Bartolo Colon Suspension: A Canned Apology Simply Doesn't Cut It

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Bartolo Colon Suspension: A Canned Apology Simply Doesn't Cut It
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon issued a statement following MLB's announcement that he had been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

In a statement released through the Major League Baseball Players Union, Colon said:

"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's. I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the Joint Drug Program."

Wait...is that all?

How about saying something like "I'm only sorry I got caught?"

That's really what all players should say when they're suspended, because they're only sorry they actually got caught in the first place.

This canned statement released by Colon is similar in part to what suspended San Francisco Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera had to say when he got caught as well.

"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."

Yeah, they both apologize to their teams, their fans and their cities. At least Cabrera admitted to taking something he shouldn't have. But then again, he tried covering that up as well.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Melky Cabrera is another player who is "sorry" for his actions.

If you're anything like me, you have to be absolutely sick to death of hearing false apologies.

Neither Cabrera or Colon are actually sorry for trying to gain an edge on their fellow competitors. In Cabrera's case, he was looking for a big payday, and the Giants and Cabrera had already tabled discussions on a long-term deal shortly before his suspension. For Cabrera, a proposed three-year, $27 million contract similar to the deal signed by San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin just wasn't going to cut it.

He was looking for far more and likely would have received it—had he not been caught.

In Colon's case, he was looking to extend a career, one which had been derailed for the better part of five seasons following his Cy Young Award-winning season in 2005. In fact, Colon sat out the entire 2010 season following elbow surgery and additional shoulder problems.

Colon then underwent a controversial procedure in which he had fat and bone marrow stem cells collected and then injected into his right elbow and shoulder.

Following that procedure, Colon came back and threw 164.1 innings for the New York Yankees last season, posting a 4.00 ERA in 26 starts.

Colon signed an incentive laden one-year contract with a $2 million base salary with the A's during the offseason. Thus far in 24 starts, Colon is 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 152.1 innings, including his recent stretch in which he was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in his last five starts.

The unusual stem-cell injection may have put life in Colon's arm, but the testosterone certainly proved to enhance and sustain it even further, apparently.

But hey, he's sorry.

Is Colon sorry for harpooning the A's chances of making the postseason despite preseason prognosticators who had them pegged for a last-place finish in the AL West?

Is Colon sorry that he now casts a pall on his fellow Dominican players, who will now be looked upon in a different light?

Is Colon sorry that he put his own selfish interests in front of the team and its goals?

Of course not—don't be silly.

There will probably never be a case of an athlete apologizing when he or she didn't get caught. Say, for instance, someone has been using illicit drugs to gain an edge. All of a sudden, they have an epiphany and realize that what they're doing is seriously wrong.

They decide to confess their sins to the world before actually getting caught.

Do you honestly think that will ever happen?

The Cabrera and Colon apologies are worth absolutely nothing. I don't think there are a whole lot of people in the world of baseball that are going to surround them and forgive them for their actions.

They sullied the sport's name all for the sake of money and personal gain.

Both Colon and Cabrera can use the word "sorry" all they want—I have a different interpretation of the word "sorry," and one that I can't safely use in print.

Mr. Colon, your apology is not accepted.

 

Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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