Bartolo Colon was right man on the mound for A’s

Sometimes I wonder what’s going through Bartolo Colon’s head as he’s addressing reporters after a start. He gets this goofy grin on his face when he’s relaying his answers to interpreter Ariel Prieto. It doesn’t matter if it’s after a blowout win or heartbreaking loss, it’s always the same amused look. That expression could be absolutely meaningless. Or, more likely, he finds humor in a lot of the questions he’s being asked. On a ‘seriousness’ scale of 1 to 10, Colon rates about a minus-3. He is, by the looks of things, the most tension-free player in the A’s clubhouse. It’s reflected in the way he pitches. Colon never gets rattled on the mound, and that cool approach translated into an important performance for the A’s in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Toronto. The A’s put the breaks on their first mini-skid in a while, having lost three out of four coming into the night. And Colon was the ideal starter to deliver the performance they needed.

I think back to my first encounter with Colon in spring training, and I never would have guessed he has the personality he does. A pack of writers converged on him to do a group interview on the day pitchers and catchers reported. Colon went along with the exercise, but he couldn’t have seemed less enthusiastic. Now, it’s true that he doesn’t really like talking to the media. Not many pitchers have a policy of not granting interviews the day BEFORE a start. Colon does. But I’ll give him this: He’s an entertaining character to observe in the clubhouse, and that’s worth something in my book.

–Quick news update: Seth Smith is getting an MRI on his strained left hamstring Friday, and that should determine whether he hits the D.L. Smith said after the game he has no way to gauge how serious the injury is. If he goes on the shelf, the A’s could possibly turn to Collin Cowgill or Michael Taylor at Triple-A. Both are already on the 40-man roster. Of the two, I could see the A’s calling on Cowgill, a fiery player who can help the team in several different ways.

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich