It's only been three sets of games and yet the Colorado Rockies 2017 season already feels like a roller-coaster ride. Fears about the quality of the bullpen have been replaced by bewilderment aimed at the offense while the starting pitching has looked a lot like what it is; good but also very young.
Of course this is professional sports and winning is important. That's never going to change, nor should it. It can be difficult at times to keep everything in perspective, but The Wolf of Blake Street appears to be doing just that as he continues his campaign of marquee match-ups, taking the mound again tonight against San Francisco Giants star -- and one of the few guys who has ever single handedly won a World Series (slight exaggeration) -- Madison Bumgarner.
"It's an honor for that opportunity," Gray says. "I'm just blessed to be in that position." The talent and hard work also had something to do with getting Gray to where he will be this evening in the bay area.
And so has his attitude. Over the last four years in speaking with the Rockies new ace as he developed in the minors and burst onto the national stage, he has exuded two common themes; baseball is hard, and baseball is fun.
"I try to take the opportunity when I really need to focus but at the same time, play loose, play relaxed," he says.
So it was no surprise that when he stood at his locker with his new haircut and suit for the plane ride to California and was asked what his mentality will be going into the game tonight, he responded thusly: "I'm gonna try to have the most fun I can out there. Baseball has got to be fun. When I'm doing my best is usually when I'm having my most fun. I gotta get back to that."
The more joy he has, the more Rockies fans can share in it. And after 10 games of reacting and overreacting and evaluating and arguing on the internet, it was nice to get a quick reminder from the Wolf that this whole thing is supposed to be fun.