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.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.