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Daily Red Sox Links: Remember when Bartolo Colon was on the Red Sox?

The Red Sox are one of 11 teams that Big Sexy has pitched for. Plus Boston meets Shohei Ohtani, David Ortiz and his famous five words and Kevin Millar dunks on Alex Rodriguez.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

On April 4, 1997, the Atlanta Braves played their first home game at Turner Field against the Chicago Cubs. The Braves now play at SunTrust Park. April 4, 1997 was also the day of Bartolo Colon’s MLB debut with the Cleveland baseball team. He allowed four earned runs over five innings to the Anaheim Angels. No, not the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Anaheim Angels. Darin Erstad, Jim Edmonds, Tim Salmon, Eddie Murray and Garret Anderson were in their lineup.

On April 15, 2018, Colon, in his age-45 season, made his 541st appearance and 530th start, taking the hill for the Texas Rangers. He allowed just one run over 7 23 innings and struck out seven batters. He did that against the Houston Astros, a team that won the World Series last year and still has Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa last time I checked.

Even though there have been bumps in the road and plenty of times where it looked like he was done, Colon is still pitching and doing so pretty effectively. He was bad last season (6.48 ERA), but is back again, with a 1.45 ERA, 2.26 FIP and 304 ERA+ in four games (two starts) this season.

Colon has meant many things to many teams during his career. He was a budding ace with Cleveland. A midseason trade acquisition for the Montrel Expos (which sent Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland). An innings eater for the White Sox. A Cy Young winner with the Angels and the a home run hitter for the New York Mets, among other roles with other teams. One of those teams was the Boston Red Sox. If you’re counting, it only took me 254 words to mention the Red Sox today. Not too bad.

Colon threw in all of seven games and covered 39 innings for the Sox, but he was actually somewhat effective. He had a 3.92 ERA and a 119 ERA+, even if his FIP (4.34) wasn’t all that great. He only struck out 6 2. batters per inning, but that was just off the reading he had only three years earlier (6.3) when he won the AL Cy Young award.

People probably forget that Colon pitched for the Sox in 2008, a whole 10 years ago. If, at that point, you had asked me (or anyone for that matter), if Colon would still be on a MLB roster a decade later, I would have laughed. But here he is, still pitching.

The Red Sox will get their first chance to face Shohei Ohtani today. Let the hype build. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)

If you want to have a conversation about the best team in baseball, the Red Sox have to be the first squad you mention. (Alyson Footer;

Even as everything goes right for the Red Sox, Blake Swihart is still being left out in the cold. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)

David Ortiz uttered five glorious words in 2013. Bleacher Report has an oral history of a time when the Red Sox slugger and the rest of the team helped Boston in a pretty dark time. (Joon Lee; Bleacher Report)

Speaking of Ortiz, here’s part one of a series on the best DH of all time’s career. (David Ortiz; The Players’ Tribune)

Kevin Millar’s troll job on point. Take that, A-Rod. (Adam London; NESN)