TORONTO — Bartolo Colon thought he’d never be in these shoes again. [He hadn’t pitched in the MLB for two years.]
A perfect storm had derailed his once brilliant career — family strife in the Dominican Republic, repeated injuries to his right arm, and the natural effects of age — each of them conspiring to keep Colon out of the big leagues. But not long after Colon walked off the mound a winner for the first time in nearly two years, helping the Yankees to a 6-2 victory against the Blue Jays, he vowed to keep his cleats as a souvenir.
“This is very special for me,” Colon said through an interpreter. “It did cross my mind that I was never going to play again.”
Here’s a comment to this story I can relate to: A reader said, “I was as wrong about Colon as anyone. I was never a fan of his and used this space to make many fat jokes. Well, jokes on me. He’s looked great. He’s already given the Yankees more than I’d thought he would. Color me impressed. Jeter was 0-5 on the night and hit nothing in the air.He looks worse than he did last year.”
I was not wrong about Colon. In February when I heard Colon and Garcia were trying out for the Yankees I said both would be on the roster when the Yankees returned from Tampa, Florida and began the season in Yankee Stadium. That became true, as Joe Giarde and Brian Cashman opted to give them a chance. Both have performed to expectations. No, they aren’t world beaters, but Colon didn’t even play in 2010 and 2009because of injuries and Garcia was with the Cubs and he has done well in one outing. Love to say it, but I told you so.
The Yankees are currently 9-6 in the won-loss column and are in first place in the American League East. Our finest relief pitcher, Mariano Rivera, lost a game in ten innings, his first loss in a while. But it’s a long season and the Yankees are headed in the right direction.
There is talk of sending Brett Gardner, left fielder, down to the minors until he learns to bunt and sharpens up his hitting. If that happens the Yankees will place a poorly defending and aging Andru Jones in left field. His hitting is coming back and maybe his defense will improve. At one time for the Atlanta Braves he was one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in either league.
If the Yanks do anything, it should be trading Derek Jeeter for a younger, more fleet-footed shortstop. they have one in the Yankee organization, but his hitting isn’t even as good as Jeeter’s when he’s hitting .277 as he did last season. I’d give Jeeter more time, just enough to “hang” himself. I think he is dwindling in appeal and needs a lot of help to get him back on track with the hitting. I have already published one article on how to improve this legend’s late career hitting. No response yet from Brian Cashman.
Must not be too important to the Yankees if Jeeter wastes away as he is doing right now. I’m a former semi-pro and college center fielder. I could hit with “pop” on the bat and I think that is what Jeeter should start doing. If all he’s going to hit is an anemic .270 then why not throw in two dozen homers, of which he is capable, to make his resume look better and help the Yankees win. Hitting has been a real bugaboo with the Yankees as of late.