Is the Rockies’ $182 million bet on Kris Bryant enough to win back the trust of baseball-loving Colorado fans? – Greeley Tribune

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Except for his new $182 million contract, new Rockies slugger Kris Bryant looks a lot like you and me.

We’re all looking for a reason to fall in love with Colorado baseball all over again.

At worst, love stinks. And baseball hurts.

As I approached the Salt River Fields license plate entrance, the little old man driving a compact SUV with a Cubs license plate screwed to the front bumper and let out a a moan as painful as a punch in the gut.

“Ugh! I know this place,” moaned Edward, my Uber driver, a Midwestern snowbird who’s perched in the Arizona desert. it not? Kris Bryant in there, am I right? Tell him how much Edward misses him. He was my guy. But tell him he did the right thing by leaving Chicago. My cubs? They left. KB, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez. All the players I liked. Faded away. All gone.”

Inside the Colorado training facility, still so new to Bryant, he asks at 8:44 a.m. on a Thursday morning if it’s too late for breakfast in the team dining hall, I hold your word to Edward the Uber driver and inform the Rockies new $182. million men that a loving Cubs fan sends his friendly greetings.

“It was hard to leave, especially from a team that drafted you and from where you grew up as a baseball player,” Bryant said, his movie star eyes filled with empathy for Edward. and all the fans he left around the corner. of Addison and Clark. “I played seven years in Chicago, settled there, and won a championship there. So in the blink of an eye? You’re gone. You are history.

Sports marriages are no longer made to last. Smart athletes realize that a lot of money makes them mercenaries. Loyalty of the local team? It only goes as deep as a bean counter deems prudent.

Yes, Trevor Story looks weird donning a Boston Red Sox cap. After breaking the curse of Billy Goat to help the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908, Bryant knew the victory parade couldn’t go on forever, but could never have guessed that his Wrigleyville hero status wouldn’t go away. would have no influence in a cold. , difficult business.

“I definitely cherish the friendships I’ve made with my teammates and all the experiences we’ve had together,” said Bryant, who celebrated with long-suffering Cubs fans in 2016.

“You look back and it was a pretty stressful time to play for this team in Chicago because the Cubs hadn’t won in so long. The whole weight of that story was put on some super young players. baseball, and we had to wear it. You have to cherish all the good things that happen in sports, because they pass so quickly, and then you’re a part of history.

Hey, is it Bryant’s fault the Rockies let pitcher Jon Gray and Story out as free agents rather than trade an established pitcher or power shortstop for prospects last year at the trade deadline? Unlike the Cubs, at least Colorado hasn’t taken a wrecking ball to a championship roster.

After signing a mega-deal with Colorado in mid-March, he joins the Rockies with the gravity of a championship ring and an MVP award on his resume, then coyly asks his way to the bathroom.

“When that type of player comes through the doors of the club, you feel better about your team… It gives everyone confidence,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

While there’s no debate Bryant followed the money to Colorado, and little doubt the Rockies paid too much to nab him on the open market, I also believe the four-time All Star when he insists on putting down roots in the Rockies means the world to him.

“In this game, no one is guaranteed safety or comfort,” Bryant said. “But in Colorado, I’m kind of guaranteed now. I know I will be here for seven years, having the chance to settle in, join, and build relationships. It’s a different chapter for me, but hopefully it allows me to play my best, because I know deep down that I have the comfort of knowing that’s the uniform I’ll be wearing.

Baseball relationships are no longer made to last. Both Bryant and Rockies fans are on the rebound with hearts bruised by the dirty business of the game.

But if I remember correctly the old and wise advice of Stephen Stills, the eagle flies with the dove. And if you can’t be with the one you love, take the $182 million and love the one you’re with.