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Bartolo Colon swings for the fences and loses his helmet

Why did it have to take so long for Bartolo Colon to return to the National League? The last time he played in the league was 2002, but even that stint was unsatisfying as he made only 17 starts for the Montreal Expos before moving back to the AL

In 17 seasons, those were his only NL appearances until he joined the New York Mets this winter. We've missed out on so many great years and so many great memories of Bartolo doing what Bartolo does best — entertaining us unintentionally through his awkwardness at the plate.

Oh well, at least we have the here and now, and so far it looks like Colon is prepared to make up for lost time.

Take, for example, his approach on Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves. Colon, who’s swings are ferocious and intense, yet aimless and fruitless, went for the downs on multiple swings against right-hander Ervin Santana. Perhaps he was looking to do like Martin Maldonado of the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night and hit the cover off the baseball — literally. Perhaps he was simply looking for career homer No. 1.

Whatever the case, Santana figured out what Colon was doing after just one pitch. On the second pitch, he threw a beautiful slider at 83 mph and nearly spun Colon into the dirt. Colon was prepared to come out of his cleats as he saw the ball hanging up there, then he literally spun right out of his helmet as it disappeared.

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(USA TODAY Sports)

Granted, it didn't look like the helmet fit anyway, but there was some serious force behind that hack. Especially for a guy who was questionable earlier in the week with a back issue

Predictably, Colon would go down swinging in that plate appearance on three pitches. The second plate appearance was more of the same, three pitches and out. Unfortunately, though, there was no third because Colon was out of the game after allowing three runs in seven innings. He ended up taking the loss in Atlanta's 7-5 victory

Some people will probably see Colon's at-bat as another good example of why the designated hitter needs to be instituted across the board. Quite honestly, there's probably no other good way to actually take it. With that in mind, though, there's something to be said for the entertainment aspect, and at this point Colon's at-bats are must-see TV. 

Is it an actual selling point for baseball? Of course not.

Would baseball fans miss watching pitchers hit? Some would, but probably not for long. 

Would baseball fans miss watching Bartolo Colon hit? That has to be a unanimous yes.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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