Upbeat Black checks in with fans, sponsors

April 18th, 2020

DENVER -- It seems forever ago that the biggest Rockies story was discord between third baseman and the front office. But manager Bud Black, in a Zoom video accessible to season-ticket holders and corporate sponsors Thursday and released for a wider audience Friday, assured fans that everyone has the right priority.

Black was interviewed by Rockies Radio Network broadcaster Jack Corrigan, with many of the questions sent in by fans centering on how baseball’s return from the current shutdown will look. Black had some ideas, but like everyone else, he is taking his cues from the health and safety experts.

As for Arenado and general manager Jeff Bridich’s relationship, his knowledge is firsthand. The key there is even though there was offseason friction, Black was satisfied that player and GM both had the same goals during the abbreviated Spring Training. That hasn’t changed; in fact, Black was planning a Zoom meeting with Arenado, and many of the infielders.

“The thing that everyone has to remember is that both guys are extremely competitive, and both guys want to win,” Black said. “We're all trying to achieve the same goal. We're trying to win a World Series. Jeff is, Nolan is, Dick [Monfort, the team’s owner, chairman and CEO] is, all of us are. So never be confused with what our goals are. Both those guys are aligned on the same things, as far as what you know what our outcomes want to be.

“Nolan, for me, sort of took it to another level this spring as far as leadership and what we want to do as a Rockie. It was really great to see.”

Here are other highlights of Black’s comments:

A quick, but safe run-up to the season
Although no one knows the particulars, Black believes there will be baseball and there will be a combination of time for starting pitchers to prepare (the concern is greater than with position players or relievers) and roster expansion, to some degree.

“The guys are staying active,” Black said. “Once there is a target date -- and I’m sure we’re going to get a little bit of a heads-up on that -- the guys will be able to ramp it up a little bit. Then we’ll get into camp. A three-week period probably will suffice.

“All the conversations I've been a part of, the health aspect of the players and the conditioning part of it is at the front end.”

Can outfielder , a first-time All-Star last year who has dealt with injuries through his Minor League and Major League careers, stay healthy?
Black said some excellent players have dealt with some of the often “freakish” injuries early in their careers.

“I said, ‘David, look up the early years of -- even look back to the early years of ,’” Black said. “George a little bit in the early 80s, he was sort of banged up a little bit, too, and missed some time.

“Then guys sort of figure it out. They figure out what it takes to be that durable player. And a lot of it is luck. That’s David’s primary goal this year is to play as often as he can.”

Best wishes, Von Miller
Black gave his best Rockies wishes to Denver Broncos star Von Miller, who announced Thursday he tested positive for COVID-19 but is recovering.

“We all will be watching Von, making sure he’s OK,” Black said. “I’m glad that he feels good. I’m glad that he’s in great spirits.”