To say Sergio Romo is popular among Giants fans is like saying candy’s popular among elementary school students. Romo, especially among the more stats-oriented fans of the team — or the game of baseball, for that matter — is revered for his “frisbee” slider and otherworldly control.
Romo came in for one final relief appearance in the last game of the season on Wednesday (a 6-3 loss to the Rockies that was memorable only for the emotional farewells to the team, Bill Neukom and possibly Pat Burrell) and pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing a hit and striking out one.
Check out Romo’s final statistics, which look as if they’re filled with typos:
65 G, 48 IP, 29 H, 70 K, 5 BB, 1.50 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 0.98 FIP (going into today), 2.2 fWAR (which is phenomenal for a reliever).
Romo’s production throughout his Giants career is plenty reason enough for fans to fall in love with him, and the love was evident when he came in for his final appearance of 2011. And his mannerisms on the mound (particularly his outbursts after striking someone out to end an inning) and his creative, ever-changing facial hair only add to the equation.
But when it comes to how well he connects with fans, don’t discount the humble, cheerful personality Romo consistently displays during interviews. Romo always seems like he’s in the verge of doubling over in laughter, almost like he can’t quite comprehend the fact that he’s not just in the Majors, but he’s also dominating Major League hitters.
I got to interview Romo for the first time in the clubhouse today. His locker was cleaned out, the fanmail hung from the top next to his name taken down for the winter. I asked Romo about his status as kind of a cult hero on Twitter and the blogs, if his historic season has sunk in, and what he hopes to accomplish in 2012. And even though he drops a “Frisco” during this interview, I’m sure he’ll remain a fan favorite next year and for years to come.