Congratulations to Johan Santana and his Mets teammates especially the heroic Mike Baxter for spectacularly ending the Mets’ random but remarkable 8,020-game no-hitter drought. I have to say I was more stunned than elated as it came to pass but glad a deserving Met earned it. And any time you humiliate the Cardinals is a bonus. Let’s Go Mets! This is becoming a pretty good year.
Tag Archive for Johan Santana
A strong effort from Johan Santana and (in my opinion anyway) first-half MVP Angel Pagan helped the Mets salvage the final game of the “first half” today, and allow them to reach the break at 48-40, and four games out. Make no mistake they will need a better second half to reach the postseason but given all the uncertainty, and how badly they’ve looked at times, I think they pretty much deserve to be where they are right now and you have to be satisfied with it. Their ability to improve depends in large part on whether Carlos Beltran is ready to resume his usual game. The Mets following the victory Sunday recalled No. 15 and he’ll apparently be in uniform and batting cleanup on Thursday when the season resumes in San Francisco. Jesus Feliciano, who oughta be proud of what he accomplished, was sent down to make room.
Don’t forget today — Monday, July 12, is Amazin’ All-Star Monday at Two Boots at Grand Central Station, where Greg Prince and I will co-host an evening of Met-centric discussion with Howard Megdal, author, journalist and self-professed candidate for Mets general manager; and Marty Noble, Mets beat writer for more than 30 years at the Bergen Record, Newsday and MLB.com. Details at the Facebook invite here.
I have my doubts that Ron Villone, after 14 years and 11 teams, and presumably no longer on the juice, can actually reach 92 anymore, but that’s his number this spring with the Mets, who seem to be fulfilling their obligation to offer potential employment to all ballplayers originally from the tri-state area at least once before they retire. Villone is among a group of longshots like ex-Met Tom Martin and Mexican League import Heriberto Ruelas to provide lefty depth in the bullpen: The veterans like this often have an advantage in the early going since they’re in better position to reject the alternative of not coming north but I’d be surprised if the Mets get that point before doing something like signing Joe Beimel or Will Ohman, who to my knowledge are still lefthanders and still out there.
I refuse to get all caught up in the Johan Santana drama: If he’s not available the first week or even the first month of the season, he’s not. But it’s safe to assume that when he is available, he’ll be fine. Yankee fans, were they rational, might convince themselves of the same thing with regard to A-Rod. On the other hand I’m quite worried about John Maine, if only after reading some of his remarks after a stinker in an exhibition vs. the Italians today (he walked the first three batters he faced and confessed to being “embarrased” and lost). If he has a counterpart across town, maybe it’s hard-drinking chubbster Joba Chamberlain whose been even worse so far.
Lotta spring to go still.
Yes, so you may have heard the Mets went and acquired this Johan Santana fellow from the Twins for a package of four prospects: Outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phillip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.
And although the Mets will assuredly sign to Santana to an absurd contract extension, this deal right now looks remarkable for how little blood was spilled. Gomez, though he showed flashes of ability and a “good baseball body,” proved in a limited engagement last season that he probably needs a year at AAA. Mulvey looks to be midddling starter material, not to belittle the value of averageness from young pitchers. Humber and Guerra are lottery tickets: Humber because he still needs to regain his stuff following Tommy John surgery; and Guerra because he’s in A ball and anything can happen.
And although we suggested the Mets could use Santana to doubly erase Tom Glavine’s memory by dressing him in No. 47, we’re reasonably certain he’ll alight in his familiar 57 where indeed, he’s all but certain to overtake cannon fodder starter Jason Roach and determined scrubeenie Eric Valent as Best. 57. Ever.
When the 2003 Mets crashed and burned for good, fired Steve Phillips, and hired doomed interim general manager Jim Duquette, one of Duke’s first orders of business (along with the promotion of Jose Reyes) was to clear the team of its disappointing deadwood: Roberto Alomar, Armando Benitez and Jeromy Burnitz among them. And not only did the Mets bounce these guys, but they moved rather quickly to erase their memories by re-issuing all of their numbers, on guys who played the same positions, before the year was out. Before you knew it, Alomar’s 12was on the back of second baseman Danny Garcia. It was reliever Orber Moreno (remember him?) in Benitez’s old No. 49. And in the outfield, Prentice Redman, and not Burnitz, wore No. 20. How cruel. How brilliant.
With that in mind, do you think Johan Santana might mind downshifting by 10 from his customary 57? Because, provided he winds up with the good guys, that would be an appropriate tribute to Tom Glavine, the last of 2003’s disappointing veterans and the newest member of the Atlanta Braves. Can you believe Reyes is now the senior Met?
Hello again to Luis Castillo, whose four-year contract represents about four times the commitment he probably deserves. Expect to see Castillo back in the No. 1 jersey next year, hopefully without the spare tire providing emphasis.