Six is neither a very large nor remarkable number. Within the context of the Major League Baseball season, it is positively minuscule: a mere 2.7 percent of the 162 games played over the course of the year.
For a rookie, none but the most diehard of fans have even learned your name by game six. The noise of 50 thousand spectators is still startling, the trust of coaches and teammates has yet to be gained and the butterflies outnumber the sunflower seeds in your belly.
Unless that rookie is Trevor Story. The 23-year-old Rockies shortstop has an MLB record under his cleats and already had to invest in a new pair of batting gloves and a helmet. His originals, of course, on display at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Six games were all it took for Story to ensure that his story won’t be forgotten for years to come. After crushing two home runs in his major league debut, he continued to shock the sporting world, going yard in four consecutive starts, totaling seven homers and 12 RBI’s across six games.
If that doesn’t sound impressive enough on its own, compare that to major leaguers with at least 500 career HRs. Runner up goes to Willie McCovey who needed 18 games back in 1959, Barry Bonds took 38 and Alex Rodriguez, 77 games. But the statistical cherry on top goes to the main Story replaced in the lineup, Jose Reyes. The 13 year veteran played 116 games last season and produced the same number of home runs.
Currently, Story is on pace to hit an unprecedented and unattainable 189 home runs this season – a number Rockies manager Walt Weiss couldn’t have hoped for when he made the decision to start the rookie.
“You see young players go either way. Sometimes it’s too much for them at an early age,” Weiss said. “Trevor went the other way. He elevated his game. I never saw the game get too fast for him in spring training. It’s nice when pressure brings out the best in people.”
A week into the season, that definitely seems to be the case, but one can only hope the pressure does not grow to be too much.
Becoming a star on a team that historically finishes in disappointing fashion is bittersweet at best. Just ask Troy Tulowitzki. The current Blue Jays short stop had a prolific run at Coors Field, and even though he never asked for a trade, it was easy to see that the string of losing seasons took a toll.
The wealth of talent on the roster, including three-time Golden Glove recipient and one-time Silver Slugger, Carlos Gonzalez, 3B Nolan Arenado who has earned a Golden Glove in each of his three previous seasons and All-Star DJ Lemahieu is hugely outweighed by the incompetence on the mound.
Colorado currently sits dead last in the league for ERA, with an abominable 8.88. While the statistic is certainly dismal, it is neither surprising nor out of character.
The thirtieth slot has belonged to the Rockies the last two seasons, they have finished in the bottom five every year since 2012, and they have not landed in the top half of teams since their ‘07 run to the World Series.
But instead of investing in pitching coaches or talent, the higher-ups decided to entice fans of baseball a booze-filled addition to Coors Field. The Rockies’ Rooftop party deck cost an estimated $10 million, and is literally designed to distract fans from watching what they paid to watch.
“In [the Marlins’ stadium] Miami on Monday night, the concourses were packed. People bought a ticket and then they were just hanging out. We wanted to make an area that was better than that” with views of the game,” Rockies owner Dick Monfort said of the Rooftop back in 2014.
Story, Arenado and the rest of the boys in purple are in for a long season (read: career) if Monfort’s goal is to sell tickets to fans in the hopes that they get drunk and mingle on a rooftop with occasional “views of the game.”
With seemingly no desire to revamp what has been Colorado’s kryptonite, the prospect of a Rockies World Series win looks bleak indeed. After all, we wouldn’t want that purple championship banner detracting from the glamour of the Rooftop bar, would we?