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Giants signing Sergio Romo for sentimental gesture



© H. Darr Beiser | 2012 Oct 28

Three-time World Series champion Sergio Romo is getting one more chance to button up a Giants jersey.

Romo, 40, is signing a minor league contract with the Giants the club has announced. The move allows the right-handed reliever who became a fan favorite during the Even Years championship runs to retire as a Giant.

Romo ranks fifth in Giants history in games played (515) and eighth in saves (84). Although his slider made him an effective pitcher, Romo’s fastball down the middle strikeout of Miguel Cabrera to end the 2012 World Series is remembered as one of the signature plays in franchise lore.

Romo’s deal comes with an invitation to the Giants’ Major League camp, but the reliever doesn’t expect to make the team.

Romo posted a 7.50 ERA in 18 innings last year, pitching for Toronto and Seattle. He wasn’t invited to compete in the World Baseball Classic by Team Mexico.

“When (the Giants) approached me, it was, ‘You never know, you may catch lightning in a bottle,’” Romo told The Athletic. “And I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’ll be honest with you guys, I haven’t done anything since September.’ There’s no lightning in this bottle, trust me. You’re not going to find that. But I know I’ll try to compete my ass off when I’m out there. I might actually be nervous for a change.”

After getting drafted in the 28th round of the 2005 draft out of Colorado Mesa University, Romo spent the first nine years of his MLB career with San Francisco. His 15-year career after the Giants included stops with the Dodgers, Mariners, Athletics, Blue Jays, Twins, Marlins and Rays.

Now his career will end where it began, and where it reached its highest highs. The Giants plan on ramping up Romo so that he can appear in one of the Giants’ Bay Bridge exhibition games on March 26 or March 27.

Both games will be broadcast by NBC Sports Bay Area, giving fans one last look at the last active member of the Core Four.

“The one thing I don’t want to do that I’m afraid I probably will do is end up crying,” Romo told The Athletic. “I don’t know emotionally how I’m going to feel. Not only running out there but … walking off…If we were to all write out on a piece of paper a dream scenario, like, ‘This is what you want to happen,’ I still couldn’t have written it as well as it happened. In all aspects.