PHOENIX -- The A's had some hopes, privately expressed, that right-hander Bartolo Colon would speak with the media, and perhaps with his teammates, about his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test that began last year.
But when pitchers and catchers -- and quite a few position players -- reported to Phoenix Municipal Stadium for the first day of spring training Monday, it didn't happen.
Colon's teammates seemingly could not care less.
"I don't need to hear (an apology) from him," closer Grant Balfour said. "And we can't hold a grudge. He's our teammate, and we'll be right there with him."
Colon tested positive for testosterone and was suspended Aug. 22. He was the only true veteran in the A's rotation, and he was missed, although you wouldn't have known it from the team's performance after his departure.
Colon hadn't been around his teammates since then -- until Monday.
Brett Anderson, one member of the rotation who stepped up in Colon's absence, said he is glad to see Colon back in green and gold.
"Bartolo had a lot of success last year for us," Anderson said. "We can't be mad or hold a grudge.' "
In fact, the opposite is true. The A's missed Colon, they like him, and they are happy to have him back.
"We know Bartolo, and he knows us," pitcher Jarrod Parker said. "We don't need him to prove (anything) or make any statements or anything like that. We know who he is and how good he is on the field, so we are not pushing him for anything. I know he's going to address us, and he'll do it as he wants to."
The 50-game suspension included the final 45 days of the season and the postseason and will carry over to the first five games of 2013. After that, Colon, 39, figures to slip back into the rotation for his 16th big-league season, presuming nothing more comes from a recent report in which he and other major leaguers, including Alex Rodriguez, were linked to a performance-enhancing drug operation in Miami.
Manager Bob Melvin was asked if he would like to have Colon publicly say he was sorry or privately address the team.
"I haven't talked to him yet," Melvin said, sidestepping the issue.
A case can be made that Colon's suspension cost his teammates money and advancement in the playoffs. As a veteran who was having a solid season (10-9, 3.43 ERA including 4-1, 1.57 in the five starts before his suspension), Colon was in position to be a factor in the postseason, where the A's lost in five games to Detroit.
On the other hand, in Colon's absence, the Oakland rotation went 22-11.
The A's could have let Colon go as a free agent, but they elected to sign him to a one-year contract, so it is obvious general manager Billy Beane and his staff aren't holding grudges.
And whether or not he talks to the media, to the team or both, Colon should know his teammates are on his side.
"I love Bartolo; he's awesome," Balfour said. "I just gave him a hug right there and said, 'I'm glad they signed you back.' He was a huge part of our team. That was a misfortunate thing toward the end of the year.
"You think to yourself, 'Hey, if we had had him ... ' because he's a great player. He was missed. He's a strike-throwing machine. I've got no hard feelings. It's over. It is what it is. You can't hold grudges on people for the rest of their life."
"He was great for us with the Red Sox," Crisp said. "He could really help us here."
"I'm looking to make 30-plus starts," Anderson said. "I feel great."
"Bob Melvin came up to me last week and told me not to worry about that," Nakajima said. "He said 'You will be the primary shortstop' and Jed Lowrie will be the utility guy."