So, I have a list of every player who has ever played a game for the Red Sox. Well, the list is actually in the Red Sox Media Guide. But, I retyped it over to an excel spreadsheet. Why would I do that? So that I can add their birthdates to the list. That was, at a glance, I can find out how old any player who ever played for the Sox is. Well, almost every player.
I don’t add players to the list until they appear in the following season’s Media Guide. So, I haven’t added Adrian Gonzalez or Carl Crawford to the list yet. It’s just easier to go through next spring and add all the players who appeared in 2011 then try to keep up with debuts over the season. It’s nice and easy, too, since I can use the same book to flip back and find their birth date. Provided, of course, that they’re still on the team the following year. This, unfortunately, means some players fall through the cracks. Someone like Rocco Baldelli was only on the roster the one year. So, by the time he was on the list of Sox players, he was already out of the media guide. I know what you’re thinking. It’s the information age. Just google the guy to find his address. And, I could. I just usually don’t. I have a list of players “to be googled.” (And, yes, Rocco’s still on that list.) The other resource I have handy is the 6th edition of Total Baseball, printed in 1999. So, for older veterans, the birthdates are easy to grab in there. That worked great for players like John Smoltz, Billy Wagner, and Bartolo Colon. Or so I thought.
You may remember that I wished Mr. Colon a happy 36th Birthday a couple weeks ago. Then, Colon and his “magic” right arm went out and pitched a shutout. All the media reports of the event gave him credit for being quite a bit older than 36. So, I’m left with a mea culpa. What went wrong? I’m not entirely sure. Either the book was wrong. Or, Colon is one of those players who suddenly got older in 2002 once they actually looked at their visas. Or, Colon’s “sudden” and “mysterious” improvement is less shocking because he’s really only 36. Whichever the reason, sorry for the confusion to my readers (assuming I can accurately use the plural form of that noun.)
I can’t believe nobody called me on it at the time.