In Greek Mythology, Hermes is the patron of athletics and sports, but he is also a trickster. If Bartolo Colon is to take his rightful place amongst the gods, furies, muses, and deities that reside atop Mount Olympus, he will surely have to unseat a cunning and quick Hermes.
Cunning. And quick. Words that perfectly describe Bartolo – who always looks to me like he was brought to life from a Miyazaki film, maybe Totoro? I know, I know, many of you are thinking, “How in the hell can this guy say a dude who’s listed at 5’11” and 285 lbs. is quick?!?” How dare you fat-shame a man who has over 200 career victories in 18 major league seasons, amassing over two thousand strikeouts to the tune of 45.9 career WAR and has won a debatable Cy Young Award back in 2005. This is deplorable human behavior you are all displaying! Have you no compassion for a man beset by his genetics? Do you think he chose to look as if he were the inspiration for the glutton ghost in Spirited Away?!?
In baseball, speed, or quickness, is not always visible to the naked eye the way it is in football or basketball. However, aside from a fastball that once was a dominant mid-to-high 90’s heater and still hovers around 91-92, he is quick of mind and foot as well. Colon’s speed is clearly evidenced by his unassisted pick-off of the speedy, lovable A.J. Pierzynski back on April 23.
Not impressed, huh? Wow, tough crowd. How about that immense bat speed that Colon produces at the plate? In the video below, you will notice that he swings with such a ferocious, even violent velocity that his helmet falls off.
Yet, the helmet hardly has time to react to gravity’s come hither. Essentially, he smacks the hardest hit helmetball bunt attempt in the history of baseball. The unfortunate part of this video is how it makes him look like a complete clown in the batter’s box. That is a negative listing on his curriculum vitae for his campaign to replace Hermes on Olympus. Thus, I present to you evidence of his bat speed playing as a positive for his candidacy:
I would say that we have squared away the issue of quickness, which leaves us to determine if he can even begin to approach Hermes’s level of cunning as a trickster. First, I would like to refer back to the rundown of A.J. Pierzynski. Colon’s cunning lay in his deceptive prowess. No base runner who has had more than two chances to time Colon’s delivery to the plate should have been going in that situation. So why did Pierzynski – gods, no wonder EVERYONE hates him, his name is the worst to type! – go there?!? Colon fooled him into thinking Bartolo wasn’t even paying attention to him, but he really should know that he has eyes in the back of his head, like any worthwhile deity should.
Furthermore, and of grave importance, in 2005 Colon was able to utilize his flashy win-loss record to put the entirety of the BBWAA under a spell. Therefore, they aided and abetted Colon in robbing Mariano Rivera of a Cy Young Award by 50 points in the voting totals. Lastly, again pulling the wool over our collective eyes, the real reason he so graciously accepted his 50-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs in 2012. Whereas many players have used the distortion narrative of the trainer using a certain topical during massage and that they knew nothing, Colon simply apologized. It initially seemed refreshing, as a player was copping to his mistake. His real lie was in how he utilized the apology to distract us from the truth of how steroids got into his body. After a game against the Detroit Tigers that season, he challenged Prince Fielder to a beef-eating contest at the nearby Sizzler. They waltzed into that Sizzler, paid their $29.99 a piece for the surf ‘n’ turf platter and promptly sat amongst the common proletariats of the East Bay Area to dine with abandon.
You’d be wise to remember that Sizzler is not known for purchase practices that pursue the procurement of hormone- and steroid-free beef. And while Colon is primarily competing with Hermes, his Herculean effort to out-eat Fielder infused his body with enough livestock steroids to guarantee a positive test.
Only Zeus and his quorum of higher gods can keep Colon out now.