Tuesday, September 6, 2011

57 sauce

Johan Santana has spent
this season rehabbing after
a serious shoulder surgery.
I saw in the Target Field stands Monday night a couple of "Santana 57" Twins jerseys.

There was also, for the first time since Santana was traded after the 2007 season, a Twins 57 jersey on the field. Kyle Waldrop is wearing the number.

The Twins had had a prime opportunity a couple of years ago to reissue 57. That had been Jon Rauch's number with Arizona, and supposedly he asked about it when the Twins acquired him — and opted for 60 when told 57 was last used by Santana.

But it's now almost four seasons since Cytana pitched here. And the chances that the Twins will ultimately retire his number, I think, dropped considerably this year.

The Twins' retired numbers fit in three categories:

  1. Hall of Famers portrayed in Cooperstown as Twins;
  2. Outstanding non-Hall of Famers who spent their entire careers with the Twins; and
  3. Jackie Robinson

Santana doesn't fit categories 2 and 3, and his chances of eventual enshrinement took a hit with this missed season. There aren't a lot of HoF pitchers who miss a season-plus in the heart of their careers.

It was probably time for the Twins to put No. 57 back in circulation — but it still seems odd to see someone other than Santana using it

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