For at least another year, Bartolo Colon will pitch in the major leagues. Early in the 2017 season, it looked as if he was at the end of the road. He struggled in the first few months of the campaign, posting an 8.14 ERA in 13 starts for the Braves. But then he was traded to the Twins, where he pitched ... let’s call it “decently.”
Now, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, Colon will be returning for another year despite him being set to turn 45 in May. Honestly, this is the best news. No baseball season can be truly bad if Bartolo is involved.
Even if he doesn’t get signed for the regular season, at the very least this should give everybody time to track him during Spring Training and enjoy his personality on the field a few more times.
Hopefully he does get signed though, and we get a full season of his magnificence — and girth — pitching to major league hitters. If next season is the last we get of him though, here are the things that have to happen before Bartolo says goodbye for good.
Hit 250 wins.
He’s only 10 away, and had 14 wins in 2017. If he pitches a full season in the bigs, this should be a lock. Of course, at this point that’s a big “if” so nothing’s guaranteed.
He’s the leader in wins out of all active pitchers right now, with CC Sabathia only three wins behind and the next-closest active guys at 188 (both John Lackey and Justin Verlander are there, and one of those isn’t going to be active for much longer probably) so he could realistically last a whole season maintaining that crown.
Make it happen, Bartolo. Go out on top.
Pitch a perfect game.
He came close once, getting within seven outs in 2014 against the Mariners before Robinson Cano broke it up. He had a 4.12 ERA before entering that game, so it’s not like his year was going perfectly.
Which means it’s not unrealistic for him to get another shot just three years later. Bartolo doesn’t need to be at the top of his game to throw a perfecto, he just has to believe and be himself. You can do it, Bartolo, I believe in you.
Pitch a no-hitter.
Look, if we’re going to ask for the moon and the stars here then it only makes sense to ask for only the moon on the side as well. If a perfect game isn’t in the cards, maybe a no hitter for Christmas if we’re extra EXTRA good and thank Santa for all of our toys?
He almost had one of these once too, but lost it on an eighth-inning single.
Make a fifth All-Star Game.
His last ASG made was in 2016, while he was still on the Mets. That’s not that long ago! This is a reasonable wish to make! We were all so much younger and innocent then, we would be so lucky as to get a callback to that bygone era when the only thing we were worried about was which beloved celebrity was going to be taken from this earthly plane next.
Fan vote, let’s do this thing.
Play for at least 15 teams in his career.
He’s at 10 now, having put in time with time spent with the Indians, White Sox (twice), Expos, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, A’s, Mets, and Twins. You’re telling me it’s unrealistic for five teams to sign him for various stints next season before it’s all said and done? Pfshaw.
Beat all 30 MLB teams.
Oh wait, he already did that!
Hit 50 bWAR for his career.
This is a tricky one, but not impossible! Sure, his bWAR in 2017 was a not-so-steller -2.0. That didn’t help the cause, and dropped him back down to 47.5 for his career from the 49.5 he was at at the end of 2016. There’s no real reason to root for this other than that round numbers are nice, and he has at least an outside chance of accomplishing it.
He had a 3.4 bWAR at the end of 2016 and before last season his most recent negative bWAR campaign was all the way back in 2007. This isn’t a frivolous hope, it could happen.
Eat a sandwich on the mound.
A Phillies’ minor league affiliate already created and named a sandwich after him. Is it a bridge too far that he should actually eat that sandwich (or any sandwich, really) while warming up for an inning? Who would dare stop him?
Hit another home run.
On the one hand, there’s something beautiful about Bartolo retiring with one home run during his career and this one being it.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to see Bartolo hit another home run, you’re lying to yourself.
Just kidding. That’s NEVER allowed to happen. N-E-V-E-R.