Testy Johan Santana Acting Like Diva

It was a little over a week ago when the Mets pointed to March 14 as the target date for getting Johan Santana in an exhibition game. Doing so would have given him three, maybe four starts to be ready for Opening Day.

It won’t happen.

Outside of that ill-advised mound session, we haven’t seen, or heard, much from the testy lefty this spring. Today, he sniped at reporters who had the gall to try to talk to him – imagine that? – giving a curt response about not understanding the concept of an off day.

SANTANA: Rough times

SANTANA: Rough times

By definition, an off day is when no game is scheduled. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on. There was a reason why Santana was at the complex, just as there was a reason reporters were present.

At the time of the projection, Terry Collins said, “we’re not worried about April 1, we’re worried about 30 starts.’’

At this rate, it doesn’t look as if he’ll get either, even if Santana was pushed to the back of the rotation for the first cycle. Whether he’s ready or not, Santana’s last two exhibition starts would come against minor league competition, because if he were placed on the disabled list to the start the season the Mets could backdate it into spring training.

This reduces the time Santana would miss in the regular season although it is highly unlikely he would reach the 215 innings plateau needed to activate his 2014 option. I don’t know what the Mets are waiting for if not to placate Santana’s ego. He won’t be ready for the start of the season and the decision the Mets are avoiding is only inevitable.

Santana is a highly sensitive and intense individual, but something has come over him this spring, from putting his desire to pitch in the WBC over his physical status and the needs of the team paying him $31 million this year, to throwing off the mound without telling Collins, to his general snippy demeanor towards a media that has generally coddled him.

At this stage of his career, Santana should know when a high-profile player, who has been injured, shies away from the press the media tends to dig harder. It is apparent Santana is not fine, he is not ready for the season. There can be no hiding this, regardless of what picture the Mets want to paint.

This past week Santana showed more enthusiasm, more joy, mugging with friends from the Venezuelan WBC team than he did his Mets teammates. Santana was mostly a recluse the past week, minding his own business and barely speaking to anybody, and least not in the clubhouse where he could be seen.

Perhaps Santana is pressing because he sees the end coming, whether it be his stay in Flushing or his career. Perhaps the testiness comes acting like a diva while knowing he has no right to be.

It is clear this will be Santana’s last season with the Mets. It is also clear he’s wearing out his welcome before it is time to say good-bye.

4 thoughts on “Testy Johan Santana Acting Like Diva

  1. Pingback: Too much said about a mediocre former Mets star | Paul's Random Baseball Stuff

  2. Ah, the Met press corp…always knocking the player. Never the GM the zombie who thought nothing of bad mouthing the high priced player to the press. Yes, its always the player, never the Met front office. I guess you all need to keep your passes to get in. nd the arrogance. You all think you speak for the way this man and every Latino player should behave. Guess what. They don’t have an obligation to kiss Alderson butt no matter their salary. A good org knows that every person is an individual and needs to be treated differently. Too bad the press corps spews the same crap every year giving Alderson gthe arrogant over the hill GM who never won cleanly, a free pass and ignores his inability to produce a quality product. Knock, Santans, just like you all knocked Reyes and Beltran before hi, Same theme. Every Met Latinao player is bad, Met front office from wilpon on down is clean as a clean can be. Sad Sad Sad.

  3. Nathan: You are way off base here on so many levels. Let me count the ways:
    1) I don’t always knock the player, and have been critical of Alderson, Collins and ownership. Your comments would have more credibility if you were fair.

    2) As far as getting in, I am a credentialed member of the media, as are the other Mets beat writers. What we write has no beating on getting in.

    3) There was no mention of Santana being a Latino player. And, the criticism was no based on ethnicity.

    4) The only thing sad is your blatant disregard for fairness.

  4. John

    Thanks for writing this article. I wanted to know your impression of Johan and you gave it too me.

    I wonder if he has no connection with this team as he has not really played with them outside of David who is not here.