NY Mets Need Johan Santana Ready, But Not For Opening Day

 

The NY Mets hired a new Strength and Conditioning coach for 2013, his name is Jim Malone. Malone was hired in early November in an effort to upgrade the way the players in the organization physically conditions themselves for the 2013 season and beyond, especially when little nagging aches and pains have some guys taking time off due to soreness not injury, you would also think his first duties as the S&C coach would be to meet with Johan Santana and oversee a workout plan for him after the abrupt end of his season. I mean, it stands to reason right that Santana’s health would be of optimum importance to the Mets?

I don’t just look at Santana as the Ace of this Mets staff, I also look at him as Sandy Alderson’s prime blue ribbon steer, the one commodity that Alderson has left to sell off for some much needed calf’s to restock the Mets farm. Santana should have been given the best feed and a comprehensive workout program that would strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder and his endurance. He was given none of that by the Mets, and now Alderson is surprised that Johan Santana cannot make the proclamation that 99.9 % of players make when they report to spring camp that “he is in the best shape of his life”.

Talk about not doing due diligence, how in the world did the Mets not monitor the lefties off season workout activities?  I would think that every player in the organization sits down with the training staff and strength and conditioning staff and charts out a winter routine to make sure guys report to St. Lonesome in tip top shape. This isn’t reserve clause era baseball anymore where players have to take jobs selling insurance or laying brick, the biggest job most players have is staying out of their wives way, so I’m sure vast majority of baseball players hit the gym in the winter time, because as I said in the above paragraph all we here from players today at reporting time is they are “in the best shape of their lives”.

All the talk now is about getting Santana ready for an opening day start at Citi Field. Seriously, that should not be the top priority, no the Mets need for Santana to work at getting that left shoulder strong and if that means he doesn’t come up North until the beginning of May then so be it. Santana’s value to the Mets isn’t what he brings in his starts, no, his importance to the Mets is what he can bring back in trade.

Johan Santana is the last of the high priced players of the Omar Minaya era and the last real trade chip Sandy Alderson has left that isn’t named Harvey or Wheeler, if he is healthy.  Right now the Mets need Santana and Malone to sit down and work out a conditioning plan that gets him back on the mound with a strong left wing that throws strikes. If it takes the next 4 weeks of spring and a DL stint and a couple of rehab starts in Las Vegas then so be it.

This is not to disparage Santana or to call him out for not working out this winter, not at all. Santana when healthy was a force with the Mets  a guy who not just competed but rose to challenges  when faced with them.  Of course there was last years no hitter which will leave Santana (and Mike Baxter) mark on Mets history.  His first year with the Mets on July 27th 2008, a day after the Mets used every pitcher on the roster in a 14 inning loss to the Cardinals; Santana pitched a complete game and beat the Cards 9-1. Then on September 27th Santana beat the Marlins 3 hit shutout on 3 days rest to keep the Mets playoff chances alive. Oh yeah he did that with a torn meniscus in his knee as well.

Santana is as tough as a two dollar steak, coming back from the meniscus tear, elbow chips and reconstructive shoulder surgery. No question Santana will now work to get back into the rotation but now in the last year of his contract with the Mets, the cold reality is, he’s a short timer.  The question Mets fans should have about Santana isn’t if he will make the opening day start, it should be can Sandy Alderson move Santana to a contending team for a blue chip outfield prospect by the July trade deadline.

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LET’S TAKE OUR NEXT CALL, JEFFEY FROM FLUSHING YOU’RE ON THE FAN

Taking time out from counting the receipts from the luxury suites at the new Skill Set Pleasure Palace Jeffey Skill Sets came on WFAN with the Francesa the Bloviator to what was about 10 minutes of nothing.

Jeffey was happy that the Mets have re-upped with the WFAN and Francesa then morphed into a persona that resembled his ex-partner and gave Jeffey a thorough tounge bath saying how WFAN and the Mets have been long time partners and how the station is glad to have the team on it’s air waves and on and on. Jeffy said the organization is happy as well as Mets fan always know what station their on all the time but he would not state the real reason that the Mets stayed with the FAN and that’s all the dead presidents the station is paying them for the radio rights. So when the Bloviator asked about changes to the team Jeffey claims that Omar has total control over personnel and that their is no set budget. Jeffey did seem a perturbed that the Famous Rays with a payroll of about the price of two luxury suites are in the World Series and his team with one of the highest payrolls in the game are home watching on TV.

The bulk of the interview was all about &iti Field and the dismantling of Shea which should be an empty lot by January.

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THE RIGHT TO BEAR RELIEF ARMS

Sorry for the late posting but I’ve been on the phone with Barack Obama as he is pleading with me to be his running mate in Novemeber. I’m taking time to contemplate what to do. Obama has promised me that when we win in Novemeber my duties as Vice President will not take away from my blogging about the Mets, in fact he assured me of being at opening day next year at $iti Field as I woud be his rep at the game. This is a very tough decison I have to make. J-Man thinks he has it tough.

 

I have to give credit to the Mets relievers, they are far more restrained than I could ever be if I were in their shoes. Everyday now that Billy Wags looks like he’s done for the year (you know one the inflammation in his elbow goes down an MRI will show a tear, it’s Mets luck kids) their ability, guts and talent are questioned by the fans, media and the manager and not one guy has exploded in anger. I wish I had that kind of temperament because I know if I were a Mets reliever I’d have told this whole city to go fuck itself by now.

Here is what me, you the media and the players need to get into their heads, there is no white knight on the way to close out games for the Mets. If the Mets and I mean Omar, Jeffy and Tony B even think about dealing Nick Evans, Dan Murphy, Jon Neise or the Teen Aged Hitting Machine for some ragged arm reliever off the wavier wire then the name of the blog will be changed to I Hate The Mets. No one is going to hand over a reliever to the Mets (Nick Evans for David Weathers? I will burn every piece of Mets clothing and memorabilia I have if that deal is ever made ) and the Phillies will block every wavier move that favors the Mets so forget it. The best you can hope for right now is that Al (Curly) Reyes, joins Jose (Moe) Reyes and Argenis (Larry) Reyes as the Mets have done well with guys named Reyes.

Oh and scratch Todd Jones off your wish list as he just landed on the DL with a sore shoulder.

If John Maine were healthy he would move to the closer role but with his shoulder problems you can’t ask him to pitch on an day to day basis, in fact when he does start it looks like 5 to 6 innings tops is what your going to get out of him so the four days rest he gets between starts is much needed. Forget Petey as well even though he has the mind set and heart to close he just doesn’t have the pitching arsenal to succeeded in that spot. OP? to valuable as a starter. Santana? “Nuff said. That leaves Big Pelf and if in the next two weeks that no one steps up and does the job Big Pelf would be the guy that heads to the pen. If Pelfrey were a big strike out guy the move would have been made already I think but since he’s not then the Mets brass will use him in the late innings only as a last resort. He woul dsuced there for the fact that he has mastered hitting the low strike zone and can induce double plays . If the Mets can’t find someone to step in or step up and they do make the post season more likely than not Big Plef will head to the pen.

Now I’m calling on citizens from all over the world this is Captain America calling.

Hey things could be worse, Carl Pavano could be your starting pitcher

This has to be seen to be believed.

 

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