Even before the Colorado Rockies traded eight-time Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals in early February, many people, if not most, did not think the Rockies would do much in the 2021 season.
After the trade, expectations sank even lower.
None of that matters to Rockies four-time All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon.
"I don't really care what anybody else thinks about me or the team," Blackmon said in a Zoom call with reporters. "You don't have as much of an idea as I do and the people inside the clubhouse. Let's just say that's fair. I don't really let what people think outside the clubhouse affect what I do inside the clubhouse."
Blackmon says opinions of others do not deter him.
"The fact that some member of the national media says we're going to stink this year, or whatever, if I let that change how I feel or how I think or how I prepare, what kind of professional player am I? I'm going to do my best, like I do every year, and expect the same from my teammates around me. I think we're going to go out there and be super competitive and play good baseball."
Blackmon believes that even after the blockbuster trade involving Arenado.
"He's a great baseball player and any time you take a great baseball player off of a team, you're going to lose whatever that production is," Blackmon acknowledged. "And him being a good player, we're going to lose some production."
After getting over the shock of the trade, Blackmon is now able to say he thinks a really good group of players remains on the Rockies.
"I'm thinking, how do we move forward in the wake of his absence? And that's the part that doesn't scare me as much as it did initially when it first happened. I think we still have a good team. We have lots of talent."
Blackmon believes there is plenty of room for guys to play better than they did during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
"It seems bad given that we didn't have a great season last year but at the same time, we had so many players underperform, including myself. If we come out and do what we're capable of doing, we're going to play well," Blackmon said.
The Rockies will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Cactus League opener on Sunday, February 28.
The first Rockies Spring Training broadcast on KOA NewsRadio 850 AM and 94.1 FM will be against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, March 1 at 12:55 p.m. MST.
Listeners in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties can hear the games streaming live, free of charge, on iHeartRadio. This includes via the iHeartRadio app for smartphones and tablets, via desktop and laptop computers at KOANewsRadio.com and on Smart Speakers (say “Play KOA on iHeartRadio”).
Full comments from Blackmon and infielder Ryan McMahon, along with Spring Training video from Wednesday, February 24 (courtesy Colorado Rockies) are below.