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.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.