Colon apologizes for PED ban, missing A's playoff run
Veteran right-hander issued 50-game suspension for testosterone on Aug. 22
PHOENIX -- Bartolo Colon is a man of few words, and when he spoke to the media Tuesday -- his first public comments since his Aug. 22 suspension for testosterone -- his message was short, simple and direct.
"All I can say about last year is I apologize to everybody, the fans, teammates and the front office," Colon said through interpreter Ariel Prieto.
While he has no intention of holding a team meeting or anything of the sort, Colon is not done with the apology process as he plans to speak individually to each member of the team, an idea he previously discussed with manager Bob Melvin.
"I thought that was the proper way to go about it," Melvin said. "He's not a guy that wants to call a team meeting. It's not his personality. His personality is to deal with guys individually and I think he's done that to this point."
Although he was not officially suspended until late August, Colon was aware of the positive test for six weeks prior during the time allotted for appeals and retesting. Colon went 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in August, but said the imminent suspension was wearing on him.
"My mind was completely gone," Colon said. "[I] felt cleared because the day they told [me] what was going on, what happened with the suspension, [I had known] for a month and a half what was going to happen."
Oakland's starters finished the season with a 22-11 record in Colon's absence. Although Colon said he was happy the team was able to stick together, he was disappointed in missing the improbable run to an American League West championship.
"That's why I feel so bad," Colon said. "I couldn't be a part of the team for the playoffs and the rest of the season."
Prior to his suspension, Colon was 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts. It was the first time Colon recorded double-digit victories since winning 21 games in 2005 with the Angels. It was also his lowest ERA since 2002.
Some may believe Colon's numbers were influenced by the testosterone and he did not say anything to refute those sentiments. However, when asked if he could perform without the supplements, the 39-year-old said said his body feels good.
"[I] prepared [myself] really good before winter ball because everyone knew [I] was out of baseball for the last two months," Colon said. "[I] was prepared good and ready for winter ball."
Colon played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for Aguilas Cibaenas and allowed seven earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.
The right-hander has pitched for seven Major League teams over 15 seasons but said he had contact with no other clubs prior to signing a one-year, $3 million deal with Oakland in November.
"It feels good because the team is supporting [me] after everything that happened last year," Colon said. "[I] am glad because the team gave [me] the opportunity to come back."
Colon still needs to serve the final five games of his 50-game suspension but is expected to join Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and either Dan Straily or A.J. Griffin in the A's rotation. Because of the impression he made while in Oakland, Melvin said the decision to bring him back was not as difficult as many may believe.
"We also [knew] a little bit, based on what we've seen through last year, the quality of the person," Melvin said. "He was a great resource here. Never a problem, always doing what you need him to do and there for younger guys when they ask questions. Not the most vocal guy in the world, but leads by example."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.