For the Angels, letting Hector Santiago go to Minnesota was a difficult decision. Santiago was performing well this season and he was regarded as one of the favorites among Angel players.
Following the news of Hector Santiago’s trade to the Twins, Angels fans the world over took to twitter to voice their opinions, thoughts, and goodbye’s to a pitcher who brought more than just his game to Anaheim. Santiago was a fan favorite among many Angels fans. The amount of outpouring and farewell that was displayed following the news was inspiring.
Santiago took to twitter himself yesterday to share a heart-felt goodbye to the Big A. The Angels also posted a tweet thanking Santiago and Joe Smith who was also traded yesterday.
There wasn’t any bad-blood, no locker-room issues, or a demand to be traded. This was a business decision and all involved seemed to understand, even if the fans didn’t.
Still Santiago’s efforts on and off the field should be celebrated. Not only was he a great teammate, but he seemed to be coming into-his-own on the field. Santiago was 10-4 this season with a ERA of 4.25, he also record 107 strikeouts this season.
Santiago made a strong impression on the local media as well. He made himself available for photo shoots, snapchat takeovers, and even a tour of a man-cave with Fox Sports West. In fact, Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com also displayed a heartfelt tweet to Santiago and Smith saying:
"Angels have announced the trades of Santiago and Smith, two of the best people I have, and will ever, cover. All the best to them."
This is why we watch sports. It’s far too often we see reports of athlete’s we love lose all respect and admiration of the fans by doing something stupid. From arrest to steroid bust, or even the situation surrounding Kevin Durant and Tom Brady. It’s almost rare we see a player who’s just a all-around good dude.
We as Angels fans are rather blessed, we have multiple players who aren’t linked to any crazy rumors or news reports. Mike Trout who’s superstar status hasn’t deterred him from being a class act. Santiago was arguably a budding star in Anaheim before his untimely trade; however, taking note that there’s riff between the Angels and Santiago is key.
It’s likely Santiago could return to the Big A in the twilight of his career, and Angels would welcome him back gladly. The feeling could be described as an old friend who’s returned from deployment or a semester at an out-of-state college.
Santiago represents a strong connection between fans, media, and player. While his absence will be missed, fans will be more likely to watch him play in a Twins uniform than if the trade was on the ugly side.
Yesterday may have been rough for some fans and not to mention Santiago himself. The reality is this is a part of sports, and while it’s always not a beautiful story, this situation is more of a “I’ll see ya later” than a goodbye.