Published late Christmas Eve, this inspiring story on Ron Santo’s passing from the Arlington Heights Daily Herald flew largely under the radar during the holiday weekend.
Let’s bring it back to light.
The obituaries will tell you that the Cubs legend passed away on December 2, but Santo’s immediate family knows the real truth.
At 8:30 p.m. on December 2, a Thursday night, the Santo kids said goodbye to their father and doctors pulled the 70-year-old off life support.
But he refused to give up his battle against bladder cancer and beat the odds into early Friday morning.
“They said he could not breathe without the machine,” Jeff Santo told the Herald. “Not only was he breathing but his blood pressure was perfect.
“We were like, ‘What’s going on here?’
“I kept saying to the doctor, ‘The brain tells the body to breathe. The brain isn’t working. So how is this happening? What’s making him breathe?’
“It was very draining. Vicki would say, ‘Ron, it’s OK. You can go.’ We’d say, ‘Dad, it’s time. Let go. You can rest now.’
“My sister Linda had been through a lot and my dad and her had such a strong bond. But she was drained. We had to get her out of the room.
“After about three hours, Vicki and I talked about it, and she was right. He wouldn’t want us staying there staring at him.
“He’d say, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ So we all agreed that it was time to go. We said our goodbyes at 12:30 Friday morning.”
Ron Santo died at 12:40 a.m., Friday, December 3, just 10 minutes after his wife and children left his bedside. He was a fighter, an inspiration and a man of pride from start to finish.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.