Major League Baseball has plenty of exciting, must-see stars. But one of it’s oldest may be the most exciting of all: Bartolo Colon.
Major League Baseball in 2015 is perhaps more exciting, more evenly-matched, and more fun to watch than ever before. Sure, games are long, and there will always be cellar-dwellers near the bottom of the league that aren’t so fun to watch, but overall, baseball has more talent and excitement on the field than ever. Guys like Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Clayton Kershaw, Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera…I mean, the list of fun, young, exciting players is seemingly never-ending. And somehow, despite those named and countless others, the most exciting player in baseball right now might be a 41-year-old pitcher in his 18th Major League season.
Bartolo Colon isn’t the best pitcher in baseball; he may not even be the best pitcher on the Mets’ staff. But right now, he’s the single most exciting player to watch from an excitement/fun/unintentional comedy standpoint we have. I’m not even joking (ok, I’m kind of joking); Bartolo Colon is must-watch baseball every fifth day.
From a pure baseball standpoint, he’s been excellent this season. After last night’s win over the Orioles, ‘Tolo is 5-1, giving him the most wins in baseball. His 2.90 ERA puts him in the top-20 in the National League, and he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his six starts this season. Most impressive? Through 40.1 innings pitched this season, Colon has 34 strikeouts and one walk. One. His 34:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio is off the charts. He hasn’t issued a free pass since Opening Day, to give you some indication of how good he’s been all season. Eighteen seasons, eight teams, a Cy Young award, and a steroid suspension later, big ol’ Bartolo is cruising along, and is helping lead the Mets to their current first-place standing.
It’s not enough though that Bartolo has been good; plenty of pitchers have been good this season. It’s everything else that makes him must watch. First, the obvious; Bartolo Colon is a big guy. Baseball-Reference lists him at 285 lbs., which is very kind of them. There’s no chance ‘Tolo is coming in at under 300, and somewhere in the 310-315 range is probably more likely. Everyone likes a fat pitcher. I mean, just look at this beauty, whom Kevin Clancy of Barstool Sports has taken to nicknaming “Big Sexy.”
Then, of course, there is the fact that Bartolo Colon has taken it upon himself to single-handedly end the designated-hitter-in-the-National-League debate once and for all. I just don’t know which side he will end it for. On the one-hand, Colon is a career .076 hitter (13-for-171) with one career double. Every time he steps to the plate, he looks like someone taking their turn at Dizzy Bat. He might be the worst hitter in all of baseball, and last I checked, Jon Lester still played, so that’s saying something. Then again, because he’s so dreadful, he’s given us things like this:
He’s like a big, fat, had-one-too-many Hanley Ramirez. I didn’t have to look far for that video, by the way; it happened last night. Bartolo Colon is a GIF waiting to happen, whether it’s yet another powerful swing and miss:
Or warming up before a game by doing…I don’t know…the Chicken Dance?
Or showing us all how it’s done in the field:
Bartolo Colon is constantly giving the people what they want: excitement. In today’s “GIF it and Vine it and Tweet it” world, there is no player in the game who demands our attention as much as Bartolo Colon. He pitches as well as anyone, he hits as poorly as anyone, and by all accounts, he’s more than willing to make fun of himself and not take anything too seriously. So you can have your Mike Trouts, your Giancarlo Stantons, and your Clayton Kershaws. Give me big Bartolo Colon any day of the week, because at this point, he’s appointment television, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.