Monday, April 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Romo embracing closer’s role in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Sergio Romo raced down a tunnel inside AT&T Park on Saturday, slapping hands with a line of supporters chanting his last name during Fan Fest. He danced with some, posed for pictures with others and riled up the rest.

San Francisco’s new bearded closer has no trouble in the limelight.

After a dominant and demonstrative performance throughout October, Romo’s role for the defending World Series champion Giants will go beyond pitching the ninth inning this season. He’s one of the franchise’s faces now, especially with Brian Wilson and his bushy black beard likely gone, and he’s quickly learning about his newfound fame.

“I walk out to go warm up and it’s like, ‘Ahhh!’ I’m like, ‘Wow. I’m getting a big ol’ cheer?’” Romo said. “But then also just walking down the street and the reception that I get. I get recognized all the time now.”

From dancing behind teammates in the dugout on national television to wearing a T-shirt during the World Series parade that read “I Just Look Illegal,” Romo has never been afraid to show his personality. That’s maybe the biggest reason he’s such a hit in San Francisco, an ultra-progressive city where being different is cool.

The added popularity also comes with more pressure to perform on and off the mound.

Romo got a taste of the other side of the spotlight New Year’s Day, when a tiff with Transportation Security Administration agents at the Las Vegas airport drew a misdemeanor summons. Prosecutors have since dropped the charge, and Romo said he has put the incident behind him and is focusing on baseball again after a breakout October.

“Does it surprise me that I’m getting all the attention? No. But at the same time, you really can’t be prepared for it,” Romo said. “I think it’s just kind of like, there’s no, ‘Hey, man, how do I do this?’ Nobody sits there and explains things to you.”

Romo’s role this season will be the same one he left off doing in October.

He went 4-2 with 14 saves and a 1.79 ERA last year. Most came after Wilson, a rehabbing free agent the Giants don’t expect back, had elbow ligament-replacement surgery in April..

After Santiago Casilla struggled to close out games in Wilson’s absence, Romo and his whipping slider took over. In the playoffs, he had one win, four saves and a 0.84 ERA in 10 appearances.

Romo closed out three games in the World Series sweep against Detroit, including the final out when he struck out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera looking on a surprise fastball. Romo said he went back and watched his postseason highlights this offseason to see for himself what he looked like on the mound.

“I still can’t believe it’s really happening, really,” Romo said. “It’s like, ‘Man, no way. No way, no how that’s me. But, oh, let’s play it again. Yup, it really is me. Rewind it. Yup, it really is me.’”

Teammates said the quality of Romo’s pitches has always been there — he just found a new level of confidence they hope will carry into the new season.

“I think if anything he proved something to himself. He didn’t have to prove anything to us. I always knew he had the stuff to do those things,” Giants lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt, Romo’s throwing partner who received a new $18 million, three-year contract deal over the winter.

The Giants also rewarded Romo with a two-year contract earlier this week that can increase from $9 million to $10.2 million if he closes regularly.

Manager Bruce Bochy announced shortly after the season that Romo will be his closer going into 2013. He reaffirmed that decision on the eve of Fan Fest.

“I think he’s earned the right to be out there as we start the season,” Bochy said.

Bochy still promised to monitor Romo’s workload, which means the right-hander might not close every game early in the season. Romo, born and raised in the small California desert town of Brawley about 30 miles from the Mexican border, will play for his father’s native country of Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Romo’s durability as a closer is a concern. He has had elbow issues before and more than half of the time he throws that devastating slider, a pitch that requires a ton of torque and puts so much strain on the arm some teams discourage young hurlers from throwing it too often. The Giants also play so many close games, giving the closer more save opportunities.

Romo said he takes pride in being the ninth-inning man. He said he “was asked to be something a little bit bigger than something that I thought I could be, to play a little bit bigger role that I really thought that I could” last year and has the will and want to do it for a 162-game season.

But he still just calls himself “a reliever on the San Francisco Giants,” exemplifying the kind of chemistry and continuity the bullpen has built while winning two of the last three championships. The way Romo has handled his new role is also a big reason why No. 54 jerseys are soaring in popularity around San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark.

“It was definitely a different experience (from 2010),” Romo said. “I played a bigger role this time. I was asked to play a bigger role. I was very fortunate that I was able to deliver. Yeah, it was definitely different. I didn’t get a lot of time to sit down and relax a whole lot, but it was still just enjoying the ride. I kind of feel like I’ve been on a freight train ever since.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Rodriguez musicians win big in Reno

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
 
Hundreds turn out for Kroc Easter Egg hunt

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Jelly Belly artist finds her work sweet

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Heroes for Hire event goes haywire

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

Center offers baby mammal care class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police arrest 6 in alcohol sting

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

4-H Paper Clover Campaign starts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
9th Annual Peace Summit on calendar

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Tour past, present, future in Mountain View

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Best of the best compete at dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Event allows for safe medication disposal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Kids Fishing Derby to take place Saturday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Church offers document shredding

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Suisun City to host 3rd annual MS walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Club plans home garden tour in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Local government meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello to host mushroom class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Silent movie night set in Rio Vista

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Street-sweeping dealership comes to Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

Networking event at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
North Bay Pediatrics marks anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

Firm facilitates building lease in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
Weather for Monday, April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Bid, Dick, bid: ‘Dick and Jane’ artworks for sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bee colonies damaged after almond pollination

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sleeping girl killed after car drives into home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Recreation areas reopening after Yosemite fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nurse in critical condition after stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: ‘We can’t move’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Why Hillary? The public awaits her answer

By Ann McFeatters | From Page: A8

 
Local voices, important choices

By Rod Keck | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Legislature critic is selective

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Knowledge, religion and the hard work of faith

By Cynthia M. Allen | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History for April 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My friend’s wife drinks too much, verbally abuses her husband

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
‘Capt. America’ tops box office for third week

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

TVGrid April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

 
Sharks take 2-0 series lead with 7-2 win vs. Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Chavez gets 1st win, A’s complete sweep of Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NBA: Refs missed foul call in Warriors-Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Posey, Lincecum lead Giants to 4-3 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young Clippers try to mature against Warriors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Westwood wins Malaysian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimenez closes with 67 to win Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kuchar rallies from 4 back to win RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep baseball: Pair of 10-run innings powers Vikings to win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prizefighter Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Red Sox remember Boston Marathon victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Duncan scores 27 points, Spurs beat Mavs 90-85

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nene dominates, Wizards rally past Bulls, 102-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Aldridge leads Portland over Houston 122-120 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Business

 
.

Obituaries

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Pickles April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard Of Id April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7