With the Mets making the World Series, there are many interesting storylines about their trip. First appearance since 2000, the young pitching, etc.
What interests me is the first World Series by a pair of veterans, David Wright and Bartolo Colon. Plenty will be written, I’m sure, about Wright’s first appearance, so I’d like to talk about Colon.
Colon is the ultimante journeyman. He’s played on 9 teams in 18 seasons, most of those in the NL prior to joining the Mets in 2014. (He played one season for the Montreal Expos way back in 2002 when they still existed.) He was an ace in the past (he won a Cy Young in 2005) but now he’s simply a steady starting pitcher.
When he joined the Mets, it was laughed at, not because it was considered a bad signing by outsiders not because of his pitching or experience(a veteran presence like Colon on a team full of young fire-ballers makes sense) but rather because the slightly rotund Colon (I’m being generous) would have to bat. Pitchers aren’t really expected to contribute with the bat anyway, so I considered that nonsense.
He produced on both fronts. While his numbers this year weren’t that impressive, he was a calm steady influence on a team that plays in one of the two biggest cities in the country. Amid innings pitched controversies and the overall media pressure that comes with playing in New York City, there was Colon, going out there every fifth day and providing solid results with his five million varations of a single pitch, his fastball. He throws it in the 90-92 MPH range, and can make it cut, run, or do whatever he wants. He’s definitely not your typical one pitch pitcher. He has such mastery of that pitch, and is a consistent innings eater (30+ starts and 190+ innings in each of the last three years.) That I think he’ll find steady work for the next few years, even if he’s already 42.
As for the batting, let’s just say I had a few chuckles when I saw him hit, as did others I’m sure.
Back to dealing with the intense scrutiny, I think it helps that this isn’t his first rodeo. He has played in other large markets before, playing in Los Angeles (Angels), Chicago (White Sox) as well as New York itself, for the Yankees in 2011. So he’s no stranger to all of this.
He’s also, by all appearances, an easygoing guy, and probably new people might laugh at his bats and didn’t let it bother him. I wish more people were that easy going.
It’s nice to see such a guy make the World Series fr the first time, even if he’s not starting. The Mets have used him in relief, and he’s contributed there like he has everywhere else: Calmly and steadily.
Welcome to the World Series, Old Man River.
As always, thanks for reading.