Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Letter To Bartolo Colon

Dear Bartolo Colon,

First, let me start by congratulating you on your first win of the season. You pitched a spectacular game, going 6.2 innings with 2 earned runs and 7 strikeouts. It was amazing watching you deliver all of the pitches in your arsenal; the fastball, changeup, slider and curveball were all working for strikes yesterday. It was a little "touch-and-go" for you in the beginning, as you allowed a single and a walk in the 1st inning and then gave up the solo shot to J.P. Arencibia in the 2nd. But thankfully,scoring in the first 2 innings from the lineup had the Yankees on the board already with 3 runs, so the homer didn't hurt as much, and you cruised from there, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. You pitched a solid, veteran game tonight and for that I, and every other fanatic, are truly grateful.

And with that, I would like to formally apologize to you. I have never been a fan of yours, as you were once the CY Young pitcher for the Yankees' nemesis, LA Angels. There was much talk about you when you won the award in 2005, and I resented the sentiment of those who dared speak of you possibly winning the MVP award that year, when it clearly belonged to Alex Rodriguez. I remember the game that year on April 26 when A-Rod hit 3 homers off you; I was there at the old stadium that night and, although I'm fully aware of how great A-Rod is, I didn't think much of you as you allowed your team to lose at the hand--or should I say bat--of one man.

Then I watched as you completely shut down in the 4 seasons that followed. Shoulder injuries made you a shell of your former Cy Young self, and it seemed that you would never be relevant as a big-game pitcher in the majors ever again.

And so when rumors first came of the Yankees showing interest in you, I completely lost it. I blamed the rumors on you; theorizing you using the Yankees name to build interest for yourself during the offseason. I won't go over everything that I said again, but you can read it all here. And then, when the Yankees decided to sign you in late-January, well, let's just say that I wasn't thrilled at all; you can read about that here. I blamed the Yankees' vulnerability to the indecision of my beloved Andy Pettitte on their rush to judgment. I even broadcast my anger on twitter. But one of my fellow bloggers, J-Boogie of Baseball & The Boogie Down, reminded me that you were a low-risk signing, and that if you were to give the Yankees what they needed, then that was a plus for them. He was right, and I, was so wrong.

You have given this team everything they've needed and then some. You were fantastic in Spring training; you've pitched solid innings this season in relief. And now, last night, you gave this team a reason to be comfortable while Phil Hughes does his stint on the DL for his "dead" arm. No one would ever think that a guy who hadn't pitched since 2009; a guy plagued with shoulder injuries, could come back this strong, but you have, and you are no longer to be ridiculed, but to be commended. Thank you.

A new believer,

Rasheeda Cooper

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper