Fernando+Salas+Cincinnati+Reds+v+St+Louis+wXr1mqA3es3l[1]

New Hire Orientation: Fernando Salas

Oh, um, hello. Come on in. It's Fernando Salas, right? Thanks for coming in… I guess.

/rifles through paperwork

Look, I'm going to level with you. I barely know who you are. Sure, I know your name, but aside from that, all I know is that our GM, Jerry, went out of his way to bring you on board. I have no idea why. I'm not trying to insult you, but he really went above and beyond to hire you. Heck, he actually let go of a kid we all thought had some potential just so he could get his hands on you.

Forgive me for being confrontational, but you seem to be the quintessential example of failing upward. Just look at your work record. Your first year you put up middling numbers. You issue too many free passes and roundtrips. Yet the very next year you end up getting promoted to closer. But then you lose that job part of the way through the year. The next year, you once again struggle with command and fall down the organizational depth chart. Then last year, the struggles continue to the point that you get demoted to the minors division.

And what's your reward for all of that? This organization headhunts you away to come over and work here, giving up legitimate assets despite you falling out of favor with your old employer. It just doesn't make any damned sense.

I'm really trying to wrap my head around what Jerry sees in you, Fernando. When I look at you credentials, I see a guy in decline and who was never that good in the first place. That great year in 2011 where you got to moonlight as closer was built on the back of a .226 BABIP and 83.9 LOB%. It was all just smoke and mirrors wasn't it? I'm told that you have a deceptive delivery, but maybe that only works for so long. It sure doesn't seem to be deceiving left-handers too much, that's for sure. They roughed you up pretty good last season.  Maybe Jerry wants to use you as some sort of specialist, but you aren't that good against righties.

What really concerns me is how much you seem to be going the wrong direction in your career. I've got a medical report here that says you missed a whole month last year due to shoulder problems. Perhaps that explains why your fastball velocity fell off by nearly one and a half miles per hour. You're just one walking red flag aren't you?

The only thing I see going for you is that your career FIP is right a 3.55. That isn't half bad, especially with your volatile performance history. Of course, we've got this Blanton asshole who has a good FIP too but he's proven to be nothing but a giant lump of crap.

You know what really chaps my ass about you, Fernando? It looks to me like you are going to be out of options. We're going to have to just giftwrap a bullpen gig for you. We've got so many young guys and prospects who could come in and compete for a job this spring, but it looks like you are going to block them no matter what you do because we can't demote you back down to one of our farm clubs. Even if we do find out you still have options, Jerry is probably going to feel compelled to keep you with the big club just to prove his point. I tell you, I am so sick of this political, CYA bullshit.

/buries head in hands and let's out a long sigh

Look, I apologize. That was a bit of a rant, wasn't it? I shouldn't have put that on you. None of this is your fault. I know you are just a regular guy trying to come in and do your job to the best of your ability. It isn't your fault Jerry cherrypicked you and put everyone into this awkward position. I think we're just going to have to figure out how to make the best of it. If Jerry sees something in you, well, that's Jerry's choice and I'm just a guy who works here.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.

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