The first time Robinson Cano ever faced Bartolo Colon was in the 2005 division series. It was Cano’s first postseason at-bat, and he ripped a three-run double to left. Cano said he’s never brought it up with the least likely member of the Yankees rotation, but it sounds like he wouldn’t hesitate if the time was right.
“He’s a good guy,” Cano said. “He’s the kind of guy you can joke around (with). Even the other day, he told me when he was pitching, like, ‘When I’m pitching you can talk to me and make some jokes because I’m not the kind of guy that (likes to) be so serious.’”
With a guy like Colon, it’s hard for most of the New York media — myself included — to gauge a personality. Although it’s possible to have short conversations with him in English, all of his interviews are done through a translator. Thing is, he seems to be always laughing during those interviews. He was smiling through questions about his weight this spring, and he’s laughed through multiple questions about how shocking it is to see him pitching this well again.
“You can see,” Cano said. “If you watch, he’s always laughing in the dugout, talking to the guys. Always with two outs, you never see him sitting down, he’s always talking to somebody.”
It was obvious from a short conversation with Cano last night that Colon is a likable man. Cano said Colon takes nothing for granted, and when Cano arrives at the park early every day, Colon is already there.
More than a year removed from his last big league appearances, it’s stunning to see Colon pitching so well through this first month of the season. Shocking, that is, to outsiders who didn’t see him this winter.
“I saw him pitching in the Dominican and it was really good,” Cano said. “He came over to spring training, pitched the same way. He’s throwing a lot of strikes… We all know, back in the day the kind of guy he was with the Angels. He was their No. 1 guy, won the Cy Young. That’s life. You’re going to have some ups and downs, and it’s a good thing to see a guy like him battling, and come up and pitch the way he’s pitching right now.”
Here’s Cano, talking a lot about Colon’s personality and what’s been like to see him succeed at this stage of his career.