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Even in the midst of the biggest adversity
Joined: May 20 2015
01:44, Aug 13 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Its been a year since Memo Gidleys frightening accident at Daytona International Speedway. And he doesnt remember anything about it.Gidley said Saturday during the Rolex 24 at Daytona that he has watched the replay numerous times and feels as if somebody else was driving.The accident itself, I feel sorry for who was in the car, he told Fox Sports. It just happened to be me.Gidley was injured roughly three hours into the endurance race and spent 10 days at nearby Halifax Health recovering from a broken left leg, broken left elbow, broken left heel and a compression fracture in his lower back. He has been rehabbing in Northern California, working to get back on the track.Im very hungry, he said. Its been a year and Im watching the race on TV now. Its really such a great memory. We all know when were doing things you have higher chance of an injury. Thats part of it. But I definitely want to get back out there, but No. 1 is to get back to 100 per cent strong or nearly 100 per cent strong before I can make that happen.Gidley was driving the pole-winning car into an infield kink and facing directly into the setting sun when the crash occurred. As Gidley tried to pass a slower car, he pulled to the left and didnt see Matteo Malucelli off the pace. He drove directly into Malucellis Ferrari at nearly full speed.Gidley had to be cut out of the No. 99 Corvette, which crumpled during the high-speed impact.Although Gidley cant recall the accident, he understands why people would think the setting sun may have been a factor in the crash.It does look like something that would have, maybe in a way, (caused the wreck), he said. It wasnt like there were five or six cars around me. There was only one car ahead of me, and he darted to the right, and I darted to the left, which was the standard procedure. But I never saw that car there. So yeah, maybe the sun definitely had some sort of impact.Bob Stallings Racing, which fielded Gidleys car nicknamed the Red Dragon, shuttered operations in the United SportsCar Championship.The Stallings team is scheduled to return to the track in the Pirelli World Challenges GTS class. The new Red Dragon will debut in March at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Gidleys former teammate Jon Fogarty will be behind the wheel.Gidley, meanwhile, plans to drive again. Hes just not sure when it will happen.The biggest thing is just time, he said. The No. 1 thing is your body is a miracle thing. 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"Were moving Sergio out of that role," said Gibbons of the closers spot, less than 24 hours after Santos blew his second save of the road trip and third of the season. Until Casey Janssen returns, Gibbons will go with closer-by-committee. "It could be Loup," said Gibbons. "It could be Cecil. Over the next few days it could be any of those guys." The change is necessary and while fans arent about to take pity on a multi-million dollar athlete, Santos struggles are a reminder of the human element of sports. There he was on Friday night, having blown a two-run, ninth inning lead, hunched over at his locker, his head in his hands for what seemed like an eternity. Santos then stood up and addressed the media. Later, once the ballpark lights had dimmed and he was back in his hotel room, Santos sifted through the litany of text messages he gets after each appearance, good or bad. His wife had written him and so had his parents. One of Santos brothers, Gabe, chimed in. He got messages of support from aunts and uncles, too. Like the goal crease in hockey, the pitching mound can be a lonely island when things arent going well. Out on the road, its easy to get lost in your thoughts. "You go to the hotel and that night, the night of the game, its usually the hardest, you know what I mean, that whole night," said Santos. "I mean, you close your eyes and you cant help but think about it. You think about a million different scenarios, what you could have done different." The sun, as they say, always comes up the next day. "The second you wake up the very next day youre presented with, basically, a choice," said Santos. "You couldd either feel sorry for yourself and say poor me or you could use the next day as an opportunity to know that what happened last night is not who I am.dddddddddddd." Santos turned to an old teammate and friend for advice. He often plays the online game Words with Friends with Darren Oliver and on Friday night, Santos sent Oliver a message. He wanted to talk. Oliver invited Santos to call on Saturday morning. "He said, Ive been through this a million times. I was in the game for so long. You go through stretches where theyre rough and theyre ugly," said Santos. "He says, its up to you to put a stop to it. They can go on for the whole season or you can nip it in the bud, get that confidence back and go out and pitch." Santos need only look at his numbers for a stark reminder of how bad things have been. Hes taken two losses, has blown three saves and has posted an ERA of 10.61 with a WHIP of 2.250. He insists he wont dwell. "For me, my edge has always been my confidence," said Santos. "Even in the midst of the biggest adversity, confidence, I think, is the one thing thats such a useful tool. So to even lose that, and dont get me wrong doubt creeps into your mind all the time, you get there, youre going, "Crap, is it going to happen all over again today? Whats going to happen? But its so important to just push those thoughts out of your mind." Santos is powerless over his role in the bullpen. He cant disagree with Gibbons decision and he wont. All he can do is wait until Gibbons calls his name again. "My whole thing is to help this team win in any way I can," said Santos. "Whether right now thats me throwing in the seventh, eighth, okay so be it because I know when Im going good I can help this team win. 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