PHOENIX — Bartolo Colon knew he had failed a drug test for about six weeks before he got hit with a 50-game suspension last season. He made several starts for the Athletics while knowing he probably wouldn't participate in the pennant race.
"I continued to pitch, but my mind wasn't good," he said.
Now that the right-hander, 39, is back in the clubhouse at spring training with the teammates he let down, he knows he can only earn peace of mind and forgiveness by getting back in top form on the mound.
Colon finally spoke Tuesday about his season-ending suspension for a positive testosterone test. Through an interpreter, the former Cy Young Award winner with 171 career wins expressed regret for his past mistakes and hope for his future.
"The only thing I can say about last year is I apologize to everybody, even the fans, the team, the front office about what happened," he said.
The A's organization already has forgiven the veteran starter whose first season with Oakland ended prematurely. Not only did the unlikely AL West champions re-sign Colon, they gave him a raise with a $3 million, one-year contract.
"I feel loved, because Oakland gave me the opportunity to come back and be part of it again," he said.
HURDLE EXTENSION: The Pirates and manager Clint Hurdle officially agreed to a contract extension that runs through at least the end of the 2014 season. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal includes a club option for 2015.
HONORING CHIPPER: The Braves announced they will retire Chipper Jones' No. 10 jersey and induct him into their team Hall of Fame on June 28.
WBC: Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic that begins March 2.
ANGELS: Left-hander Sean Burnett is expected to miss four to five days with lower back soreness. Burnett said he was hurt while picking up his 4-year-old son and putting him in a shopping cart at the grocery store.
CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal, working his way back from a strained elbow ligament, may not be ready for Saturday's spring training opener.
CUBS: Former Rays right-hander Matt Garza has a mild side strain and is expected to miss a week of spring camp.
WHITE SOX: Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton is day to day with inflammation in his pitching elbow.