At 40 years old, an age at which most ballplayers have long been retired, Bartolo Colon is having arguably the finest season of his 16-year career.
Colon beat the Angels on Friday night for his 14th victory, tying him for the major-league lead with the Tigers' Max Scherzer and the Rays' Matt Moore. And Colon's ERA of 2.54 – eighth lowest in the majors and the best of his career – is more than a half-run lower than Scherzer's and Moore's.
While Scherzer has gotten most of the attention in the American League – rightfully so, since he opened the season with 13 consecutive wins – Colon has put together 14 consecutive starts of six or more innings while allowing three or fewer runs.
With as many as 12 starts left this season, Colon could match or surpass his career best of 21 victories with the Angels in 2005, his last great season.
If Colon finishes the season with, say, a 22-5 record and the A's win the A.L. West, he would be a leading candidate for the A.L. Cy Young Award.
Unfortunately, Colon's name has been mentioned in the national media mostly in connection with the Biogenesis clinic and baseball's ongoing investigation into performance-enhancing drugs. Remember, Colon was suspended 50 games last season for testing positive, and it's not clear if his name keeps popping up because of that or if he's being investigated for something new.
A second violation would bring an automatic 100-game suspension, more than likely ending his career.
If Colon can finish this season, win the Cy Young Award and lead the A's to the World Series, what better time to retire, avoiding the possibility of a second suspension and the permanent stain on this dream season?
What to watch
Soccer, United States vs. Panama, 12:30 p.m., FOX40: Even without suspended coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. team is heavily favored.
Do you have confidence in 49ers backup quarterback Colt McCoy if Colin Kaepernick is injured?
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Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.