Mixed emotions hit when I initially read this on MLB Trade Rumors.
Former Reds #1 hurler Aaron Harang has signed a one year deal with the San Diego Padres. Harang will get a chance there. Harang’s lifetime GB% is 37.9%. With the vacuum that can be called Petco Park, Harang’s penchant for fly balls should work well there. Considering the Padres lost Jon Garland to the Dodgers, Harang may not be viewed as a replacement for Garland, but Harang can still toss a quality start here and there. It will be a matter of his health going forward.
I say mixed emotions for a couple of reasons.
First, Harang, during his Cincy heyday, was “the guy” the Reds could hang their hat on to provide an excellent effort whether it was stopping a losing streak or needing a solid outing. He rarely, if ever, complained. He and his family became firmly entrenched in the Cincinnati scene. Needed a Red for a charity event? Harang was sure to poke his head in the door and help raise money along the way.
Again, never complaining. Always doing what was right. Doing what was needed. That is Aaron Harang.
Say what you will about his last three seasons (18-38, 4.72 ERA), I cannot ever recall reading or hearing that Harang was unhappy within the Cincinnati community or anything about the Reds organization.
Second, it was fairly obvious that Harang wanted to remain a Red until he left the game. His reaction after his last outing as a Red in 2010 tells it all. From John Fay on October 3rd:
Harang, tears falling and voice breaking, stood at his clubhouse stall and did postgame interviews Sunday. As reporters quietly stood by, Harang had to stop several times to compose himself.
“I’m sorry. I thought I wouldn’t do this,” Harang said. “There are a bunch of guys in here who definitely will be missed.”
A side we don’t often see from professional athletes…And he has all the class to match his emotion.
While some in Cincinnati may be quick to dispose of Harang, he will be missed in the clubhouse.