Friday, February 1, 2008

We Get It, Santana Makes the Mets Better

But that's no excuse for this rare puff piece by John Donovan.

Johan Santana's impending trade to the Mets will be, when and if it's consummated later this week with a contract extension, the rarest of baseball swaps, one that completely and immediately transforms a team and the balance of power in the league.

It's a huge upgrade, no question. Santana seems to hover around 10 wins above replacement per season. I tend to think you're exaggerating a little bit about the balance of power shifting, because the Mets were getting 4 wins out of Glavine and about 3.5 from Sosa/Pelfrey. Whichever slot in the rotation you're displacing with Santana, it's like a 6-7 win upgrade. Very significant, but not "team-transformingly" insane, especially considering we don't know how much Pedro Martinez will pitch. Anyway, nothing really offensive there. I just like hearing myself type.

Let's compare and contrast the Mets with and without Santana!

Let's face it: The Mets, without Santana, are just another NL East schlub.

Mets with Santana: Not a "schlub", for whatever that's worth.

They are a bunch of chuckers without an ace

Mets with Santana: A bunch of chuckers with an ace. Johan Santana does not make the other starters better. Chuckers before trade, chuckers after trade.

a collection of hitters who cease to hit at the most inopportune times

Mets with Santana: Supposedly a more clutch hitting team? Will Johan Santana's bat at the plate be fixing this problem, John? Because even the most moronic of Mariottis can understand that a new pitcher that throws once every five days has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the timing of the hitters' base hits

all marched around by a sometimes stone-mugged manager who presided last year over one of the most embarrassing nosedives in baseball history.

Mets with Santana: Managed by a happy, animated, enthusiastic-mugged manager whose near-perfect in-game tactics are surpassed only by his ability to vomit sunshine. Make a note, Donovan, Santana does not make anyone else on the New York Mets better. Period.

Without Santana or someone a lot like him, the Mets are non-factors. And in New York, that's almost worse than being terrible.

That's a pretty bold claim, considering that it took one of the most monumental collapses in baseball history for them to lose the division last year. Now you're saying they weren't even a factor?

What general manager Omar Minaya has pulled off here, in this stunning series of fortunate events, is to make the Mets mean something again.

In that case, that's one thing that the Mets and that sentence do not have in common.

When Santana pressured the Twins to trade him before the start of spring training or not trade him at all -- Santana has full veto power over any trade -- new Minnesota GM Bill Smith was stuck. He went for the prospect-heavy package that the Mets offered; outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

And the Mets, out of nowhere, are players again. Real players.

Give me a break, Donovan. Even you had to feel stupid tying that sentence. At least give me a story. Like, maybe that there was a sweet episode of The Wire on TV or something in the background, so your brain checked out and your fingers just kept going.

1 comment:

Jim said...

They are a bunch of chuckers without an ace.

Remember when Keith Hernandez called George Costanza a chucker? good times.