Is there anything worse than these clueless meatball fans, who do nothing but pine for washed up, eternally overrated franchise heroes of long gone glory days to return. They pathetically push for ill-advised reunion even as evidence that these players are complete toast mounts so high it threatens to topple over and bury their careers. It's so path--
Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygooooooooooooood!
This was of course, a false premise. There are many things worse than the casual fan who clings to fond memories beyond logic. Undoubtedly included would be the analyst or media personality who self-congratulates and celebrates their clever owns of this populace, as if we need and would pay for their help reading the 130-point writing. At least these people have a passion beyond their own self-image.
Or maybe I'm just being defensive because I have a washed-up player crush too, and his name is Sergio Santos.
Sergio, who famously embodied the overwhelming nature of career relief and satisfaction that you have spent years steeling yourself for the distinct possibility of never feeling, when he wept on camera even as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen made a joke out of telling he made the 2010 Opening Day roster. And Sergio, who famously embodied adult realizations that even into your late-20's, personal accomplishments can feel married to a sense of duty to justify the dreams and support of your parents, as he wept on camera telling his father the good news...has been pretty bad of recent and spent a lot of time hurt. Look at the distribution of words in this paragraph and guess how much I care about the last sentence.
Santos, who between forearm and triceps strains, labrum surgery, and demotions for ineffectiveness, has managed the same 51.2 major league inning total in three years in Toronto as he did in his rookie season in 2010, and also walked 18 batters in 21 innings last year. He was bad enough to get waived twice in 2014 and now is a free agent since none of those affordable club options on the contract extension he signed after the 2011 season got picked up. PitchFX also had him at almost 2 mph slower than his debut year in 2014. The flags are red, and all this bad news reminds that he was probably more of an exciting baseball nerd toolbox than a pitcher. He posted walk rates over 11% in both years in Chicago, and benefited from a strong pen around him that allowed Ozzie to play matchups and pull him quickly from his most erratic outings.
Sergio also once had one of the greatest sliders I have ever witnessed; a violent two-plane breaker that looked like it was being pulled askew by a giant magnet in mid-flight. After we breeze through the tiny crop of free agent relievers with sound track records, and the smaller supply of affordable relievers with decent track records, we start looking for lottery tickets that have a shot of being above-average. Last year that was everyone, which created bad feelings and a desire for certainty, but live arms that need some fixing are a standard piece of any bullpen.
If you'll recall Santos once was known for flashing one of the best sliders anyone had ever seen. If you don't remember it, Squarespace isn't particularly good (it's terrible) at embedding MLB clips from before youtube, but there were some glimpses in Toronto.
Just the bottom falling out completely of a pitch in the high-80's. No biggie.
And again, the same trick. Getting pretty mundane here, to be honest. Sort of a boring, one-note player.
His command was dust in the wind in Chicago and seems to have only gotten worse in Toronto. His fastball, for all of its velocity and extension, never seemed to do much, which makes it even more troublesome for when he can't spot it. But there's always upside for him to be hugely effective in short bursts, he's been comfortable with the Sox and developed enormously under Cooper, and now there's not even the obligation to pay him like the closer he used to be.
As a non-roster invite he'd be a delight. As a one-year deal around $1 million, he's still appealing, and is at least as good of a risk as friggin' Mitchell Boggs. As far as sentiment-driven reunions go, rarely are they both inexpensive and bringing in a guy with actual potential.
I wouldn't actually be satisfied with an offseason that only returned Sergio Santos and Zach Duke, I wouldn't actually be dissatisfied with an offseason that filled all the Sox lineup and rotation holes and left another team with the task of crocheting Santos a new working right arm, but I will pretend in both cases until Sergio is back in the fold.
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