Monday, December 16, 2013

Why I am still Team Bartolo

Why the Mets should feel lucky to have him and why the I think he should have gotten more credit for his performance in 2013!

I've been reading articles by others regarding the Mets and their two year $20 million signing of veteran pitcher, 2005 CY Young Award winner and most recently former Oakland Athletic, Bartolo Colon. All the reviews have been positive to a point but in my mind not positive enough. They don't understand how good Colon was last season and what they are getting is a veteran who should have won the 2013 American League CY Young (yes, even over Max Scherzer!). But he finished 6th in the CY Young Voting not exactly where you would expect to find the guy who finished the season with the second most wins and the second best ERA in the AL.

Granted we know the REAL reason the Colon didn't even get a single first place vote, the positive testosterone test of 2012. These things are not easily forgiven especially by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of American (BWAA). Yet, Colon, stood up immediately and took responsibility for his actions. Then later took his punishment in a stand up and honest fashion, unlike many who are either fighting their suspensions or denying that they are guilty of any wrong doing. Colon issued a statement in 2012 saying,
"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement released by the players' association. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program."
Colon's reaction to, well, getting caught and the A's reaction by re-signing the then almost 40 year old for the 2013 season gave me reason to believe there was a little more there to Colon, a reason to keep him around. The A's took a one year $2 million gamble on a guy I think they knew from personality and attitude alone would be an asset to the club and an asset he was!

 Personally I was skeptical of Colon at first he let down the entire club and the fans but after developing a fondness for his happy personality I decided to give the guy a chance. This all was difficult since I wasn't his biggest fan in 2012. Too many seasons with the Angels had left a bitter taste in my mouth. Yet from then on I was all about being #TeamBartolo and took on a "show me a positive test from 2013 and until you do I will support him 100% " attitude. Of course there were no positive tests for Colon last season who went on to have one of the best in his career finishing 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 2013. He succeeded in establishing himself as the team's Ace, again helping to lead Oakland to a second straight American League Western Division Title. He's a happy guy all around, always smiling and wishing he could pitch everyday! . He also believes, and I agree, that he may just have a few more years of baseball in him.

Apparently the Mets concurred with this assesment signing the free agent to a two year $20 million deal. The reviews of this trade have been positive but not all have believed in the idea that Colon will be the Mets' Ace in 2014 even with starter Matt Harvey out for the season having a torn UCL in his elbow. If Colon pitches like he did in both seasons with the A's it is certainly possible that he could be the Mets new Ace. They are lucky to have him!

Back to my original thought when I began this post. It is that Colon finishing 6th in the CY Young voting is just not right in my mind. He had MANY more wins that Sanchez who finished first in ERA and while he had fewer wins than Max Scherzer who obviously was the AL wins leader! I think that those two second place finishes should trump Sanchez's fifth place finish in wins and Scherzers third place finish in ERA. Just my opinion of course but to not even get any first place votes just makes me cringe - he was clean this season, he took his punishment and didn't weasel his way out of it the way Milwaukee Brewers 2012 NL MVP Ryan Braun did. Colon made a mistake, apologized and payed for it. Give the guy a break. He pitched brilliantly in 2013 without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Given the chance he could have easily won as many games as Scherzer having missed a start due to his suspension and two or three starts during a brief stint on the disabled list in late July. Not to mention that he out pitched Scherzer when they faced off in the final game of a four game series against Detroit, he got a no decision in that game when closer Grant Balfour blew his second save of the season, giving up a walk off homer to Torii Hunter, taking the loss.

I'm not saying that the taking of PEDs is ever ok. It is not of course and there are many athletes over the years I wish were not tainted with the stigma. But Colon is not a Barry Bonds or a Mark McGwire (although I do LOVE McGwire!) he took responsibility and is a good influence for the most part to the teams he plays for. At least he was one in Oakland! The fans grew to love the big guy and he was good to the fans and the club in 2013. So he made a mistake and that leads to him finishing sixth in the voting? Just seems harsh. Of course what I think is of no real matter, but I've been wanting to write this blog for a long time! Since before the end of the season I've had all this just sitting there in my head ... finally I found a moment here to talk about it! 

Finally, I will ALWAYS be #TeamBartolo, unless of course you show me a current positive test, but I just don't see that happening in this case. I wish him all the best in New York and I look forward to hopefully seeing him pitch and pitch well in Oakland .... I mean the Athletics' can't possibly win EVERY single game in 2014? .... He's a guy I would take one loss from. (However if it were really possible for a Major League Baseball team to go undefeated I'd have to have the Athletics shut him down! LOL!) #Team Bartolo! 

Find a Revised Version of this post on Sports Unbiased - your site to all Sports News, Polls and Predictions!

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