Bartolo Colon was DFA’d by the Braves yesterday. He’s probably not done yet. I suspect the Mets or someone else will sign him to see if he has anything left in the tank. But the end is certainly near for him. He may yet make some appearances in 2017, but I doubt he gets a big league contract for 2018. This is probably his last season.
Colon turned 44 in late May. I turn 44 two weeks from today. That makes Colon just barely older than me. Besides him, there isn’t another player left who was born before July 14, 1973. Which means that when Colon is done, so too are the days when any active players older than I am remain.
Whether or not we have serious issues with aging, I think we’ve all spent some time thinking about players who are our age. We noted, back when we were in our early 20s, when the first player our age or younger broke into the league. I think for me it was Ismael Valdez. We also note when the players our age or younger begin leave the game. For me it was a series of them, in no particular order: Johnny Damon . . . Todd Helton . . . Mike Cameron . . . Nomar Garciaparra . . . Derek Lowe . . . Chan Ho Park . . . now Colon.
Who was — or who will be — the last active player older than you? Jamie Moyer saved a lot of people from having to think about that for a long time. At times in history there have been some extreme outliers/gimmick signings like Minnie Minoso in 1980 or Satchel Paige in 1965 to bring us back into “active status,” as it were, but you can’t count on that. Usually it’s just some dude in his early 40s playing out the string. And it’s always the early 40s: there has not been a season which has not featured a 40-year old since 1900, when Chief Zimmer was baseball’s oldest player at age 39.
Who was the first player younger than you? Who will be the last one older than you? Let’s use the comments to revel in our mortality.
UPDATE: There’s a widget at Baseball-Reference.com for you to figure this out more easily.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.