The Greatest is going to go visit the Chisox:
Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali visits with the team tomorrow, addressing his “Athletes for Hope” foundation, which asks that players give their time rather than money.
“It’s a great inspiration for a lot of people,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said after the White Sox’s 12-1 win over Arizona. “I met him before, a few times. A lot of kids are in camp and they will have a chance to meet, I don’t want to say one of the greatest boxers in history, but one of the greatest men ever born in this country. Those kids should be proud to meet him, and to the White Sox organization, it’s an honor to have him in camp.”
I only wish that Ali wasn’t slowed by Parkinson’s. Could you imagine if 1970s-era Ali and current-era Guillen were able to jaw at one another at full speed?
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.