By Woody Paige
A buffoon for some silly sports website claims that the Rockies’ third baseman trailed the Cubs’ Chris Bryant by “”three million votes’’ in the All-Star balloting.
The basement-dwelling bottom-feeder’s pitch was just a bit outside.
He only missed by about 2.7 million. Bryant was leading with 1,603,326 to 1,300,612 going into the final week of fan voting.
You know about elections involving Chicago.
Chris was the deserving Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the MVP in the Cubs’ remarkable ’16 World Series championship.
But this is 2017, and Nolan – a four-time Gold Glove winner, a recipient of the Silver Slugger Award twice and a member of the World Baseball Classic title team this spring – must be the starting third baseman for the National League in the Midsummer Night’s Dream Game.
It’s up to you to make it happen, Colorado and the nation beyond Chicago.
At least, the voters are getting the outfield right. Charlie Blackmon is behind only Bryce Harper and way ahead of the rest of the field. He will play in his second All-Star game.
Because of the Rockies’ best 70-game start ever, they have a legitimate chance to set the club record for most players selected for the All-Star game – four, five or even six. Multiple seasons three Rox made the NL team. This year Blackmon and Arenado are definitely in, and others who will be considered by manager Joe Maddon are rookie pitchers Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland and veteran closer Greg Holland, and second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Mark Reynolds suffered as a write-in pick and because of the wealth of exceptional first basemen.
But Arenado is worthy of starting the starfest after serving as a sub the past two years, and not because he hit for the cycle Sunday, and numbed the San Francisco Lilliputians with a walkoff three-run homer.
Just compare Nolan’s numbers with Chris’: Batting average, .299 to .259; home runs, 15 each; runs batted in, 55 to 28; hits, 84 to 62; runs, 47 to 44; doubles – 26 to 14; triples, 3 to 1; walks, 22 to 47; strikeouts, 54 to 62; OBP, .352 to .390; SLG, .573 to .515; OPS, .925 to .905; errors, 1 to 7, and Fangraphs WAR (wins about replacement): 2.7 to 2.4.
Arenado beats Bryant in 11 categories, loses two and is tied in one (homers). Arenado is superior in offense and vastly superior on defense, and has a nasty scar over his eye from the Rox pile on Sunday.
In 2012 then Rockies Dan O’Dowd pulled a dumb-cluck move by “”punishing’’ Arenado with another season in the minors, and I “”castigated’’ the general manager for a full year. At spring training of 2013 I wrote that Nolan “”is a natural who can rake at the plate and vacuum at third . . . Do the right thing Rockies. Take Arenado home to Denver. He must start at third this season.’’
Arenado has played 632 games in four-plus seasons, with 126 home runs, 431 RBIs and a .286 batting average, and he is the most dynamic defensive third baseman since Brooks Robinson. As a two-way player he can belong in the Mike Schmidt-George Brett-Chipper Jones paragraph.
It’s Mile High time for Nolan to be an All-Start starter?
I have voted for Nolan 35 times on mlb.com. You can, too. The voting ends on June 29.
The Rockies have drawn 1.5 million to Coors Field.
If everybody who has attended a Rox game in Denver this season votes 35 times, Arenado will transcend Bryant.
And that buffoon can write correctly that Nolan won the third base position by “”three million votes’’.