Philly Sports: Some recent athletes you should dislike

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Phillies, Carlos Santana
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /

Carlos Santana

It sure seemed like a wise move for the Phillies when they signed Santana before the 2018 season, part of a culture shift under new manager Gabe Kapler. And even though it pushed budding star Rhys Hoskins from first base to left field, he’d be fine there. Santana’s mix of pop and patience at the plate would be just what the doctor ordered, to go along with a decent glove over at first base.

In the end, Santana produced right around his career numbers, with the only exception being a career low .229 batting average. He delivered pretty much everything we could have reasonably expected. But you know what? It was still disappointing. He walked 110 times, which was great, but cleanup hitters are supposed to do something else. Maybe swing the bat and knock in runs once in a while. Interestingly enough, the only time he seemed to take his bat off his shoulder was to smash a TV in the clubhouse.

But whether Santana was part of the problem of the 2018 Phillies or was just an unheard veteran caught up in the mess of Gabe Kapler’s first season as the manager, his tenure in town left everyone feeling cold, no matter if that feeling was correct or not.

Nobody batted an eye when he was dealt along with J.P. Crawford to the Mariners in exchange for Jean Segura. But it did legitimately hurt to see him thrive in Cleveland in 2019 (after the M’s sent him back to his old stomping grounds), as Santana enjoyed the best season of his career while Rhys Hoskins scuffled badly. Good for Santana, but it felt like he made the Phillies into two-time losers.