Every Game Is Important
Johan Santana doesn’t buy into that whole spring training doesn’t mean anything mantra, and you won’t see him shrug off a loss with the typical, “It’s only April” or “we have plenty of season left.”
One of the things that always concerned me during the Willie Randolph era, was how unaffected some of the players seemed after a loss. That is except for David Wright, Paul LoDuca and Billy Wagner who seemed to take all of them to heart. That’s not to say that all of the players took a nonchalant attitude toward wins and losses because I’m certain that guys like Beltran, Reyes and many of the others felt just as bad but were not as expressive about it.
I recall how last season, Carlos Delgado said that they were bored during a losing streak in June and that everyone knows that the Mets will be there in the end. Of course they weren’t there at the end, and Willie Randolph didn’t last long enough to see the disappointing finish.
So here comes Johan Santana, with all of his greatness and all of his swagger that carried over from his final start at Shea last season. He comes to camp and everyone immediately can tell that this Johan Santana is going to be more vocal and take on more of a leadership role. Great I thought, but I’ve seen and heard all of that before with different players and in different spring camps.
Somehow though, Santana strikes me as one who can really pull it off. We already knew he was a warrior, but warriors are necessarily leaders as Mike Piazza proved. But Santana is different, he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
I especially love what Santana had to say today while speaking to reporters.
“I was part of what happened to us last year, and definitely there are a lot of guys committed to changing that around. I see everybody being more relaxed, having fun, but at the same time very serious. We can’t wait for the season to start and change everything around.”
“Every game for me is important, especially with what happened last year,” he said. “We could be out by just one game, so you cannot feel sorry in September for not winning a game in April or not giving the best you have in April. That’s why every game for us, and that’s the way I approach this game, every game is important.”
Before one can fix a problem, they first have to identify it and understand that a problem exists. Johan Santana knows this and that’s why I believe his presence on this team means more than just being an ace. He senses a void and isn’t afraid to fill that void. I believe that others have already followed suit and have fallen into line.
Santana is now the team’s unofficial leader. He already had everyones respect, and now he has their ears.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
- BadBadLeroyBrown: on Reds vs Mets: Niese On The Mound, Murphy Leading Off, Duda Batting Cleanup: I guess the word accountability mean nothing...
- Jimmy T.: on Reds vs Mets: Niese On The Mound, Murphy Leading Off, Duda Batting Cleanup: “I don’t answer to fans.” -- Terry...
- RandomGuy: on Featured Post: Keep Daniel Murphy In The Leadoff Spot: And stop assuming everyone hates you, or...
- RandomGuy: on Featured Post: Keep Daniel Murphy In The Leadoff Spot: Your question simply has nothing to do...
- Matt Mosher: on Reds vs Mets: Niese On The Mound, Murphy Leading Off, Duda Batting Cleanup: Go ahead and name five better thirdbasemen....
MMO Mets Chat
Check Out These Great MLB Links!
Mets Autograph Signings
Mets Fan Apparel
Mets Autographed Baseballs
Baseball Card Supplies
For the best seats and lowest MLB ticket prices, go to PurchaseSeats.com. Get your Mets Tickets now and follow them on the road with Yankees Tickets, Phillies Tickets, Nationals Tickets and Braves Tickets!