Bartolo Colon could be an All-Star; it’s not as crazy as it sounds, especially with Terry Collins as the team’s manager. But perhaps the choice should be taken out of his hands.
First off, it is not unusual for pitchers in their final years to get an All-Star nod; Tom Glavine made the team twice as a Met, for example. Secondly, Colon is actually pitching very well — 6-3 with a 3.01 ERA and is among the leaders in fewest walks allowed. Those stats are almost good enough to make the team without his intangibles — an older player who is a fan favorite.
Last year, 15 National League pitchers made the squad, so we will use that number. Here are the following pitchers who can stake a claim to making the team:
That’s 12 pitchers who are pretty much definites, so there is some wiggle room to add Colon. Unless they are voted in by the players, I doubt Collins would want to take three Cubs starters (Arrieta, Hammel and Lackey). And Collins might have to hold his nose to take the Scherzer from the rival Nats, who has the highest ERA of any of the above starters, anyway, but is second in strikeouts.
(By the way, this does not take into account having to select particular pitchers just to make sure every team is represented).
If Colon manages to be, say, 9-3 with a 2.50 ERA when it is time to choose, Collins can certainly justify taking him. But adding Bartolo Colon to the All-Star team would be for the fans, so maybe they should get to make the choice. Just put Colon on the Final Vote ballot and let the masses choose. And who gets to choose the five players on the ballot? — the All-Star manager, which would assure Colon’s place on the list.
The All-Star Game is supposed to be fun. Who is more fun these days in baseball than Bartolo Colon? And even if he cannot pitch for whatever reason, let him pinch hit. That would be the most fun of all.