This is why former Mets’ pitcher Bartolo Colon wants another shot in the majors so badly

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Veteran pitcher and folk hero Bartolo Colon, who pitched for the New York Mets between 2014 and 2016 (with a run into the World Series in 2015 in between) has recently said that he isn’t giving up on his dream of returning to the majors.

In fact, he even said that the Mets hold a special place in his heart, and that he would like to retire with the organization if it was up to him. In Queens, he had a 3.90 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 588.2 innings, starting 95 games between the three years. He was dependable and effective, and the fans know that.

Colon turned 47 over the weekend. He couldn’t find a major league deal over the spring and was getting ready to pitch in the Mexican League before the coronavirus pandemic put those plans to a halt.

Will the Mets give him another shot?

According to the Associated Press, cited by the New York Post, there is a reason why Colon is so desperate to return to the major leagues.

“I’m not retired. That’s not in my mind,” Colón told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I’m still hoping of reaching my goal of pitching 46 innings. I’ll sign with the first team who wants me.”

Why 46, you may ask? Because that’s the amount of frames separting himself from the record of most innings pitched by a Dominican pitcher, held by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

After pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2018, the “Big Sexy” reached 3,461 2/3 innings. He is 247-188 in 565 games — 552 as a starter since he debuted with the Cleveland Indians back in 1997. His time on the Mets, though, was the last time he was particularly successful.

Marichal pitched 3,507 innings in 471 games over 16 years.

Colon knows that the clock is ticking and time isn’t precisely on his side.

“I know this is not a sport for the old, it’s for the young,” Colon said. “I keep training. Even though I’m not playing right now, I tried to keep fit.”

“I had to decide to stay in Mexico or get back to the Dominican Republic. I went to my country and they also have quarantines and curfews,” he said. “I’m still waiting. The Monclova people say they will tell me what will be happening with the season, depending on the virus.”

The Mets’ rotation is actually thin in depth now that Noah Syndergaard will miss the year with Tommy John surgery. Will they consider bringing Colon back for a farewell tour?

Do the New York Mets Have Another Miracle In Them?

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Few players have become synonymous with the New York Mets. Of course, there are the obvious ones like Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, and Doc Gooden. But one of the most charismatic players to play for the Mets in the last decade has been none other than the Big Sexy himself, Bartolo Colon. His first home run went viral, hit a stand up double, lost his helmet on a swing, the behind the backflip to first, a World Series run, the man had quite a run with the Mets.

Not having pitched since 2018, Colon turned heads with a proclamation that, in every reality, could happen.

He Wants To Come Back As a Met

Turning 47 later this week, Bartolo Colon wants to come back for one more season. And he wants to come back to the New York Mets.

“I’ve played with 10 [11] teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing. And Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off, at first I felt uncomfortable. But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!

“If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets. I would like my career to end in New York.”

It theoretically can happen. Rick Porcello is on a one year deal, as is Michael Wacha. Should the season get canceled (hopefully it won’t), there will be 2 spots in the Mets rotation that’ll need to be addressed next season. And if Jamie Moyer could pitch till he was 49 years old, what’s stopping Colon from coming back for one more season at 48?

Bartolo Colon: “I’d like to retire with the New York Mets”

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Say what you will about Bartolo Colon, but you can’t take anything away from him, especially the fact that he was a very successful and durable pitcher in his tenure with the New York Mets.

And while he may be about to finish his playing career – after all, he is going to turn 47 this week – he would like to play at least one more time with the Mets.

“If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets,” Colon said on a video call with ESPN. “I would like my career to end in New York.”

“Big Sexy” loves the Mets

Colon was a member of the New York Mets roster that went to the World Series in 2015. He was with the team from 2014 to 2016, and he has nothing but good memories.

“That Mets team was really something special,” Colon told ESPN. “I’ve played with 10 teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing. And Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off, at first I felt uncomfortable. But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!”

Overall, his career with the Mets can be considered a success: he posted a 3.90 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 588.2 frames, starting 95 games in those three years. He was a dependable arm and the fans grew fond of “Big Sexy.”

Certainly, with Noah Syndergaard out for the season with Tommy John surgery, the Mets could use some depth behind the backend of the rotation, occupied by the injury-prone Michael Wacha and the inconsistent Rick Porcello.

Bartolo Colon’s “Big Sexy” nickname was born in the New York Mets

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The man known as “Big Sexy” is a big personality in the baseball industry. However, that nickname may be actually even bigger than him. Ever since Bartolo Colon adopted the “Big Sexy” phrase, fans and teammates alike loved it and it became part of the culture of the sport. And it all started on the New York Mets.

The former Cy Young winner, the owner of a career 4.12 ERA, reveals in his upcoming book that the nickname was born when he was an active member of the New York Mets roster a few seasons ago.

Colon played for the Mets between 2014 and 2016, and even made it to the World Series in 2015, losing to the Kansas City Royals. In his biography “Big Sexy: In His Own Words,” he recalls that it was current Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard the one that dubbed him “Big Sexy” during the 2015 season.

“Noah Syndergaard just started calling me Big Sexy in 2015, and the name stuck,” Colon wrote, according to Newsday. “I don’t think I’m sexy, but if the fans like the name, I like it, too.”

Another epic Colon moment with the Mets

Colon was a trending topic in social media this week because of the fourth anniversary of his first and only home run as a major leaguer, a scene that took place in San Diego in 2016 against James Shields. That was an epic moment, one that also happened when he was a member of the New York Mets.

The aforementioned book is expected to be released on May 12 according to the New York Post, and will cover Colon’s colorful 21-year tenure in the Major Leagues. Over that span, he played for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers in addition to the Mets.

The “Big Sexy” nickname was probably born in the clubhouse, but it really went viral when Syndergaard published an Instagram post of his entire family sporting Big Sexy T-Shirts with Colon’s face on them in December 2015. In 2016, Colon filed for a trademark on the popular nickname.

Let’s remember Bartolo Colon’s homer with the New York Mets with a smile

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Bartolo Colon is, without a doubt, one of the most successful Latin players of his generation. “Big Sexy,” as he is often called, amassed a fantastic career, with 247 wins and over $120 million in earnings spread over 21 seasons and 11 major league organizations. The New York Mets were one of them.

However, one of the most famous moments of his career occurred exactly four years ago, when he was playing with the New York Mets, and it happened on the batters’ box.

It was on Saturday, May 7 2016 that Colon belted his first and only home run of his career, when he was 43 years old.
The video of Colon’s home run with the Mets has over 1.5 million views on Youtube, just on MLB official account.

Imagine how unlikely was the homer: Colon, a career .084 hitter (25-299) with 166 Ks and only one walk, managed to hit a James Shields’ 90 mph fastball on the sweet spot for the four-bagger.

It happened in the second inning of a Mets – Padres game at Petco Park. The connection helped the Mets come out on top 6-3 in a game that had a 41,028 attendance.

Big Sexy wasn’t too hot with the bat, but he got Shields

Over that last season with the Mets, Colon hit .083 with two doubles and the homer.

Even though it was an away game, the public in attendance cheered Colon in what was an amazing, unforgettable moment in his career, one that included a 4.12 ERA and a Cy Young award in 2005.

Mets’ fans and Colon sure will remember that home run for a long time.

For now, Colon tried to come back to the major leagues but couldn’t find a deal of his liking in the last two years. He was getting ready to pitch in the Mexican League with Acereros de Monclova before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the season.

You can see the video of the home run here:

The Wonder of the 2016 New York Mets

The 2016 New York Mets had a unique season in the franchise’s history. After falling short in the previous year’s World Series, the Mets retooled their middle infield and bullpen with an expectation to return in 2016. Though falling short to Madison Bumgarner and the Giants, there is always wonder of what would have happened if the Mets made the NLDS.

Injuries were the theme of the 2016 Mets. Zack Wheeler was out for the entire season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Hansel Robles started their seasons on the Injured List. Throughout the year, David Wright, Lucas Duda, Yoenis Cespedes, and the list goes on of other Mets who spent extended periods on the IL. To make matters worse, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey performed nowhere near expectations. The most used lineup only made it to the field nine times all season.

Late But Key Pickups

Next ma up was the motto for these Mets. Jose Reyes, James Loney, and Seth Lugo were just a few essential parts that helped guide the Mets in the second half. On August 24, the Mets dropped to 63-63 on the season and one the outside looking in of the wild card race. It was on a night where Jacob deGrom was dreadful, and it was his second to last start before injuries ruined his season.

September was a crazy ride for the Mets. Their starting pitching at the beginning of the season was Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Bartolo Colon. By September, it was Syndergaard, Colon, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and the combination of Rafael Montero and Gabriel Ynoa.

This was way before Lugo and Gsellman were anywhere near household names. Lugo had a 6.50 ERA when he came up, and Gsellman started the year in double-A. Both pitched to a 2.67 and 2.42 ERA respectively and solidified the Mets rotation out of nowhere. Montero and Ynoa were no help to the rotation, but the Mets managed to go 18-10 over September/October to sneak into the postseason.

The efforts of Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, and Fernando Salas also go overlooked in giving the Mets a quality bullpen, especially when the short least the rookies in the rotation received. The health of Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera allowed the Mets to keep starters on the field despite losing others to injuries.

What the Playoffs Could Have Looked Like

If the Mets happened to get past Bumgarner things would have gotten very interesting from there. They would have faced a Cubs team which the Mets went 5-2 against and swept in the 2015 postseason. After Syndergaard threw a gem in the wild card game, it left the Mets with a rotation no one saw coming. 43-year old Bartolo Colon would have become the oldest pitcher ever to start game one of the postseason. Lugo or Gsellman would start game 2/4 with Syndergaard starting game 3. They would have faced the combination of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Kyle Hendricks.

The lineup would also be interesting with Granderson, Cespedes, and Cabrera as the regulars. The supporting cast would be the likes of T.J. Rivera, (slumping) Jay Bruce, James Loney, and Jose Reyes, who all were nowhere near the Opening Day roster. Rivera was the only one in Spring Training with the Mets. Rene Rivera and Travis d’Arnaud would be managing the catching duties.

Could They Beat the Cubs?

They lack of quality pitching behind Bumgarner is what did the Giants in. During a one-game playoff, you can ride his greatness to a win, but it was impossible to do to a team as strong as the cubs. That said, there is no reason to think the Mets could not have broken the Cubs hearts again and extended the curse for another year. Outside of Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs bullpen did not offer anything better than what the Mets had.

The Dodgers were very similar to what they beat in 2015, and their rotation was worse without Greinke. The biggest question would have been how the Mets could get by with the unproven Lugo and Gsellman. The games Colon and Syndergaard pitched would become must-win games just based on the uncertainty of the other half of the rotation.

Beat the Tribe?

Topping the Indians would have been a much tougher feat due to the entire roster matching up better than the Mets. Though like the 2019 World Series, the Astros seemed like the sure bet, but anything happens when you get to the World Series. Things have not been quite the same for the Mets since 2016. The Mets could have seriously changed the landscape of baseball should they have managed even one run off Bumgarner.