Bartolo Colon is a game-changer.
For decades now we have all suspected certain athletes of taking performance enhancers. The guys with huge, bulging muscles. The strong, sinewy players with sustained performance and otherworldly endurance. The guys with sudden surges in power and production. In many cases, our suspicions have been proved correct by positive tests. Strength, power, fitness. Those were the signs of someone on performance enhancers.
Until Wednesday. Because Colon has neither strength nor power nor fitness.
Thanks to Colon, bulging biceps are now no less damning than bulging chins. The truffle shuffle is the same as making your pecs dance. Looking cut is equal to having plumber’s butt.
Everyone is suspicious.
Do we still suspect some muscle-bound hitter who knocks a broken-bat home run into the third deck? Sure. But no more than we do the portly middle reliever who appears winded by his jog in from the bullpen.
And what of our friends, family and neighbors? Are they cheating, too? We all know people who share Colon’s body type. Who’s to say they’re not on the juice?
Your Uncle Cliff may insist he’s clean. He may claim he got his body from years of eating your aunt’s pot pies and cupcakes and drinking beer, but every victory he ever had in horseshoes at family reunions now has a big ol' ASTERISK.
We all remember the sign in Philadelphia taunting Barry Bonds: “Ruth did it on hotdogs & Beer.” Hot dogs and beer. It sounded so innocent back then. No more.
In this post-Colon world, hot dogs and beer may as well be a syringe sticking out of your arm. Good try, Babe Ruth, but we’re on to you. And we’re on to everyone else, too.