I’ve seen some horrible tweets in my time, but I’ve never seen anything more shocking and inappropriate than the tweet I saw yesterday and no, I’m not talking about that tweet from Jim Irsay. The tweet I’m referring to came from the Atlanta Braves twitter account and it read: The #Braves today designated RHP Bartolo Colón for assignment and selected the contract of LHP Rex Brothers from Triple-A Gwinnett Braves.
Please, someone tell me that the Braves official account has been hacked. Because if that’s a real tweet, than yesterday, June 29th, 2017 is officially the day the music died. Talk about your all-time gut punches, that’s easily the biggest. It’s the worst thing to happen to baseball since, well, ever. There’s never been anything worse in the history of baseball. The Black Sox scandal? The steroid era? Small potatoes compared to the end of the Big Sexy Era.
I don’t care that Colon had an ERA over 8. Or that he was giving up nearly a hit and a half per inning. That’s just bad luck. Check the analytics, he’s not giving up a ton more hard hit balls, they’re just finding hole. You going to cut the guy because he’s given up 11 home runs? Then you better cut Clayton Kershaw, too. Because he gave up 13 in just May and June alone.
You’re dumping Bartolo Colon and replacing him with Rex Brothers? I don’t care how good Rex Brothers is. I don’t care if it’s Rex Ryan and his brother, you don’t get rid of Bartolo Colon for anyone. You could have Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan all in Triple-A and you keep them there until Bartolo Colon says you can call them up.
No wonder the Braves lost 6-0 last night to the Padres. They were missing their heart and soul. Their workhorse. And their bats. I think I speak for a nation, no, the world, when I say that it must’ve been love, but it’s over now.
Honestly, that’s just a small part of Big Bart. That doesn’t include the 2,407 career strikeouts, the 235 career wins, and the millions of smiles that he gave us. He wasn’t selfish with his talents. He shared them with clubhouses in Cleveland, Montreal, Chicago, Anaheim, Boston, and Chicago again; with the New York Yankees, the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves. He gave and gave and gave.
And then he gave some more. Who can forget where they were on Saturday, May 7th, 2016, when Bartolo Colon came to the plate with 1 on, 2-out in the top of the 2nd inning in San Diego. On the mound, James Shields, an All-Star, a man who finished third in Cy Young voting, and had 9 straight seasons with double-digit wins. Colon dug in to the batter’s box and then this happened.
That was the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen. And that sound? Did you hear when he made contact? It was like a mini-explosion.
Don’t take my word for it, ask Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard: “I wasn’t paying attention, I was mid-conversation with somebody in the dugout. I heard the crack of the bat, and it sounded like a cannon going off.”
That was Bartolo Colon, a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday; going yard and making it look easy. And yes, he took more than half a minute to circle the bases, and no, he wasn’t pimping it. But if he was, who was going to complain?
The man is a legend. When Bart was called up to Cleveland as a rookie, he played with Julio Franco. And I’m pretty sure Julio Franco played with Lou Gehrig. How old is Bartolo Colon? Julio Franco turns 59 in August. And they were teammates. That’s how old Bartolo Colon is.
And no, I’m not ready for this to end. And it doesn’t have to.
Because there’s a report that the Mets might be interested in signing Big Bart. Let me say this right now – they better not be joking. This Mets season has been a complete and utter disaster, but bringing in Bart would turn everything around. That would be their World Series. I don’t want him to play for the Mets, I need him to play for the Mets. But knowing the Mets, they’ll promote Tim Tebow instead of signing Bartolo Colon.
And if that’s the case, I say, don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. And it was glorious.