- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 3 years ago
Time for fans to get over your frustrations with Johan Santana
- Updated: April 4, 2013
Johan Santana did not live up to the expectations of the 6 year, $137.5 million contract he signed with the New York Mets in February of 2008. When he undergoes surgery Tuesday to repair the tear in his anterior capsule muscle for the second time, it will mean the end of his 2013 season. Of course, Santana missed the entire 2011 season due to the same operation and was not vintage Johan for all of last year. Santana’s contract is up after this season, with an option for 2014 that will not be exercised.
Santana’s time in New York totaled up is underwhelming. If he has pitched his last game for the Mets, he would have finished up his 6 seasons with a 46-34 record, 3.14 ERA in 109 games, all starts. In 711 IP, he has 607 Ks, down from his time in Minnesota. Averaging his numbers per season, it comes out to 7.7-5.7, 3.14 in 18.2 starts per season. Add in the average of 118.5 IP and 101.1 Ks per season, and it is safe to say Santana did not live up to his contract.
With all the before mentioned, it is impossible to consider the 6 year, $126 million contract a success. Hindsight always proves to be 20-20. When the Mets had their historic September collapse towards the end of the 2007 season, it was proven the team was a little short on solid starting pitching. Tom Glavine was on his way out and Pedro Martinez just returning from rotator cuff surgery at the end of the 2007 season. The Yankees and Red Sox also had interest in Santana, who was expected to be traded that off season by the Minnesota Twins. Both teams shied away after looking at the Twins asking price. Omar Minaya has patient, and continued to show interest until right before the start of spring training. The price for Santana consisted of OF Carlos Gomez, who has since been traded to Milwaukee for JJ Hardy, Phillip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Only Guerra remains in the Twins organization. So, the Mets certainly gave up more in the contract extension than they did in the actual trade.
With the injury problems, it is easy to forget Santana was responsible for two of the greatest moments in the history of the New York Mets franchise. Of course, we all remember June 1st, 2012, where Johan Santana threw the first no hitter in the 50+ year history of the franchise. There was also September 26, 2008. The Mets were losing the pennant race once again and were facing elimination on a Saturday game against the Florida Marlins. Santana grabbed the ball on short rest and pitched a three hit shutout, beating the Marlins 2-0 and keeping the Mets alive until the final game of the season. It was revealed after the game that Santana pitched with a torn meniscus in his knee.
While the feeling of the fan is up to the fan, I am choosing to remember Santana in a positive light. Yes, the team has gone into flames over the past three seasons. And it is agreeable that some of it is due to Santana’s injuries. It needs to be mentioned that his shoulder injury is extremely serious. No salary in the world would allow him to pitch with that type of injury. It is a shame it has happened again. Santana, in my opinion, is a gamer. Perhaps a little thickheaded sometimes, but he always wanted to go out there. It is a fair assumption that he pitched a couple games last season injured. Maybe that had something to do with the re-tear of the anterior capsule muscle in his left shoulder. I feel that he is a winner and he will do everything he can to make a comeback. Even if he makes a comeback with another team, I will root for him because he deserves another chance once he gets over this surgery. In my opinion, this is an unfortunate situation that can happen to any pitcher. The Mets, and their fans, just ran into bad luck.