Miguel Sano is a very good player. He's a very good hitter and a very good third baseman; today. I think he's probably going to get better. I think he'll probably have several all-star caliber seasons. One determining factor will be whether he can avoid injury or not. Another factor is whether he is motivated to be his best and maintains his optimal performing fitness. Maybe those two factors are connected. I don't feel very confident about him being succesful in either factor. I think avoidance of injury can be connected to both luck and maintainance of fitness. I think maintainance of fitness is connected to work ethic. I think work ethic is connect to character.
I doubt his character. I doubt his work ethic. I doubt his ability/willingness to maintain fitness. I doubt the likelihood of his avoiding injury. I think his pure athletic ability could carry him through a lot, along with some good fortune.
I was a huge Sano fan. Like most TD members, I followed his career from signing- probably on a daily basis through the minor leagues. I don't think I had ever been as excited for a prospect to arrive at the Twins, as I was for Sano. In my mind, he was a superstar before he arrived.
When the headlines of assault accusations appeared, I'd hoped it was some silly bar fight or weird confrontation over a misunderstanding, something easy to brush aside or write off. But they turned out to be credible accusations of sexual assault.
I don't intend to review that case in this thread. People have made their own conclusions and peace with it, and that's fine, I guess. Mine is that he probably did what he was accused of, and because of that, I personally don't enjoy watching him play in a Twins uniform. Further, I resent the Twins and MLB not addressing it in any meaningful way, thereby passing the ethical/moral dilemma on to fans. Every time I watch Sano, the Twins, any MLB I'm saying 'well, I guess watching baseball is more important to me than standing up against sexual assault.' The entities that had an opportunity to do something about this issue when confronted with it directly, passed on that opportunity.
What a player does on the field is obviously the biggest factor in their level of popularity and recognition, whether or not they reach star status or superstar status or whatever. But what (ASIDE: as I type this, Sano just hit a bomb to right center in whatever the Tigers' stadium is called now) a player does off the field also impacts their popularity and stardom. There's nothing Sano can do on the field that will erase, for me, the wrongness of what he was accused of. Even If there were anything he could do off the field to make up for it, he won't. If he did what he was accused of, he did it because he thought he would get away with it. And he did. The league, the team, and the fans let him off the hook.
I began by saying that I think Sano is good and that I think he will get better. I think this because of his talent, and despite his repeatedly demonstrated poor character. But I think that a case can be made that because of his poor character, he will not get better. He will stay the same or get worse. In which case, a reasonable action would be to move him. Therefore, I don't think the premise of this article is as bad as most of the posters in the thread do.
One poster stated that Sano had been cleared of the accusations. If that is referring to the MLB 'investigation', I would say that investigation amounted to a pretty effective cover up. If there has been other exonerating anything, I haven't heard about it, but would like to, as my preference is to watch Sano and all his talent without internal conflict.
Otherwise, in order of preference, I suggest:
Cut him and sign Mauer
Mandate attendance of sexual violence awareness classes indefinitely
That's just me though, and my opinion is pretty disconnected from his performance. (Though, his long term performance may be connected to his quality of character, which I estimate to be poor).
This post is so well written, and perfectly expresses (better than I could) the discomfort I have had cheering for Sano ever since the sexual assault charges surfaced.(BTW, everyone should read the alleged victim's account of the incident...it is nothing short of chilling).I want to get involved in the discussion about Sano's performance and potential because I am a baseball guy and he is such an intriguing baseball player, but I just feel that doing so ignores a very, very large elephant in the room.I go to a lot of games and cheer loudly for my beloved team, but always feel conflicted whenever Sano is up...I just find myself unable to cheer for him, and I have never had that feeling for any other Twin.What he does on the field is irrelevant to me, because I believe he did what he is accused of, and I find the man despicable.
I'm not trying to be holier than thou...I don't fault those who can ignore the accusations because MLB decided not to sanction him.It wouldn't be the first time that an accusation was unfounded.But I have read the victim's detailed account of the incident, and find it to be very believable...so I need to and have moved on from Miguel Sano.I hate that my discomfort with having this man on the roster occasionally dampens an unbelievably great season this team is having.It's not fair, but I can't change the way I feel.I need this guy gone today.As others have pointed out, his numbers and potential are very good, so some team is going to want him and be willing to give something of value in return.I really don't care if he becomes the next David Ortiz, because I will no longer have to sit uncomfortably in my seat every time he comes up to the plate...and that is a "win" beyond measure.Trade him today for a serviceable reliever.