SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The last hit infielder Christian Colon recorded for the Kansas City Royals gave them a winning lead in Game 5 of the World Series. But that was more than four months ago, and coming into Wednesday’s spring-training game against the Chicago Cubs, he was staring at an 0-for-22 start to his 2016 and in desperate need of a knock.
Colon finally broke his bad Cactus League run after a second-inning out by belting a ground-rule double in the bottom of the fifth inning off Cubs starter John Lackey.
Afterward, Colon could laugh about his teammates’ responses after he broke his 0-for-23 slump.
“They tried getting the ball. Everybody was up, doing our thing, ‘That’s it, you did it.’ Everybody was giving me hugs. Moose [Mike Moustakas] gave me, ‘You look like you needed a hug,’” Colon said. “Everybody in the dugout was super pumped. It feels good to get hits, that’s for sure, no matter whether they count or not.”
But the utility man could also admit that he submitted to a little bit of old-fashioned baseball superstition and sought extra help to bust out of his slump: A Jobu statuette, modeled after the voodoo doll in “Major League” that inspired slugger Pedro Cerrano.
“I ordered it last year, and I didn’t get to use it last year,” Colon shared. So naturally, in this deep a slump, he turned to Jobu three days ago. “I don’t know, man, I had it at home and I looked at him and I thought, 'I'm going to bring it, just to get the guys going.' [Drew] Butera gave me this rosary right here for today, but I may have to keep it. Moose has been giving him some shots and stuff.”
The rosary might still have been draped around Jobu, but the shot was nowhere in evidence.
“I don’t know, it walked away,” Colon observed with a laugh.
“I actually played a couple times and I was oh-fer and I was getting ready to give up on him. But he’s still here. You can’t give up on him,” Colon said.
So, if Jobu delivered, is Jobu now a Royals clubhouse fixture?
“I don’t know, he’s just hanging out here. I think I’m going to leave him here,” Colon said.
Christina Kahrl writes about MLB for ESPN. You can follow her on Twitter.