Jon Heyman and I don’t always disagree on stuff. For example, his observation about the Twins reflects the vibe I got when I was in their clubhouse last week (though I obviously can’t compare them to as many other teams as Heyman can):
I nominate the Twins as nicest team in baseball, with stars like Nathan, Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau and Denard Span. Adding Orlando Hudson and alltime nice guy Jim Thome (he’s in the category of Sean Casey of MLB Network) only enhances the best clubhouse in the game. Gardnehire said, “If you can’t say hi, you won’t be a Twin.” He also said that he doesn’t subscribe to Vince Lombardi’s theory. He pointed out, “That’s a different sport.”
Um, wasn’ that Leo Durocher who said that nice guys finished last? Did Lombardi say that too? Eh, either way I’m not going to argue with Gardenhire about it. I’d hate for him to not have to be nice for a minute.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.