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Bartolo Colon wants to pitch in 2019

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The other night Bartolo became the all-time winningest pitcher from Latin America, passing Dennis Martinez on the all-time list. Given that he’s 45 and that other milestones like 300 wins are not in the cards for him, one might think that there are no more realistic worlds left to conquer for Colon, leading to his retirement after this season.

Not necessarily, says Colon. From Levi Weaver’s story about Colon in The Athletic which, in addition to stuff about a donkey named Pancho — you just gotta read it — includes this:

“There is one thing that I look for: Juan Marichal has more innings than me. For Dominicans, I want to beat him also, and I think I have about fifty innings left.”

He has 62 to go, in fact: Marichal leads 3,507 to 3,445 after Colon’s seven-inning performance. He’s unlikely to reach that goal this season. But next?

One has to think he will at least be given a chance. In terms of durability Colon has been Colon this year — he’s likely to finish with around 180 innings pitched — and he continues to not walk dudes, handing out only 1.5 free passes per nine innings. He is likewise having an overall better year than he did last year. That’s not great production — his 5.18 ERA and 5.21 FIP is below average — but there are worse dudes hanging out in the back end of rotations or working out of bullpens, particularly for some non-contenders. If you just wanted someone to eat some innings while you kinda sorta mail in your season, you could do worse than a 46-year-old Bartolo Colon. Especially on a minor league deal next spring.

Who knows if he’ll be pitching in the 2019 season, but I bet we see him in either or Florida or Arizona giving it a try come February.

Former trainers also allege discrimination by Mariners

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Dr. Lorena Martin was recently terminated as the Mariners’ director of high performance. Following her ouster, she alleged that members of the Mariners’ front office and coaching staff, including GM Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais, and director of player development Andy McKay, made bigoted comments against foreign-born players. While the Mariners strongly denied Martin’s accusations, MLB opened an investigation into the matter.

TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that former trainers of the Mariners, based out of the club’s complex in Boca Chica (Domonican Republic), claim the club’s treatment of Latino personnel changed once Dipoto took over as GM. Those trainers, Leonardo Santiago and Jose Valdez, did not speak specifically to Martin’s claims, but did say their experiences with Dipoto and McKay could relate with hers.

Through an interpreter over the phone, Santiago said, “It seemed like Dipoto and McKay would talk to just about everyone who was of American descent and talk to them more personally and try to be involved with them. But never with me.” When asked if it was because he was Latino, Santiago responded, “Under God and before you and in my mind and in my heart — yes. Because I am a Latino of color.”

Santiago continued, “I felt like, ‘Wow.’ They have relationships with all the Americans. They would talk with all of them, but they never came near me. Andy McKay never stopped by, even though he would stop by every other area.”

Furthermore, Santiago commented, “Before Dipoto and McKay came, everything was in order. I didn’t feel discriminated against. Everybody respected everybody from different areas. But when they came, everything changed. In the past,  the previous regimes, the general manager would come and talk with us. They would visit more often, specifically the farm director. Andy McKay never came by my office. He never said anything to me. He never looked for a way to see how I worked, to see if I was good or bad at what I did. He never found a way to talk to me, but he would talk with everybody that was American.”

Per Cotterill, the Mariners apparently found it problematic that neither Santiago nor Valdez were certified. Santiago wondered why his lack of certification was never an issue for the previous 10 years he worked for the Mariners or the previous 15 he’d worked in baseball. The Mariners were paying for his training for certification in physical therapy. He has one year remaining. Valdez also said the club was paying for him to obtain his certification.

Valdez said through an interpreter, “It felt like the relations between the American employees and Latino employees within the club, it felt like they were different. Almost like one was superior to the other.” Though Valdez declined to name specific examples, he said, “It was just [McKay’s] demeanor. He would arrive, see us and not acknowledge us. He wouldn’t want to talk or be with us. He would arrive to the staff meeting and that was it. I never exchanged words with either [McKay or Dipoto].”

To date, neither Martin nor the trainers have provided concrete evidence of the discrimination they claimed happened while working for the Mariners. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and it doesn’t mean the Mariners can’t face some kind of punishment by MLB. You may recall that MLB does not need a convinction in order to levy a punishment against players accused of domestic violence. Martin, in particular, risked a lot for what will likely amount to very little. She has burnt to a crisp her bridge with the Mariners and other organizations, even outside of baseball, will likely view her as a risky hire. She appears to be doing what she thinks is right by her and her former coworkers, which is commendable. Even for Santiago and Valdez, it would be a lot simpler and safer career-wise to stay quiet, which is why we should take these accusations seriously and give them the benefit of the doubt.