The Oakland A’s re-signed suspended pitcher Bartolo Colon to a one-year contract. The deal is said to be worth $3 million with incentives that could push it to as much as $6 million. Like the Chris Young trade, this signing is of the “huh?” variety.
If I were to interview Billy Beane, here is what I would ask–in no particular order:
- What are you doing?
I would actually phrase it more like an accusation than a question. And, I would imagine, given what I know about Beane, that his reply would be more of a punch in the face than a response. In any case, the signing of Bartolo Colon gave me pause (I know, I know, they look like hands to me too), if only because of that whole steroid thing.
As I wrote this past August, Colon’s positive testosterone test really wasn’t all that surprising. In 2010, Colon underwent a controversial stem cell procedure to repair his damaged shoulder joint. The procedure has raised eyebrows not because its use of stem cells, but because many patients use human growth hormone (HGH) as part of the treatment. Though testosterone and HGH are not the same drug, both have similar effects. That is, it is not impossible for one to replace the other.
But this is all speculation. The reasons for Colon’s positive testosterone test are unknown, and Colon is certainly not telling. What is not speculation is the effect his suspension had on the team.
Colon would be one in a long list of pitchers that would be lost during the season. When asked about the effect of losing Colon, Beane had this to say:
Business mode. There is no going back. It was simply more shocking than anything. Like what are we going to do and how are we going to deal with it? I didn’t have time to pass judgment. We’re here in the middle of August and we’re in a pennant race, we had to put on our thinking caps on and figure out what we’re going to do.
To their credit, the A’s would figure out what to do. Still, the value of a pitcher with Colon’s experience in the playoffs cannot be understated. Instead of cashing in on that value, the A’s forged on as a team, united in the face of impossibility, and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
This is why it strikes me as odd that the A’s, a frugal team if there ever was one, would invest as much as $6 million in a pitcher whose choices would impair his team in the heat of a pennant race. This same act was enough to expel Melky Cabrera from the Giants–though he could be re-signed this offseason, a move that seems to be supported by many Giants fans. But it is essentially being rewarded by the A’s.
So, yeah, if I could ask Beane anything, it would a question regarding his motives because I certainly can’t figure him out.