Indians fans love Carlos Santana. No, that sounds a bit off. Indians fans love having Carlos Santana around because there needs to be something to complain about in baseball. Shoot, that’s at least 30% of what makes sports fun. But he’s a fine player, above average every year as a hitter even if it’s a smidge at times, and fascinating to watch as he turns 0-2 into 3-2 time and again. He has taught Tribe fans to love the walk, as well as the occasional booming home run. The dribbling groundout to second, not so much. But Carlos Santana isn’t forever because a baseball career isn’t forever. He’s got to find something more to do with his life in a decade or so. The world is potentially his oyster once he hangs up those spikes, but for his sake, Here are a few jobs I just don’t think he’d be qualified for.
First off, he’d be a terrible lumberjack. Now, in my mind, I imagine lumberjacks are still strapping men in flannel and hardhats wandering old growth forests with a gleaming ax and a song in their heart. Maybe this is wrong, anachronistic and idiotic even, but my idea is more cinematic, more romantic in its way. In this scene, the lumberjack still chops down the tree, finding a point low on the trunk to chop through. This would not be Santana’s strong suit. For all his baseball skill relative to the average human, somehow he struggles with regularly squaring up a ball, even a meatball. How many times has he worked a favorable count, gotten a grooved fastball, and simply flied out to shallow center? A million? This tells me, once he donned that woodsman’s gear, his chopping just wouldn’t be consistently on target. He'd just be slugging into the tree and gashing everywhere on the trunk all over the place. It'd be hideous. Not only that, it'd be dangerous, because what if the tree shears unexpectedly due to his inaccurate chopping, and he crushes a passing moose or human? I don’t doubt that now and again he’d be able to fell a tree in one strike through sheer might, which I'd pay money to see him chop through a redwood in one stroke, but his consistency of strong contact makes me worried for his future in the woods.
Air traffic controller
Air traffic control is quite different from wandering the woods of British Columbia, but all the same, I just don’t think he’d be able to handle it. Though it’s a well-paid job, it’s also one of the most stressful in the world, so many planes in the air all at once and you have to tell them what to do and where to go at all times and make sure they don’t collide. Some ATC’s work 45 minutes at a pop then get several hours to cool off. It’s a job of urgency, and that’s not Santana’s greatest skill. He’s the most patient hitter I’ve ever seen, almost to a fault, and in a place where he has to handle all those inputs, all that going on and make snap decisions, I worry he’d crumble. Plus their union is weak, and coming from the MLBPA, you know that would rub him the wrong way. Patience is a virtue, but in the ATC case, it might get in the way. Santana should just stay away from control towers.
I just don’t think he’d cut it as a typesetter either. I know what you’re thinking, that that’s not a real career anymore. People don’t use Gutenberg printing presses or anything else like that. Not even in the newspaper industry. If they do, it's some weird hipster business that will be replaced by a Starbucks or Lululemon in five years. Laser printers exist for a reason. Which is all for the better.
Not only is it not a viable employment possibility for economic reasons, Santana has trouble with baseball shifts already. If he gets eaten up by a shortstop swung around to the other side of second base, imagine how he’d fall apart because he has to change letters on a massive printer from lower case to capital. That's how you create a money pit. Unless you need some sort of front to launder money, this is not the man you want running any sort of font adjustment industry.
The entertainment industry might be done for him once baseball is over with, too. At the very least, I don’t think he has it in him to be some sort of superstar rock guitarist. I'm worried that if he even tried, w would get into a whole Highlander thing, and the other Carlos Santana would come for him. Just from photos, that is a man I'd not want to mess with. He might be like 98 years old, but he’s wiry and wizened like shoe leather jerky. It would be like battling a living leather jacket. Anyone with an old biker's jacket knows how tough those are, now add 40 years of hard living and guitar shredding. That's how you forge a dangerous man. Now, if Tribe-Santana could learn the drums or base or something, maybe they could recruit another Santana and have a band called the Three Amigos. Or them two and Steve Martin or Martin Short would work too, in a pinch at least. I’m just saying it’s a bit late for him to break into, then win Grammy’s in, the world of professional guitaring. There's just not much time for him. He's starting so late.
Science may be out, too. Not for any real obvious reason, if anything he seems to have the mentality. He’s patient and works with what he’s given. I’d love to hear his hypotheses on the types of pitches he’ll generally see in each count of an at-bat. But the level of actual schooling that it takes, and the time commitment, it’s not something that generally happens at age 35-plus. Really, isn’t that what’s wrong with the world today? Benjamin Franklin wasn’t certified in physics, but he discovered electricity is painful, and bifocals, and other things. Thomas Jefferson probably did science.
Maybe Carlos Santana could be a citizen scientist and discover amazing new things. We don't know how he's spending his money, maybe there's an incredible lab he's built in the Dominican Republic, complete with atom smasher and a ton of other science jazz, where he can foray into previously unknown areas of science. He'd be an outside thinker, the exact kind of person stodgy old science needs. So maybe if he's willing to make the investment, science could be for him. But I'm still skeptical.
As far as fashion and the arts, Santana isn’t objectionable to look at. But judging by how he wears his pants, I just don’t think he’d cut it in the world of shoe modeling. Besides the fact I’ve only ever seen him wearing unflattering baseball cleats, his lack of blousing to the bottoms of his pants along with his patent refusal to high-socks it despite the fact that it looks good this tells me he doesn't have the confidence needed to cut it in the world of fashion. He needs a Tim Gunn to get him to learn how to work it, because if he tried to cross over into America’s Next Top Model, it would be a bloodbath. Tyra Banks would eat him alive. There’s some potential awesomeness in his shoe game, but I need to see more.
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At the end of the day, he’s a professional baseball player. He’ll probably open up a bar, one with a walk up bar on a beach because that’s how Carlos Santana rolls and that's a totally on the nose idea. That is the way of great athletes everywhere. He just needs to hit .400 in the Indians’ World Series run at some point in his time with the team, and there you go, he’s a hero. He could have an entire chain of bars and eateries in Cleveland alone. This walkup idea could change the face of casual dining in northern Ohio for decades to come. That's the impact he could have.
Whatever happens, though, it’s important to consider the next phase of life. There's other, real jobs he could do with his skillset. He could be a high school guidance counselor - he’s patient and is good at dealing with garbage based on some of the pitches he spits at. He could get sponsored as a speed walker. That’s just logic. He could be a professional tug-o-warist if that's a thing since he loves to pull the ball so much. That last one might not pay well, though. Hopefully, this helps not just Carlos Santana, Indians DH/1B, but any pro athlete to realize the future will be here before they know it. Because no matter how bad you want it, typesetting is seriously a dying industry.