You’ve probably heard about Bartolo Colon batting by now. It’s one of the greatest things in baseball. You might even be sick of hearing about it. If you are one of those monsters, don’t watch the video below.
Don’t watch this one either!
(My favorite part about that video is everyone losing their collective shit. Even the Padres fans.)
When Bartolo bats, he gives it his all. Half the time he swings so hard his helmet falls off. When he actually puts the ball in play, he usually carries his bat with him to first base because he’s just that dedicated to batting (or something). Sure, Colon only has 25 hits in 322 career plate appearances, but you can tell how much fun he’s having, and you can tell how much fun everyone else is having watching him have fun.
That is part of the reason this story from the Pioneer Press about Colon giving Miguel Sano batting advice in the dugout stuck out to me:
While Sano leads the majors in strikeouts and is on pace to shatter the big-league record for season strikeouts, Colon recently found a way to get him to laugh about it. After Sano’s third strikeout in as many trips during a recent day game, Colon asked to see Sano’s bat.
He then took a baseball and repeatedly tapped it against the barrel of Sano’s bat as if to show him where the ball is supposed to go.
“That’s what he told me,” Sano said with a laugh. “He took the ball and said, ‘Hit it here. Hit it here. Hit it here.’ After that I got a base hit.”
Even Molitor, who went over during the conversation to see what was going on, got a chuckle out of that exchange.
I think “hit the ball with your bat” is pretty solid advice, but Colon wasn’t actually doing anything technical here. Rather, he was doing what he does best: making people happy.
Colon has been doing a lot of that in the Twins clubhouse since joining the team about a month ago. He’s not loud and boisterous like a Kirby Puckett or a Torii Hunter—in fact, Bartolo is known for rarely saying anything at all—but he’s still had a big effect on keeping everyone loose. How? According to this recent story in the Star Tribune, he quietly goes around and taps everyone on the shoulder and then smiles at them.
If anyone else did that it would be creepy as hell. But Bartolo? That’s amazing.
Colon has become particularly close with fellow Dominican Miguel Sano. As Molitor told Twins beat writer Brandon Warne:
“I think they’ve built a relationship rather quickly. I don’t know how much they interacted before he got here, if at all. But I know that Colon has helped [Sano]. He’s probably given him some wisdom. But he’s also not afraid to challenge him with a little sarcasm now and then too. It works more than one way.”
“He’s a very happy person, and he makes everybody happy,” Sano told the Star Tribune about Colon. The two have been known to sit next to each other in the dugout and even shag fly balls together in the outfield during batting practice.
Yes. You read that correctly. Colon and Sano shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice. That is a thing that has actually happened.
I, for one, am ecstatic about this new friendship. How could you not be? For one thing, it was literally one of the reasons Colon chose to come to Minnesota over the Mets. As he explained:
“Ervin Santana called me and asked me to come and told me how good the organization was, how good the team was. After I started looking at it, and seeing how young their pitching was and how many young kids we had on the team, and I thought it’s not only an opportunity for me to pitch, but an opportunity to teach other young players how to pitch and how to be big-leaguers.”
Mentoring the young-ins turned out to be a huge part of this equation, too. At a later point, when Bartolo was asked what it felt like facing the 20-year-old Orlando Arcia, he explained:
“The way I look at it, that’s about the same age my son is,” Colon said. “He’s about 20. I think about it and say, ‘How cool would it be or how interesting would it be if my son would be here playing or facing me?’ I look at them like they’re my kids. It’s very fun.”
So, basically, Sano is Bartolo’s kid now. His happy, happy kid.
No backsies!!! Congrats Bartolo on your new son, Miguel Sano!