One of the more amusing things to happen this season is to have Bartolo Colon back in the National League, where he gets a shot to bat on the regs. It’s a beautiful thing. He obviously has no clue what he’s doing at the plate but likewise does not seem to mind too much. It’s mostly some flailing, a lot of smiling and, fairly often, his helmet falling off as he swings.
But a few moments ago something amazing happened: Bartolo Colon got a hit. And not just any hit, a double. A standup double in which he trotted into second as if he gets there every day. And then the very next batter — Eric Young — doubled and Colon came around to score. And he lived to tell the tale and everything.
The last time Colon got a hit was in an interleague game for the Angels back in 2005. That was the year he won the Cy Young Award, so a lot of good things were happening for him back then. It had been fewer than 30 plate appearances between then and today, but still. A near-decade is a near-decade. Also: he’s been around for way longer than a decade and this was his first extra base hit in 122 at bats.
We’ll post video when it’s available.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.