores are one of them. I know they’re going to come a bit and (I have to) deal with it. I mean, this isn’t the only place I’m going to get booed.
True. But it’s also the only place that hoots from a place of genuine, rooted, and justified hurt. Injured and helpless.
Despite all the grace displayed on Thursday, the road that brought us here was as vain and stubborn as it was petty. The egos were bruised. Promises have been broken. Arenado is for fans of the Rockies. Direction from the Rockies to Arenado.
Nolan said former Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich promised to help him. Then Bridich turned around and gave him Daniel Murphy.
âIt doesn’t matter if I was still there, if (Bridich) was the GM, or Bill Schmidt was the GM, you know I don’t know what the plan would have been,â Arenado said when asked. if it always would be. wearing purple in 2021 if Bridich had been fired in 2020.
âThey could have easily (have) wanted to trade me, again. Or I would have stayed. I don’t know how it would have really happened. I guess that’s a tough question. I really have no idea.”
The irony is that Arenado and Bridich are gone now, leaving the rest of us to stare at the rubble, scorched earth and owner Dick Monfort, to reckon with a franchise that continues to operate down the winding road to nowhere.
Arenado Coors’ debut with the enemy turned out to be indescribable: 0-for-4, one strikeout and two strikeouts. Diaz won the match at the end of the ninth on a 3-point homerun to the left. In the process, the backstop also became the first Rockie to go deep in three straight games sinceâ¦ Arenado. I can’t make this stuff up.
Or this: Nolan wanted a change of tune to hunt the rings, and, for now, he’s left a fourth-place team to join another. The Cardinals came out of the night 40-42, nine games behind Milwaukee.
For some enemies, it’s pretty catharsis. For lovers, it’s water under the bridge.
– Sean Keeler (@SeanKeeler) July 2, 2021
As a rainbow cascaded from the sky to the horizon beyond the right corner of the field, Santillanez doubled down on his quest. Another photo. One more moment Nolan.
“(Friday), I’ll be there very early,” she vowed, pointing to the notch between the visitors’ canoe and the rolled up, soggy tarp. “I’ll try to get it over there and see if I can get it.”
The masses of the third baseline featured multiple variations on her look – purple hats, red shirts or red hats, purple shirts. Divided crowd. Divided fan base. Divided hearts.
âI’m Rockies, always,â Santillanez said. âIf the Rockies are playing against the Cardinals, I’m a Rockies fan. “
What if they are not?
She beamed again.
“A moment after that?” I support Nolan and the Cardinals.
And always will be. Come rainy. Or come shine.