Bartolo is banned

August 22, 2012

Last Sunday Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon pitched a gem of a game against the hapless Cleveland Indians, giving up only one run over eight innings of work.

Today Major League Baseball officials announced that Colon recently tested positive for testosterone, and suspended him for fifty games. As the A’s have only 40 games left in the regular season, this means that Colon is done for the year, and will miss the first ten games of 2013 as well.  Colon apologized for his actions and will not fight the suspension.

A week ago, Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended for fifty games for the same offense. According to, Cabrera will lose approximately $470,000 in salary due to the suspension.

It is unclear whether Colon was tested before last Sunday’s game or after it. It hardly seems necessary for a pitcher to take illegal supplements to face the weak-hitting Indians lineup.

I always liked Colon when he pitched for the Tribe, and I didn’t blame him for making noises about testing the free agent market, as he certainly would have done in 2002 had he not been traded away. Let’s hope he learns from this transgression and is able to return, healthy and supplement-free, in 2013.

UPDATE: In comments, IPL co-owner Stephanie Liscio points out that Colon’s positive test surely happened before last Sunday’s game.


  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    Actually, the positive test would have taken place some time ago. Before the suspension becomes official, they go through the appeals process (the part that became public for Ryan Braun). Melky Cabrera actually tested positive prior to the trade deadline, that’s why the Giants were trying so hard for an outfielder…in case the suspension held up.

  • John Ellis says:

    So the A’s used a pitcher who the KNEW had tested positive banned substances. Why shouldn’t they have to forfeit the game?

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    It’s an interesting point, especially since this was a pitcher. I read about some people who were advocating that the Giants vacate wins because of Cabrera’s suspension, but how would you even do that with a position player? Their argument was that Cabrera’s WAR was around 4, so they’d lose 4 wins. Who would get them though?

    A pitcher it’s much more cut and dried. While I’m not saying this is necessarily my argument, I think the point of MLB is that the player continues to pitch as he’s “innocent until proven guilty” (i.e. the appeals process ends). If there was the same amount of time between his positive test and suspension, as there was with Cabrera’s, he probably made 2 or 3 starts. If Cabrera truly did test positive prior to the deadline, and was suspended on August 15, that leaves about 2-3 weeks between test and suspension.