Friday, March 29, 2013

Talk Me In Off The Ledge!

Johan A No-Han? Sure looks that way. Last year on June 1st the Mets faithful as well as sports pages all over were exclaiming No-Han after the Mets lefty recorded the first ever Mets no-no. Fast forward nine months and 27 days, and we are once again exclaiming No-Han, but for a different reason this time.

Mets GM Elvis Alderson informed press and fans alike that it seems pretty clear that Santana will not pitch this season for the Mets due to another tear in capsule in his left (pitching) shoulder. This is the same injury that sidelined the Mets Ace for over a season. Alderson said he hadn't spoken to Santana at the time of his presser last night at 7:50 PM, so he wasn't aware, or so he claims, if Santana will decide to have surgery.

None of us expect the Mets to be productive this year, and I will provide my prediction before Monday's opener, but to not have Santana finish the season his Mets career on the field is a terrible display of bad karma.

I had expected no more than about 8-10 wins for Santana this year, but it's not about wins; it's about what he provides his teammates. His bull-dog attitude and competitiveness might have rubbed off on some of the youngsters that will be playing in Flushing this year. I can't help but wonder what a strong influence Johan would have been on Heffner, Harvey, and Wheeler. If he could teach them his desire, preparation, and competitiveness, it would have been an experience too great for words.

Secondly, I can't help but feel sorry for the man. Yes, he has earned an aircraft load of money in his career, but he is only 34, and he might not ever play baseball again. He wasn't going to be re-signed by the Mets, that is for certain, but I feel bad for the guy that he can't even play for a contract for 2014. 

Mike Lupica has penned an article that says the Santana contract was awful; along the lines of Bonilla's and Pedro's. A tad harsh. Santana pitched a masterful game 161 in '08, and kept the Mets alive for another day, as well as pitching the first Mets no hitter. Pedro on the other hand got injured just before the play-off's in '06, and was unable to provide any magic, magic the Mets sorely needed in losing the NLCS in 7 games to the Cardinals.

Johan gave us something to cheer about every time he toed the rubber. If it wasn't him fooling a hitter with a changeup that danced down and away, it might have been a sparkling fielding play; it might have also been that he stepped up to the plate looking to get a hit every time he grabbed a bat.

What looked to be a dismal season has taken a further turn for the worse, but this news is beyond wins and losses - it is about a man who gave his all, and he might not have anymore to give; it is about a man who came to play every day, and might not be able to do so again; it is about a man who provided for fans what no other Mets pitcher was able to do - not Tom Seaver, not Dwight Gooden, not Jerry Koosman, not Tom Glavine, not Pedro, not Sweet Music Viola - he gave us that one night that might not ever be repeated in our life time. He gave us joy. He gave us what few Mets pitchers ever did: the expectation that we can win every time he took the mound.

I was hoping to see Santana leave Flushing, riding off into the sunset after a good, not great, season that showed he still had a little left in the tank.

We keep hearing about d'Arnaud, Wheeler, Harvey, Mejia, etc. which provides some hope, but there is not guarantee that these players will be the next stud. It would have been nice to have one more year of Johan in the Clubhouse to mentor the young guns of this organization, but once again, it was not to be.

Talk me in folks, I'm on the ledge!


Long Island Met Fan said...


Jobu said...
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Jobu said...
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Jobu said...

Well said Mr. ’73. This entire team will be a group of head cases. Johan brings the credibility as well as that BULLDOG attitude that this team truly needs. While his stay in NY IMHO was good, it is worthy to note that his best production was left in Minnesota. With that said, he still was a LEADER in the club house and around the young group of arms. Even with Santana going every 5th day, at least you would plunk down some dead presidents for a couple of ducats. Now in 2013, I don’t see many fans digging into their pockets, unless the kids really give the faithful something to watch. Let’s hope HI57ORY can be around the club to help guide and dispense his wisdom. It’s a damn shame he will go out on the DL and not on the field like it should be.

I’m jumping off the ledge.....don’t catch me!!!!!!!!