This one comes under the category of What are they thinking? The Oakland A’s are bringing pitcher Bartolo Colon back to the team after he betrayed them by taking performance enhancing drugs and getting suspended during the heat of a pennant race.
What gives? What’s going through Billy Beane‘s mind? Colon does not deserve this opportunity. He let his team down big-time and now the A’s are inviting him back into the fold? I just don’t see it.
Colon cheats, gets caught, disrupts Oakland’s starting rotation and gets rewarded with a new, $3 million contract, with clauses that can pay him more? Colon was suspended for 50 games and he still hasn’t even served his sentence. When the 2013 season starts Colon will owe Major League Baseball five more games on the suspended list.
After Colon was exiled for screwing up, the A’s pulled together and rallied, and on the last day of the 2012 season they caught the Texas Rangers and won the American League West Division championship. That enabled them to advance to the playoffs. They did this all without Colon’s help or presence. Part of Colon’s punishment was shame, but there is no shame being displayed here. By reupping Colon, the A’s are almost saying that Colon gave it a good try getting away with breaking the rules.
If I was an A’s fan, I’d be upset with this personnel decision. I kind of wonder what Commissioner Bud Selig thinks about this deal, too.
Even without his shady dealings, Colon would be an iffy hire. He is 39 years old. He is overweight, carrying 265 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame, and he has been erratic on the mound lately. His 2012 record was 10-9 with a 3.43 earned run average. That was a recent high point for the one-time Cy Young award winner. The last time before 2012 that Colon had double-figure wins in a season was 2005. During the stretch between 2005 and 2012 Colon had one winning season, 4-2 in 2008. He wasn’t even in the majors during the 2010 season.
This is how I read Colon’s ingestion of banned substances: He realized that the only way he could still play in the majors, the only way he could win in the majors, the only way he could continue his career, was to cheat. So he cheated, had some good moments on the mound during his 10 wins, got caught, and now is back where he was two seasons ago, only now he’s older. Is there any reason to believe that a drug-free, pushing-40 Colon can help the A’s? No way. Never mind the morality of giving millions of bucks to a guy who was thrown off your team by the governing body of the sport right when you needed him most.
This rehiring of Colon should leave a bad taste in the mouths of Oakland fans and Oakland teammates alike. And although I am not particularly an A’s fan I thought their feel-good run with an unheralded team was good for the sport. Bringing back Colon is making a statement that Oakland’s management wasn’t particularly bothered about him breaking the rules. I can’t believe the A’s are doing this. Great signal to send.