Saturday, March 30, 2013

N.Y. Mets: Johan Santana's Situation Cuts Like A Knife

From the desk of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS - The Way Johan Santana And The Mets Will Part Ways Is More Typical Than The Days Of Fishing Poles And Cadillacs.

I appreciate what Johan did for the Mets.  I really do.  He brought a sense of accountability to the team.  Were it not for Tom Glavine, every one's spin regarding Johan Santana might sound very different today.  But I moved on.  Not because I want to kick Johan while he's down.  I moved on as part of an overall rebuilding mentality.  So truth is, I wrote off Johan Santana from Mets plans last season.  I have been in purge mode ever since Sandy Alderson came on board.  My own haste as a fan was in seeing this roster transitioned.  In two seasons, I feel matters have progressed satisfactorily.  I didn't mind at all, that the general manager took the pitcher to task when Johan reported in February unprepared to pitch.  My only regret is Johan Santana is officially unmovable now.  If this all sounds a bit cold, I do not mean it to be.  Simply, my focus is, and has been on 2014 and beyond.  That was the general manager's originally stated plan.  And that's what I'm holding him to.  At present, that means  investing my attention in Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Zach Wheeler, Dillon Gee, and now, Jeremy Hefner as well.

Looking back on Johan Santana's no-hitter, one could argue Terry Collins prophesied this very moment.  Immediately after the game, Coach expressed his concern and personal fears the game could have negatively impacted the Mets ace.  I hope Terry Collins hasn't lost sleep for leaving Johan on the mound to throw 130+ pitches that night.  Terry was unfortunately caught in a - damned if you do, damned if you don't - situation.  Instead, on several occasions, this blog expressed displeasure with the Mets decision to announce Johan Santana would open the 2012 regular season while still only in the second week of Spring Training.  I asked why?  Than asked WHY?...again.  What was the rush to get him on the mound so soon?  I'm not about to rehash recent medical staff blunders, or how Fred Wilpon's need for a decent gate may have instigated the decision to possibly push Johan; because I think it did.  I am merely saying the haste in which the Mets decided to announce Johan as the opening day starter, in my opinion, was riddled with folly from the word go.  Whether the rush to have him open the 2012 season contributed to Johan's present situation, or whether it was the no-hitter, or his misguided bullpen session earlier this spring, or when he reportedly threw a baseball in frustration over the outfield wall - while they could all be equally contributing factors, they are all still speculative.

In any event, Johan Santana's 2013 season is over before it ever began.  Sandy Alderson is right.  I guess we'll never really know how or when Johan Santana re-injured his shoulder.  There's something I still do not understand though.  Johan recently had an MRI, but the club still only suspects a tear in his shoulder. Yet, they will be operating on Santana's shoulder for the second time this coming Tuesday.  So much for certainty.

In Baseball, "the end" is usually an unpleasant affair.  This doesn't happen just to the Mets.  This happens everywhere - even the Bronx.  Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada both met unceremonious ends.  Andy Pettitte was treated rather shabbily before heading to Houston.  And most recently, Derek Jeter endured a very public and contentious contract negotiation.  Unfortunately, as in Johan Santana's case, when expectations get thwarted by injury, everyone feels the pain.  It really strikes a nerve when a team's high-end, high priced player goes under the knife.

These days, contentious divorces are more common than receiving gift cows, a fishing pole, and getting the Cadillac treatment.  Ultimately, someone always feels like they're getting cheated.  The investment into Santana was warranted back in 2008.  There is no denying that.  However, without throwing one regular season pitch, Johan Santana will be paid $31 million dollars this season.  That's a difficult pill to swallow.  It's a shame...really.  It is what it is.  But that's why fans kind of feel under under the blade as well.


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