DENVER — Colorado Rockies All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado admits he's heard some of the talk.
Is a 60-game baseball season really long enough to crown a fair champion?
"Listen, I understand both arguments. 162 is a lot more than 60," Arenado said in a conference call Sunday afternoon after the Rockies wrapped up its second day of "summer camp" at Coors Field.
But even with naysayers criticizing the legitimacy of crowning a champion in 2020, Arenado is all in.
"This is what it is this year. If you have a chance to win a World Series and a chance to get to the playoffs I'm all about it. I think it's legitimate, we are here, if it wasn't legitimate I think a lot of guys wouldn't be here. It counts. There's a chance to win a World Series and I think that should be the goal," Arenado said.
The most noteworthy part of the workout on Sunday actually involved Arenado and one of Colorado's best pitchers, German Marquez. During live batting practice, Marquez lost control of a pitch and it buzzed past Arenado's head. He was able to get out of the way and exited the batting cage with a smile on his face.
"It was good to get checked up and in again. You obviously don't want to get thrown at up there, but it happens. Denver's dry (and) the ball gets a little slippery. But honestly I was able to get out of the way, I think that was a good sign for me," Arenado said.
Overall, Arenado is happy with what the Rockies have shown in their first two days back together as a group since early March.
"I think a lot of guys seem pretty locked in their work. Everyone is working extremely hard. I think everyone knows it's going to be a pretty quick process here and guys have been getting after it. To see the intensity, it's been a pretty thing to see," Arenado said.
MLB is scheduled to open July 23 or 24, so Colorado has fewer than three weeks remaining to get ready for the abbreviated season. So far, only Ian Desmond has decided to sit out this year. It's something Arenado didn't consider himself, but is OK with his teammate's decision.
"I'm going to play. I want to play and I was never hesitant about that. I talked to my family, they want me to play, and that's the only clearance I really need. But as far as players opting out, I think it should be respected," Arenado said. "I think nobody knows what they're going through and people just need to mind their business and let them do what they may."