Not only did the unlikely AL West champions re-sign Colon, they gave him a raise with a $3 million, one-year contract.
PHOENIX — Bartolo Colon knew he had failed a drug test for about six weeks before he got hit with a 50-game suspension last season. He made several starts for the Oakland Athletics while knowing he probably wouldn’t participate in the pennant race.
“I continued to pitch, but my mind wasn’t good,” he said.
Now that Colon is back in the clubhouse at spring training with the teammates he let down, the 39-year-old right-hander knows he can only earn peace of mind and forgiveness by getting back in top form on the mound.
Colon finally spoke Tuesday about his season-ending suspension for a positive testosterone test. Through a translator, the former Cy Young Award winner with 171 career victories expressed regret for his past mistakes and hope for his future.
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“The only thing I can say about last year is I apologize to everybody, even the fans, the team, the front office about what happened,” he said.
The A’s organization already has forgiven the veteran starter whose first season with Oakland ended prematurely. Not only did the unlikely AL West champions re-sign Colon, they gave him a raise with a $3 million, one-year contract.
“I feel loved, because Oakland gave me the opportunity to come back and be part of it again,” he said.
Colon still must serve the last five games this season.
• San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera is among five players whose names are listed in the records of the now closed Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., at the center of a Major League Baseball investigation into illegal drugs, ESPN reported. The report said Cabrera, who led the NL in stolen bases last season, was listed along with Padres reliever Fautino De Los Santos, Oakland reliever Jordan Norberto, Houston outfielder Fernando Martinez and New York Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello.
• The Atlanta Braves will retire Chipper Jones’ number and induct him into the team’s hall of fame on June 28.
The Braves announced they will hold a banquet and ceremony honoring Jones before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jones spent his entire two-decade career with the Braves before retiring after last season.
• The Pittsburgh Pirates and manager Clint Hurdle, 55, have officially agreed to a contract extension that runs through at least the end of the 2014 season. Terms were not disclosed but the deal includes a club option for 2015.
• Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza has a mild side strain and is expected to miss only a week of spring training camp.
• Dale Sveum doesn’t plan on wearing the bright orange hunting vest with the large bull’s-eye on the back any time soon. At least not until after his second season as Cubs manager.
About halfway through his opening speech at spring training, Sveum noticed Chicago’s players peeling off their jackets and jerseys to reveal orange hunting tops. Soon, many of the Cubs were also sporting matching orange caps in a playful dig at their manager, who was accidentally shot by Hall of Famer Robin Young, his close friend, while hunting quail during the offseason. Sveum enjoyed the joke.
“It’s nice that maybe they’re saying they don’t want to lose me in a hunting accident,” he said with a loud laugh.
• Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel got off to a great start on Monday with a hole-in-one at the tough ChampionsGate Golf Club outside Orlando. Kimbrel lost sight of the ball on the 180-yard second hole, and figured it fell into a greenside bunker.
He looked everywhere except the hole.
Kimbrel says he “couldn’t believe it,” adding, “I think it went in on the fly. It was my first one.”