Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Thoughts on Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo agreed on a contract to pitch for the Dodgers in 2017.  It's not the end of the world.  I mean I survived Juan Marichal pitching for the Dodgers at the end of his career.  Sergio Romo is not Juan Marichal, but he had his share of iconic Giants moments.  You all know the Sergio Romo story.  The Boy from Brawley who grew up a Dodgers fan and helped bring 3 World Series Championships to the Giants.  When Sergio left Brawley to go pitch college baseball, the locals told him "you'll be back, just like all the rest."  Romo's reply was "I'll be back, but it won't be like all the rest."  He kept his word and did he ever! Romo has earned a total of $29 M playing the game of baseball for a living and that does not count the money he made from TV ads and other endorsements. Even at that, he was a bargain for the Giants.  If you convert his career fWAR into dollar value, he was worth $64 M.  If you believe that fWAR undervalues relievers, he was worth even more.  His stat lines from 2008 when he broke into the majors midseason through 2012 were astounding.  He was one of the best setup relievers I have ever seen.  He stood in the gap when the Giants needed a closer and he didn't complain when they took the job back.  I'll say that Romo was not just a good Giant or even a great Giant.  He was an iconic Giant who had moments that will be remembered as long as major league baseball is played.  So, what was iconic about Sergio Romo?  Let me count the ways:

1.  The iconic pitch- that "no-dot" slider was one of a kind.  Maybe someone else has thrown a pitch like that in MLB, but I don't know who.  Very seldom in the history of MLB has one pitcher been associated with 1 pitch as effective as Romo's slider.  The memory of that pitch will remain with all of us who had the privilege of watching Romo help win 3 championships.

2.  The iconic moment-  Ironically, Romo's iconic moment did not involve the slider, but a fastball, thrown right down the pipe to Miguel Cabrera, of all people who was looking for the slider outside and just froze on the fastball.  It was the final pitch of the 2012 World Series and it might have been the gutsiest pitch ever thrown IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL!  I mean, who intentionally throws a fastball middle in to Miguel Cabrera with the World Series on the line, let alone gets away with it?  Everybody in the world knew that Cabrera was looking slider.  Cabrera was so sure of himself he didn't try to hide what pitch he was looking for.  Romo called him on it and won the bet.  Just unforgettable!

OK, that's only 2 iconic things about Sergio Romo, but how many players can claim even 1?  Other memorable things about him were the beard, the "I Only Look Illegal" T-shirt, the big smile and yes, the TV ads.  I'll say this, I have come close to going out and buying a Mercedes for no other reason than Romo's ads more than once.

So yes, I will miss Sergio Romo.  He may well do some damage to the Giants.  Last year ended badly for him and the whole bullpen, but overall he pitched quite well, when he pitched.  I'll be rooting for his tenure with the Dodgers to be short and unhappy.  Like Juan Marichal, his baseball home will always be with the Giants.


  1. I agree with this entire post, especially the part about the fastball to Cabrera.

  2. I have a friend who is a Dodger fan and I told him a couple of years ago that at some point Romo was going to pitch for the Dodgers during his career. Seems like such a natural fit based on his story. I believe growing up one of his neighbors was a Dodger reliever although I can't recall his name. I do agree though he was a great Giant and they got good value out of him. I do think the Dodgers are going to have to be very careful on how they handle him though as he seems like he is a slider away from TJ surgery based on his injuries the last few years although I don't wish him ill.

    Billy Baseball

  3. Speaking of ex Giants then Dodgers has Brian Wilson officially retired or is he still trying to pitch somewhere?

  4. for those who cares, wrenzie is back writing :)


  5. here's the answer on Brian Wilson


  6. Behind the scenes Romo volunteered in SF public schools, making visits and encouraging kids to stay in school and excel. He visited my kids' school and was genuinely down to earth, unassuming and an all around nice guy. He will be greatly missed beyond just the sporting arena.