Rockies all-stars Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story own two of the greatest opening-day performances in major-league history. So imagine how they felt Thursday when they didn’t get to play baseball.
“I feel kind of lost,” Blackmon said.
“It’s bizarre,” Story said.
The Rockies were scheduled to play at San Diego’s Petco Park but the coronavirus pandemic has everyone’s normal lives in limbo. While both players stressed how important it is to follow the public guidelines put in place to combat the virus, they nonetheless missed the goosebumps that come with the season’s first game.
“I have never watched so much news in life,” Blackmon said. “I’m glued to the TV and radio and I’m trying to keep up with the situation. That’s important.
“But this is kind of like a rain delay and you just aren’t sure what to do. I’m usually very scheduled and have a specific timeline of events in my day. Now I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants. Just not knowing when we are going to start playing again is tough.”
When the Rockies’ Salt River Fields spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., was shut down March 18, Blackmon decided to drive to Denver rather than possibly exposing himself to the virus by flying to his home in Georgia. He’s been working out daily, trying to maintain an edge, but it’s a strange new world.
Story, back home in his native Texas, has become even more aware of how blessed he is to play baseball for a living.
“Baseball is being missed very, very badly, but at the same time, it does give you a new appreciation of what we get to do for a living,” he said. “But for a lot of us, it’s much more than that. It’s our passion and it’s our first love. Baseball is a part of me, so when you are missing games it feels really weird.”
That both Story and Blackmon have been magicians on opening day made Thursday even more wistful for them.
Story has started in four openers and hit three home runs — two off Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke in Story’s big-league debut in 2016, and another off the Marlins’ Jose Urena last season at Miami.
The 2016 game was historic. Story hit a three-run, opposite-field home run off Greinke in the third inning of Colorado’s 10-5 win at Chase Field. In his next at-bat, Story took Greinke deep again to become the first player in big-league history to hit two homers while making his debut on opening day.
“I remember every bit of that game,” Story said. “I was super nervous and I didn’t really have control of my body in that first at-bat. I actually toe-tapped and I don’t even toe-tap. I was almost too ready.”
Story grounded out in his first at-bat before hitting home runs in his next two.
“After that first AB, I was much more in control of my body, thoughts and emotions,” he said. “Those emotions are the toughest part of your debut.”
In the Rockies’ 2014 home-opening, 12-2 …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports