Colabello, Romero, tale of two careers

OF Chris Colabello was an independent league for year after year and now plays every day with the Toronto Blue Jays, while LHP Ricky Romero was an an all-star and is now starting over with the San Francisco Giants.

OF Chris Colabello was an independent league for year after year and now plays every day with the Toronto Blue Jays, while LHP Ricky Romero was an an all-star and is now starting over with the San Francisco Giants.

Ricky Romero and Chris Colabello are two athletes at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Romero, a former ace and once a potential Cy Young award candidate, was given his walking papers by the Toronto Blue Jays with $7.5 million remaining on the last year of his contract. His release also ignited a $600,000 buyout of a club option for next year.

Colabello, a superb independent league and minor league player, has finally made his way back to the majors. His road isn’t necessarily the best route, but he did what he had to do to make it back.

Why focus on two athletes that aren’t impact players? Because Romero and Colabello are at a crossroads with endless potential.

Colabello has 11 years in the game at this point. At age 31, his stint with the Blue Jays could be his best and last opportunity to make a name for himself. He’s proven countless times that he’s a master at his craft. A career .313 career batting average over the span over 3,300 at-bats is proof of that. Currently batting .429, that number will come back down to earth in the coming weeks. However, injuries and underperformers may keep him in the line-up longer than expected, obviously not the worst thing in the world. Journeyman ballplayers should look to guys like Colabello.

Without a doubt, he’s an inspiration to 100s of players who went undrafted, yet still have the dream to compete at the next level, Colabello is quiet and carries a big stick.

Romero has been given a second chance by the San Francisco Giants. And why wouldn’t they? They Jays are paying his salary. The Giants have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The former first-round pick hasn’t become a terrible player overnight. It’s a combination of injuries, confidence and mechanics that resulted in underwhelming numbers.

Romero really does have to regroup and start from scratch, very similar to what Scott Kazmir did. Expectations will be minimal as he begins his Giants career after signing a minor league deal. Just as Colabello has flew under the radar until a spectacular International League season earned him his first call-up in 2013, Romero needs to fly under the radar for the time being, while showing the promise that once made him one of the most promising young left-handers in the game.

Colabello has been at the bottom and clawed his way up from obscurity. Romero is at the point in his career where all the doubters have been proven right. He has to prove them wrong. While bother players resumes contrast, a closer look finds more similarities than you might think.

 

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM’s Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM’s Perspective on twitter and Facebook.

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Devon Teeple

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com