SAN DIEGO — Before his final All-Star Game, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on Monday called the Mets’ Bartolo Colon a “teddy bear,” capturing why the 43-year-old marvel has attracted such a cult following.
But Colon appears unlikely to pitch in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. Mets manager Terry Collins already has talked to him about being an emergency option in case the Midsummer Classic goes into extra innings and a pitcher must throw multiple innings.
“He’s just durable enough to be able to do it,” said Collins, the NL manager. “He deserves to be here. But as the time was coming, I wasn’t sure who on another team was going to be available, and I knew he was. So I talked to him about it . . . I ran the scenario by him, and he said, yeah, no problem. Because a lot of guys would say I don’t want to [pitch late multiple innings]. He doesn’t care. He’s happy to be here.”
If Colon isn’t used in the game, Collins said he might start Friday when the second half of the season resumes in Philadelphia against the Phillies.
Breaking up brothers?
Dellin Betances described the “brotherly relationship” he enjoys with Yankees bullpen mate Andrew Miller.
“He has a lot of knowledge of the game and [he’s] somebody you can learn a lot from,” Betances said of his fellow American League All-Star. “When he speaks, you listen. He’s always well prepared.”
With the trade deadline looming and the Yankees seemingly locked around the .500 mark, Miller has emerged as an increasingly popular trade target. The Cubs reportedly covet Miller, but he downplayed rumors of a pending move.
“I don’t know where it came from, but it’s not going away,” Miller said. “I signed with the Yankees to play with the Yankees. Winning a World Series there would be as good as it gets. That’s the goal until further notice.”
If the National League leads in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, Mets closer Jeurys Familia will get the call in a save situation.
Familia has posted a 2.55 ERA and is leading the NL with 31 saves, ahead of All-Star colleagues Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and A.J. Ramos, each of whom has 27 saves.
A nod to Gwynn
Late Padres great Tony Gwynn left a lasting impact on AL starting pitcher Chris Sale. Upon Gwynn’s death from salivary gland cancer in June 2014, Sale said he quit using chewing tobacco.
Gwynn, 54 at his death, had been a longtime user.
“I quit that day and I haven’t touched it since,” Sale said. “In a sense, I owe him a huge thank you for not only myself but for my family and, you know, hopefully I can maybe sway somebody in the right direction as well, like he did for me.”