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Nolan's MVP Push, Business Over Baseball, CSU's Power 5 Option

August 7, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA. St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado, 28, hit a three-hit-run homer against the New York Yankees in his second inning at Bush’s stadium. Required credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Strike One: The Colorado Rockies host the St. Louis Cardinals this week, and in a never-ending push to sell more tickets, the home team bids farewell to future Hall of Famers Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols, whom the Rockies have Although the players have yet to formally announce their retirement, they are determined to make one final visit to Coors Field.

They should facilitate an opportunity to thank National League MVP candidate Nolan Arenado.

Arenado’s exit from purple pinstripes in winter 2021 is still a sore point for many fans. Regardless of the reasons for the one-sided trade that sent him to St. Louis, Nolan is a prime example of how great players are great players wherever they play.

Arenado is having an MVP monster season with the No. 1 Cardinals and has yet to steal an at-bat at Coors Field. He’s doing the typical Gold Glove thing at third base, making offensive stats on pace that match or exceed his best stats as a Rocky. has an OPS of .890. His OPS this season is .921.

After the Cardinals weekend series wiped out the New York Yankees, Arenado has the best fWAR in the National League at 5.5 (along with Shohei Ohtani and trailing only Aaron Judge in the MLB). 35-plus home run season.) He hit 11 homers with two outs, and 17 of his long balls came to men on base.

But Coors, right?

The nine-time Gold Glove winner is having an impressive defense (again) for the No. 1 team and perhaps his best season yet. If it doesn’t scream MVP, what is it?

Players who have had careers as Rockies are nothing new, nor are they readily recognized outside of the mountain time zone. Plenty of guys put up big, often inflated numbers here, aided by the expansive outfield and the extra carries of decently hit baseballs. When a mediocre player puts in career-best stats while playing half a game on the Coors field, the baseball world just shrugs. But what about the guy who had his best season after Rocky?

Some, like Hall of Famer Larry Walker and current Hall of Fame nominee Todd Helton, have done great things on the Coors and on the road. Now Nolan has been doing it for a full season at sea level. And it only helps Helton’s Hall case, for example.DJ LeMahieu once called Coors his field product. That was before he went to New York and played better. Now Nolan is doing the same.

Arenado winning NL MVP will be bittersweet for Rocky Mountain fans focused on the present. But it’s actually great news for Rockies players past, present, and future.

Strike 2: My longtime friend Al has had enough. He texted me his message after the Rockies made no move on his MLB trade deadline. As such, the only team in MLB that didn’t trade was the Underground Dwellers. Monforts need to sell their team. I don’t belong. And whose brilliant idea was to go get Kris Bryant?”

Not a unique take. Al’s perspective is now shared by his many disgruntled Rockies fans. But as I replied to him, don’t get your hopes up. probably ever.

This franchise is not for rich millionaires looking for a side business, hobby, or tax credit.the rockies of A family business for one of the state’s leading business and philanthropic families. The Montfort family was profitable years ago in the cattle business, but now he’s 100% focused on the baseball business. And, as the song says, “Rockin’ is my business…and business is good.”

They need to get the business side of things right. If you’re Rob Walton and you’re spending on the Denver Broncos and things aren’t going your way financially, that’s one thing. Because it’s a major retailer in .

Monforts does not have a Walmart style safety net.

Therefore, the business side of owning a baseball team has always been a top priority for Monforts.they are No It’s cheap. That label is grossly wrong and unfair. But like nearly all successful businesses, spending is based on revenue. Staying in the black is essential. Dick Montfort man aside, he wouldn’t have signed Bryant to that mega deal if it meant going in the red.

It is indeed the owner’s prerogative to follow the business plan they are most comfortable with. Those of us who aren’t there can only guess. There were no $100 million losses during the pandemic shortened season.

But if you take a side-by-side look at Denver’s greatest owner in sports history, Pat Bowlen Denver Broncos, you can see a different approach and a wildly successful business model. Bowlen put success on the field at the top of his priority list over making money. He absorbed nearly $2 million in fines from his NFL for exceeding his salary cap during the team’s heyday in the late 1990s.

Bowlen paid every price to win. And as a result, he won. many. And in addition to their success in the field, they also had great success in business. So there is another way.

When Dick Montfort decides to relinquish his ownership duties at the Rockies, it is assumed he will pass those duties on to his two sons, Walker and Sterling, both of whom are now part of the club. Rockies fans’ greatest hope is not for Monfort to sell the team, but for these two former high school baseball players to hate all this loss just like Al does. .

Strike 3: Just a few years ago, in 2016, Colorado State supporters said the Rams (who were in the midst of the Mike Bobo era and hadn’t won many football games) weren’t considered enough in the Big 12 expansion. I was going crazy because of it. I talk. These discussions proved fruitless when several schools, including CSU, decided that the conference would not expand even after all the cards had been put on the table in discussions with the conference.

At the time, CSU had opened a brand new football stadium, had an excellent academic reputation, played in an excellent television market (Denver ranked 16th in the nation), and was seen as growing at the time ( (in terms of attendance) fan base, if not yet impressive. So why not us?

At that time, supply was outstripping demand.

Things have changed. many.

First, Texas and Oklahoma decided to move out of the Big 12 and into the SEC. (The success of that pending move is yet to be determined.) The Big 12 responded by going out and bringing four of his schools outside of Power 5 to the conference, passing CSU again in the process. did. Notably, her former rival BYU was included in her four. All teams, including Houston, Cincinnati and Central Florida, were far better than the Rams coached by Steve Addazio. that seemed to be the problem.

Then the other shoe fell off. USC and UCLA opted to leave Pac 12 and move to the Big Ten. (Admittedly, the future of the college game will likely include a couple of NFL-style superconferences with teams of 20+ people, but that’s another column.)

Suddenly demand and supply became more even.

This is the best news possible for CSU if the school hopes to attend an established (even if not completely stable) Power 5 conference. The move between the current five powerhouses isn’t over, but the Rams are rising to the top of the pack, boosted by a very strong men’s basketball program and a football program that seems to be making a comeback with the hiring of Jay Nobel. increase. Non-Power 5 schools are still available.

Noted college football writer Pete Fiutak recently published a column in which he named CSU as the fourth most desirable expansion candidate among non-Power 5 programs. The allure of Las Vegas’ new stadium and professional market is overshadowed by Rebel’s ambitious offering, which is good news for CSU as well.

Fiutak said the Denver market is “underdeveloped,” and the Rams are a great fit for the Big 12, which has schools like Kansas State University. (Many have said so all along. Assuming the Pac 12 still exists, so does the 12.

Suddenly looking like athletic director Joe Parker (who just signed a new five-year contract extension), Fort’s decision-makers might actually have a choice.

Talk about a shocking reversal. stay tuned.