Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers
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Bartolo Colon is winningest Latin American pitcher in MLB history

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Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon was credited with his fifth win of the season on Saturday as the Rangers steamrolled the White Sox 13-4 for the series win. He held on through five innings, including a wobbly second inning that saw the White Sox climb to an early 2-0 lead, and finished the evening with two strikeouts and three runs on seven hits and two walks.

On any other day, Colon might have gotten the hook after his missteps in the second, but club manager Jeff Bannister recognized the unique milestone awaiting the veteran righty if the team pulled off a win.

“If he’s got an opportunity to put the ‘W’ behind his name, then [we’ll] make sure that he gets that,” Bannister told reporters after the game. “Obviously, we want to win every game we possibly can, but in situations like this, for him, and the overall history, and his impact on the game, and impact on himself, and just what it means for the game of baseball.”

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Rangers put on a hitting clinic, either. Joey Gallo put the team on the board with his 20th home run of the year, followed by a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos that gave them a 3-2 lead in the fifth. They continued to build on that lead with a Ryan Rua solo shot and Omar Narvaez throwing error in the fifth and seventh, respectively, culminating in a seven-run spread in the eighth that bumped them up to a cushy nine-run advantage.

With the win, Colon tied former MLB pitcher Dennis Martinez for the most pitcher wins by a Latin American player, with 245. It took him just 21 years to accomplish what Martinez did in 23, though he still has to notch another win to stand alone in that category. He should have plenty more opportunities to do so: The 45-year-old hurler is 5-5 in 15 starts with a 4.76 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 through 92 2/3 innings in 2018 so far.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.