Santana and the Mets Clear The Air

An article by posted on March 13, 2013

johan santana spring

Updated on March 13 at 2:00 PM

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, Johan Santana spoke with Sandy Alderson today to clear the air about what’s been reported about him and his coming to camp unprepared and not ready to pitch.

Santana didn’t say anything all the newsworthy, says Martino, but the Mets lefthander looked like he was in a better mood, talking, and clearly wanting the subject changed.

“I’m not going to get into you said, I said, all that,” Santana said. “But we’re all on the same page now.”

Well, I’m glad to see him finally take a proactive approach, but until he gets on that mound and starts pitching like he’s capable of, I won’t be completely satisfied.

That said, I’m pulling for his success…

Originally Posted on March 12 at 11:00 AM

It’s amazing to me how just one player’s status can have such a widespread reaction on the whole team. Take Johan Santana for example. He was supposed to be all rested and ready to go and instead he showed with his arm in no condition to participate with the rest of his teammates in drills, bullpens, live batting practice and appearing in Grapefruit League games.

One little comment from Sandy Alderson who simply stated that Santana’s arm was not ready, and all of a sudden the world stopped turning.

Immediately the GM is getting blasted by some for igniting a powder keg big enough to blow Tradition Field to Iowa. But give me a break, all he did was answer a question and did so honestly. My problems with Sandy have always been when he did the opposite so I’m sure as hell not going to get into his face for being forthright.

And for those fans who seem intent on blaming him for what has ensued ever since with regard to Santana’s piss-poor behavior, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

The problem here is Johan Santana, not Alderson, not Terry Collins, and not the Mets.

For a player whom I’ve always looked up to as a warrior, he’s been acting more like George Costanza; always whining or pouting and blaming everyone in the world except himself for his problems. For crying out loud, quit your bitching and just try to remedy the situation rather than making it worse.

Santana has yet to make his spring debut because he is still in the process of building strength in his shoulder, or basically exactly what Sandy Alderson told reporters over a week ago. Nothing’s changed.

If things have gotten worse it’s because Santana decided upon himself to toss an unscheduled bullpen session – weakened shoulder and all – just to prove that he was the ultimate macho man – the ultimate warrior. But instead he came away looking like a big sour puss and worse yet risked another potentially costly setback, and now a trip to the DL is all but inevitable.

Compounding things even further is Santana’s continued whining and moaning. He told columnist John Harper that he remains bitter toward the ballclub and is barely communicating with club officials. Are you freaking kidding me?

Santana, 33, is still owed $25 million this season and more like $31.5 million when you include his buyout. What is this guy’s major malfunction? In a matter of two weeks, Santana has gone from warrior to wimp. I’m tired of wasting time on him and this situation…

Onward and upward.

jon nieseInstead I’m quite happy with the way Jonathon Niese has performed thus far in Spring Training, and I’m glad that it looks like he’ll be the Opening Day starter. The Mets couldn’t have picked a more deserving pitcher and I’m sure Niese will rise to the occasion.

“He’s really gotten better; he’s growing up,” Collins said. “To me, he deserves that opportunity to start on Opening Day this year. He’s reached that point where I think you can look up, hopefully, at the end of the year and this guy’s one of the top pitchers of the game.”

As for Johan’s spot in the rotation, and as I’ve been saying all along, we’re in capable hands with Jeremy Hefner. A pitcher with average stuff, but an above average heart and above average instincts on the mound. He’ll be just fine until Zack Wheeler is ready to contribute and if Hefner does falter, I have no problem with Collin McHugh or Jenrry Mejia getting a few starts.

Would I prefer that Santana was healthy and ready to go on Opening Day? Of course I would, but I’m not going to cry over spilled milk if he goes on the DL. Maybe the time off will do his brain some good as well as his shoulder, because clearly he’s got some emotional issues going on, and we don’t need him spreading that negative karma onto our very young rotation who did come to camp early, ready to pitch, and eager to help this team win some ballgames.

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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 and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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