Story's wish to Santa: return to the playoffs

December 23rd, 2019

DENVER -- Even on Christmas, Rockies shortstop wants to swing a baseball bat.

“I would hit if my people were available to go work with me, but everybody's pretty tied up,” Story said. “I'll just do some practice swings -- some dry swings -- at the house.”

But don’t think he’s all work and no play. Even Story, whose intensity is part of the reason he has been invited to the last two All-Star Games, unwinds at this special time of the year in Irving, Texas, with his wife, Mallie, and their parents and families. A few days ago, Story took some time to talk holiday traditions, the sweets he allows himself to enjoy and how he helps his community.

And, yes, there was a little baseball talk.

Here, Story gives his thoughts on an array of subjects:

Holiday food traditions

“Either my wife or my mom makes cinnamon rolls Christmas morning and, uh, that's usually what I'm looking forward to the most,” Story said. “The good cream cheese icing. No doubt.

“Between my wife's family and my family, we're pretty good at making sweets. Mallie's ‘Nana’ makes some fudge, and I love that. My mom makes these Rice Krispies cocoa chocolate things -- it’s hard to describe, but they’re delicious. I'll have a good bit of that, and some chocolate pie from my uncle, too. My brother makes these Oreo truffle balls that are really good.”

Speaking of Oreos …

Story received, from someone in the clubhouse, a pack of Double Stufs for each of his 35 home runs last season. Turns out some were, how shall we say, “re-gifted.

“I definitely did not eat them all,” Story said. “I had a good amount of them, but I would share them with my teammates -- someone had a good game, I'll give him a pack.”

Sports apparel

Since his job supplies the gear, no baseball stuff for Story.

“We try to stick to more Dallas Cowboys gear now,” he said.

Giving back

From his father, Ken, a retired fireman, and mother, Teddie, who has run nonprofits that help the needy with necessities, Story understands that giving is part of life -- especially this time of year.

“It’s called Angel Tree, for kids who can’t afford Christmas or just need help with presents,” Story said. “We also buy dinners for families and stuff like that.”

His wish to Santa

His Christmas wish is something he hopes will be delivered in October. He received it in 2017 and ‘18, but it didn’t show in ’19.

“I want to be in the playoffs again,” Story said.

But Story didn’t pout or cry about the Rockies’ 71-91 record in 2019. He just made a checklist for improvement.

“Every year, the two weeks after the season's done, I just kind of sit down and reflect on the season and how it went personally and how it went team-wise,” he said. “I'll watch games or watch at-bats and think about ways that I can be better and better to help the team and to lead the team better -- and be OK with what happened, because you can't change it, obviously.

“The special thing about this game is there's always room for improvement. A couple of things that I have highlighted -- strike out less, and be more of a leader, a little more vocal as opposed to just trying to lead by example.”

The 2020 Rockies

Colorado is going to be largely the same team that went to the postseason twice before struggling through injuries and slumps in 2019.

“That's just a testament to not panicking and knowing the people that we have and how good we can be,” Story said. “You always try to get better personnel-wise, and little additions can go a long way. But the message is we’re still a really good team, and we’re not going to run from that.

“I feel like a lot of people have already written us off for next year. In some ways it frees us up to play free and have fun and play to the best of our abilities.”

His future

Story has one year of arbitration remaining after 2020, but Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich has said he would like to lock up his shortstop and right-hander to multi-year deals, either this year or next.

“It is my career and I want to be involved in and informed, and my guys [at Excel Sports Management] are very knowledgeable about how to go about it,” Story said. “If it comes time to think about multi-year, then we'll cross that bridge. I'd be interested in [that], no doubt.”

Offseason eagerness

The holidays are only the beginning of Story’s baseball excitement.

“I went to Scottsdale [at the Rockies’ Spring Training facility] once a few weeks ago and worked out," he said. "And I have my routine here at home -- a dialed-in regimen. After New Year's, that's when it really starts feeling like baseball season to me. Then I’ll show up a week or so before Spring Training and be ready to go.”