The Phillies officially welcomed new first baseman Carlos Santana to the team during this afternoon’s press conference at Citizen’s Bank Park. It was a standard affair. General manager Matt Klentak said some nice things about Santana:
“Carlos fits us in just about every way that we would want him to and that’s why we were so aggressive in going after him.”
Santana said some nice things about the Phillies, comparing the team to where the Indians were in 2013 and how he believes the Phillies can replicate his former team’s success in explaining his somewhat surprising decision to sign here.
Klentak admitted his interest in upgrading the starting pitching, while understandably not providing much insight as to how he might do it. He also dropped this gem in response to a question from Jim Salisbury if this signing speeds up the rebuild:
“As far as our expectations for 2018, I expect us to be the best club we can possibly be given our personnel.”
Holy shit. I don’t think I can handle the excitement. The Phillies should somehow incorporate that gem into its marketing plans for this upcoming season.
But the real highlight of the afternoon was this, uh, aggressive hug between Gabe Kapler and Santana which begins at the 15:55 mark in the video embedded below.
You may be thinking to yourself, “So what?” Nice little bro hug to break the ice, set some positive vibes. Plus, it makes for a nice photo op. Hugs happen all the time at these things. Well, have a look:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) December 20, 2017
17 SECONDS! That’s how long it was from the time their hands meet pre-hug to the time they break their firm embrace. I know because I timed it.
Steamy. I have no idea if Kapler can manage, or if Santana will hit, or if the Phillies will successfully make the jump to the next stage of their rebuild, but I know one thing–it’s impossible not to be drawn in by Kapler. Everything this guy does is weird, if not entirely uncomfortable and I can’t get enough of it. As someone who will write about the Phillies here, his hiring was the best thing that could have happened to me. He’s a gift from the blogging gods.