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The Curious Case of the Missing Pitcher

He did it again. Bartolo Colon just disappeared.

It's a pretty impressive trick to pull off once, let alone twice, because of Colon's, ummm, girth. The man is not a svelte pitcher, and yet for two consecutive seasons, he's managed to vanish into thin air during a stint on the disabled list. This time, Colon disappeared while on the DL with a sore right elbow. When White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen was asked where he might be yesterday, he played off the burly right hander's absence with a light touch of comedy.

"No, he's not here,'' Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. "[Where?] ... that's the hardest question you ask me, where is Colon? I think I don't see him pitching here in the next 20 days because he's got to go to a rehab assignments, start over with a pitching thing and we'll see what happens.''

Luckily for Colon, Chicago's approach to his absence has been much more forgiving than the tone taken by the Red Sox last year. During a late-season trip to (you guessed it) the disabled list, Colon decided to return to the Dominican Republic rather than stay in New England or Florida and work out at one of the team's minor league facilities. When the Boston front office tried to find out when Colon was coming back, they were essentially given the cold shoulder.

That was enough for Theo Epstein and co. to part ways with Colon, who spent the rest of the offseason in his homeland. Chicago has already been more lenient once -- in July, Colon was missing up until the eve of a AAA rehab start in Charlotte -- and from the tone of Guillen's comments, it seems like they will be again. The bigger question -- all puns intended -- is whether any pitcher deserves this much personal latitude, and whether that takes away from the rest of a team.

Those matters are for Guillen to decide. We're just here for the "vanishing fat guy" jokes. Try the veal and remember to tip your waiter everyone ...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 7, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  White Sox  | Tags: Bartolo Colon, Ozzie Guillen, White Sox, injuries  
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