Johan Santana

Henderson Pitching Shows Collins Learned Nothing from Santana

After Johan Santana threw 134 pitches on a surgery repaired shoulder to throw the first no-hitter in Mets history, Terry Collins was in tears. He seemed distraught. In the post-game press conference, Collins called Santana his “Hero,” and he was prescient in saying:

I’m very excited for him, but in five days, if his arm is bothering him, I’m not going to feel good. 

As we know, even though Santana would make 10 more starts, his career effectively ended that night. He would need another shoulder surgery in the offseason. Between that surgery and other injuries, Santana has never pitched in another big league game. 

When Collins was interviewed by Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated three years later, Collins expressed his remorse. He would say, “It was without a doubt, the worst night I’ve ever spent in baseball.”  Now, no one really knows what effect this game had on the need for Santana to have a second surgery. However, for his part, Collins thinks the no-hitter had a lot to do with it:

I was aware of what the wear and tear of that night could do to him, and basically, the worst-case scenario happened. To throw that amount of pitches with that much pressure and that much adrenaline going, it can beat you down. And it did. 

If Collins truly believes that, it makes what he did with Jim Henderson all the more indefensible. 

Henderson has come a long way to get here.  He’s had two shoulder surgeries himself. He fought against all odds to make the Mets Opening Day roster.  Not only did he make the roster, he quickly established himself as a very important part of the Mets bullpen. 

So far this year, Henderson has pitched in five of the eight games the Mets have played. On Tuesday, he threw 34 pitches, which was the most he’s ever thrown in one game. Wednesday was a day game. The Mets added Rafael Montero to the roster so the Mets would have a full bullpen for the game. With the score tied 0-0 in the seventh inning, Collins put Henderson in the game. 

Before Wednesday’s game, Henderson’s fastball averaged 95 MPH. On Wednesday, he was sitting around 89 MPH. He allowed a single and two hits before Collins pulled him from a game he shouldn’t have entered in the first place. Collins excuse?

It’s difficult to believe that Collins used this as a justification.  He says he is troubled by Santana’s no-hitter, and he thinks it had a profound impact on effectively ending his career.  Why would he willingly do the same thing again with another player?  Why would he go to Henderson when there were other, fresher options?  It doesn’t make sense.

It should be noted that Collins had a different tone in Wednesday’s press conference than Santana’s. Collins was fired up. There was no hint of him fearing for Henderson’s future. 

Collins thought this was a must-win game, but it’s a stretch to believe he would sacrifice a player’s health for it.  Collins said he was desperate, but there has to be a line. Collins might’ve wanted to respond to people questioning the Mets effort, but putting a player’s health and career in doubt, you prove nothing. 

At the end of the day, Terry Collins has shown he has learned nothing.  While we all understood him leaving Santana in, there was no excuse for pitching Henderson there. Collins could’ve ended someone’s career for what really was just another April game. Overall, Mike Vaccarro put it best when he chastised Collins:

Collins has had some nice moments as the manager of the Mets. Wednesday wasn’t one of them.  Collins once called Santana’s no-hitter the worst night of his baseball life. Wednesday could’ve been the worst day of Henderson’s professional life, but Collins showed no remorse. Collins may be haunted by Santana’s no-hitter, but he has clearly showed he’s learned nothing from it. 

Editor’s Note: this was first published on

Matz Was Glavinesque

The Mets sent out Steven Matz, who is the proverbial fourth member of what had been touted as the Big Four. Mets fans all hope each of these pitchers will be future Hall of Famers. Tonight, Matz did a pretty good impersonation of Tom Glavine

Like Glavine, Matz allowed seven runs to the Marlins. At least Matz lasted a little longer. Matz’s final line was 1.2 innings, six hits, seven earned, two walks, and one strikeout. Before the game, Matz was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA. This year, he’s 0-1 with a 37.80 ERA. 

In the fateful second inning, seemingly every Marlin got a hit including Barry Bonds and Don Mattingly got hits. Of course, Giancarlo Stanton provided the exclamation point:

It needs to be constantly reiterated, but Bonds seems to be having a very real impact on this Marlins team. Six of their eight regulars are hitting over .300. They had no problem hitting Matz. This is a young Marlins club with a lot of offensive talent. If they realize that potential, it’s a definitive blow to the Mets chances to return to the postseason . . . especially with how this club plays the Marlins. 

As for the Mets, their bullpen did a yeoman’s job. Hansel Robles pitched 2.1 innings allowing four hits, one earned, one walk, and three strikeouts. Antonio Bastardo pitched 1.1 innings allowing four hits, two runs, one walk, and two strikeouts. Addison Reed pitched 1.2 innings with no hits, no runs, and four strikeouts. Jeurys Familia was pressed into action even though he has the flu. Jerry Blevins pitched the ninth. The night was such a disaster that Blevins finally allowed a hit in his Mets career. It was an infield single to Dee Gordon with two outs in the ninth. 

The Mets might’ve avoided burning through their entire bullpen like that if they would’ve just put Jacob deGrom on the DLSean Gilmartin, who was very effective as the long man last year, could’ve soaked up some of those innings. It would’ve been all the more imperative with Logan Verrett going on Wednesday. 

Offensively?  Well the Mets had seven hits and three runs. All of the runs came after the game was over. Two of those hits were from David Wright, who despite his career being declared over, has been the Mets best offensive player so far this year. He’s hitting .333 with a .478 OBP. Perhaps that’s the reason why the man with the bad back played all nine innings in a 10-3 blowout. 

All kidding aside, the Mets decision making in this young season has been perplexing. Terry Collins bats three lefties bunched up together every day (with his splits, Neil Walker is effectively a left handed hitter). Jim Henderson leads the Mets in appearances despite not having pitched in two years and coming off a second shoulder surgery. Remember that next time Collins gets emotional over Johan Santana. At least Collins isn’t to blame for the team’s mismanagement of the deGrom/bullpen situation. 

With all that said, this is a game the Mets should just forget about. It’s another game to forget in what has been a mostly forgettable start to the season. Fortunately, momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, and Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. So, in that sense, the Mets have some momentum going. 

Did Collins or Roberts Make the Right Decision?

On June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history with a surgically repaired shoulder. 

The shoulder injury cost Santana the entire 2011 season, and the Mets wanted to be cautious with their ace in 2012. He was in the middle of a six year $137.5 million contract. The Mets certainly wanted to see Santana pitch effectively to the end of the contract. Accordingly on that rainy June night, Santana was supposed to be limited to 110 – 115 pitches. Santana threw his 115th pitch with two outs in the eighth inning. 

Terry Collins checked with Santana each step of the way. Santana was not going to let Collins pull him from the game. Santana fought hard to reach this point and getting this no-hitter was his reward. Finally, on his 134th pitch, Santana became the first ever Met to throw a no-hitter. Instead of jubilation, Collins openly wept in the post game press conference. He admitted he kept thinking about what effect this could have on Santana’s career. He said, “It was without a doubt, the worst night I’ve ever spent in baseball.”

After that fateful night, Santana would made 10 more starts. He went 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA. Batters hit .327/.377/.587 against him. He averaged just under five innings per start. He was shut down in August. He needed a second shoulder surgery in the offseason. He hasn’t thrown another pitch in the majors since then. His career effectively ended one glorious rainy night when he was 33 years old. 

Looking back at the moment five years later, Santana still has no regrets

Last night, in his fifth ever game as a manager, Dave Roberts was in the same position Collins was almost six years ago. Ross Stripling was looking to become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first ever start since 1892 when Bumpus Jones did it. 

Unlike Jones, Stripling has had Tommy John surgery. This was only his 15th start since the surgery, and the first one this season. Heading into the start, it was determined he would be limited to 100 pitches. He reached the hundredth pitch with one out in the eight inning. He was five outs from history. Dave Roberts came out of the dugout and pulled Striplng from the game. Roberts decided Stripling’s future was worth more than just this one game:

The San Francisco crowd booed. People watching the game on television were in disbelief. Many felt it was karma that the Dodgers lost the no-hitter and the lead when the very next batter homered. About the only person on the planet who agreed with Dave Roberts was Ross Stripling:

It begs the question – who made the right decision?  Collins or Roberts?

Fact is, we’ll never know. If Collins lifts Santana after his 115th pitch, he may still have needed shoulder surgery. If Stripling threw 134 or more pitches last night, he may have felt no ill effects. He might’ve had a long and healthy career. With that said, there could be room for both Collins and Roberts to have been right in the decisions they made. 

Collins let a player who fought so hard to get to this point have his moment of glory. Roberts might’ve robbed a young player of his moment, but he also might’ve made a decision that could allow Stripling to pitch 10 plus years in the majors. 

Admittedly, I wanted Stripling to continue pitching. I wanted to see history be made. However, I will not say I was shocked at the decision. For better or worse, this is the culture of baseball. Everyone pays more attention to pitch counts. Pitch counts are around because organizations look for ways to prevent pitcher injuries. Pitch counts are a part of the game.  

Keep in mind, if you ask any Mets fans how many pitches Santana threw in his no-hitter, they will answer 134 without hesitation. They will do it much in the same way Dodger fans will forever know Stripling threw 100 pitches in his first ever start. 

Enjoy the 2016 Season

I haven’t been this excited for a Mets season since 2008. The Mets might’ve collapsed in 2007, but that was due to injuries and poor starting pitching. The Mets cured that by trading for Johan Santana

It was also the last season at Shea Stadium. It was a year to re-live all the memories from my 25 years of going to Mets games there. As Sunday Plan ticket holders, my brother, father, and I were guaranteed the opportunity to be there for the last regular season game played at Shea. Not until Jerry Manuel summoned Scott Schoeneweis from the bullpen did I think it would be the last ever game played at Shea. It was a second collapse, and a brutal way to end the season. 

Looking back on the 2008 season, I never really enjoyed it. Part of it was the hangover from 2007. Part of it was the slow start to the season. Part of it was the embarrassing way the Mets fired Willie Randolph. It was just a frustrating year. 

Here’s the thing. The Mets won 89 games that year making them 16 games over .500. That means the Mets season was full of more good days than bad. When that happens, it’s a pretty good year. It’s a good year even if your team falls short of its World Series aspirations. It’s a shame in a year that the Mets won a lot of games, including Santana’s gem on the penultimate game of the season, is mostly known for misery. 

Entering the 2016 season, the Mets are once again seen as World Series favorites. Unlike 2008, I’m going to try to enjoy each and ever minute of it. 

No, it won’t be as fun as the second half of last year. That came out of nowhere. It’s always more fun the first time a group of players win. It’s more fun when you don’t see it coming. However, it doesn’t mean that a season in which your team is amongst the World Series favorites can’t be fun. 

Overall, the Mets should win more games than they lose. That means there will be more good days than bad days. I hope to not take the losses as hard while taking more enjoyment in the wins. 

So starting with Curtis Granderson digging into the batter’s box, I’m going to enjoy each and every moment. This season should be a special one. The Mets should be in the postseason, and as we saw last year, their pitching can carry them to the World Series. 

Lets Go Mets! 

Right about Santana, Wrong about Milledge

Today is the eighth anniversary of the Johan Santana trade. Over his tenure with the Mets, Santana pitched well to brilliantly when he was able to pitch.

Santana tried to will the Mets into the postseason in 2008. He pitched on three days rest on a bum knee and gave the Mets a brilliant outing, a complete game, three hit, nine strikeout, shut out. It would be the Mets last win at Shea Stadium. It would be his last great season, but not his last great moment. On June 1, 2012, he threw a 134 pitch no-hitter on a surgically repaired shoulder. The first in Mets history. It was effectively the end of his career. 

The cost for all of this?  Basically, it was Carlos Gomez. Yes, the same one. It’s interesting that it was Gomez because he wasn’t what the Twins initially wanted. They wanted  Lastings Milledge.

At that time everyone wanted Milledge. The A’s wanted Milledge in exchange for Barry Zito. The Mets balked in 2006. They balked despite Pedro Martinez‘s injury problems. The Mets thought that highly of Milledge that they were willing to let him possibly stand in the way of a World Series title. He was considered that good. Except, unfortunately, he really wasn’t that good. His stock would go down to the point where he could only fetch Brian Schneider and Ryan Church. That’s a far cry from Barry Zito and Johan Santana. 

The lesson here isn’t necessarily that you should always trade prospects. If that’s the case, the Mets wouldn’t have David Wright. No, the lesson is to make sure you are right before trading prospects. 

The Mets were wrong about Gomez and Milledge. Most were. Now, Milledge is playing in Japan. Gomez is a two-time All Star. He’s a Gold Glove centerfielder. There are different times the Mets could’ve used him either as an outfielder (possibly avoiding the disastrous Jason Bay signing), or used him as a trade chip. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there because the Mets held onto the wrong prospect. 

There are many lessons to learn with Santana, namely about abusing pitcher’s arms. The other lesson is that teams have to be right about their own prospects. By holding onto Milledge, the Mets might’ve lost out on a World Series in 2006. By being wrong about Milledge, the Mets lost out on Gomez’s career. 

So whenever the Mets trade a prospect, we should look not just at the return, but also who they didn’t trade. As we saw with the Santana deal, you can still win a trade while still losing out on something else. 

Historically Zobrist Goes Elsewhere

This isn’t a criticism of Sandy Alderson and his staff. This isn’t an issue of this front office being stingy or refusing to go the extra mile to get the player. It’s just that historically the Mets typically do not outbid teams when it comes to the big free agent. 

That’s not to say the Mets don’t sign free agents. Obviously, they do. They’ve also overspent and spent big money on some free agents. It’s just that they don’t typically win bidding wars. They especially don’t do so when a big market team is also bidding on the same player. My personal feelings aside, I just don’t see how the Mets outbid everyone for Ben Zobrist. Here are the instances where the Wilpon led Mets outbid everyone for a high priced player:

Jason Bay

In 2009, the Mets signed Jason Bay. In some ways it could be interpreted as the Mets won a bidding war and in others it could be seen as the Red Sox moved on to other players
Fact is the Red Sox essentially had a four year $60 million contract offer, which may or may not have been pulled due to medical concerns. You can never fully trust Boston’s statements when a player leaves. The fact is the Mets had to offer $6 million extra to bring Bay to New York. The fact also remains the Mets went after Bay instead of going after the much better and much more expensive Matt Holliday

This isn’t about how Bay fared with the Mets as no one could have reasonable predicted what happened next. This is about the Mets outbidding the Red Sox for a player only after deciding to not even get involved in the bidding for the more expensive, better player. 

Carlos Beltran

The Carlos Beltran story is an interesting one. Like Bay, it was also a move made under the Omar Minaya regime. 

What’s most interesting about this was the Yankees never got involved in the bidding despite Beltran all but begging them to offer him a contract. Furthermore, the Astros had a limited window to negotiate with Beltran. Under the old free agency rules, the Astros only had until January 7th to re-sign him. If they didn’t, they were barred from re-signing him until May 1st. 

The Mets went above and beyond then in Minaya’s first year as GM. The Mets signed Beltran to a then whopping seven year $119 million contract. It was a real power move that the Mets haven’t typically been the Mets strength. There was one other move in 2005 that was uncharacteristic. 

Pedro Martinez

Like Bay, the Mets were able to outbid the Red Sox for Pedro Martinez because the Red Sox drew a line in the sand in a player they knew/suspected had questionable medicals. Unlike Bay, the Mets clearly outbid the Red Sox. 

The Red Sox thought they had Pedro re-signed giving him the extra year he wanted. The Mets just gave that extra year and money no one thought Pedro could/should get. Like Beltran, this was part of Minaya’s reshaping of the Mets. It’s truly interesting the major deals happened in 2005 when Minaya took over the team. In some ways, it makes you question how much the Madoff Ponzi fallout affected the Mets. 

Yes, it clearly limited payroll. However, after 2005, the Mets never truly went the extra mile in seeking to acquire the top free agent on the market. They were initially rebuffed by Carlos Delgado (until he was later obtained via trade). They did give a huge contract to Johan Santana in the wake of the 2007 collapse. However, that was part of a trade and not part of a free agent bidding process. 

So while the Mets have at times spent money pre-Madoff, it appears the team does not usually win these free agent bidding contests. Additionally, after 2005, the team has typicall backed off the top free agent on the market that would/could fulfill a need like Jason Heyward

In any event, it appears if history repeats itself here, the Mets will not get Zobrist. This may or may not be due to the budget. It may due more to an organizational philosophy that was in place before Sandy Alderson ever became the GM. 

Mets Owe Johan a Shot

Despite last pitching for the Mets in 2012, Johan Santana is still trying to make a comeback. God bless him. 

Santana missed the entire 2011 season after shoulder surgery on his left arm to repair a torn anterior capsule. He came back in 2012, and he pitched well. Then on one magic night, This happened:

It’s a night that still haunts Terry Collins. He let a pitcher coming back from shoulder surgery throw 134 pitches. Collins was noticeably upset in his post game press conference. He feared what ended up happening. Santana’s career effectively ended that day. 

Santana would have a re-tear in the capsule requiring further surgery. He would miss the entire 2013 season, his last with the Mets. He tore his Achilles’ tendon while rehabbing the shoulder surgery costing him the 2014 season. Last year, he had a toe infection which prevented his latest comeback. He now wants another chance. 

The Mets can afford to give it to him. They are looking for lefties in the bullpen. All Santana will require is a minor league deal for the minimum with an invitation to Spring Training. Worst case scenario is he doesn’t have it, and you cut him. No harm, no foul. But if there is something, anything there, you could have a good reliever. A reliever who can handle New York, and who can be a mentor to the entire pitching staff.

The other reason to give it to him is the Mets owe him. It sounds funny because the Mets paid him $137.5 million. However, they pushed him to the limit in 2008 trying to make the playoffs. They pushed him past the limit to get the elusive no-hitter. We don’t know if these events lead to the shoulder surgeries. What we do know is Johan gave the Mets all he had. 

With Johan giving the Mets all he could, the Mets should at least offer him the least they could. If he doesn’t have it, it’s better coming from a friend that respects him and can thank him for his play with the Mets. If he does have it, Johan can go out on his own, and the Mets can strengthen their team. 

The Mets should bring back Johan. 

It Was Worth the Wait

My favorite Mets team was the 1999 team. I loved everything about that team from Bobby V to Mike Piazza to Edgardo Alfonzo to Robin Ventura to John Olerud. It was my first real taste of a pennant race and the playoffs. I was lucky to be there for Pratt’s All Folks and the Grand Slam Single. I look back on the year with melancoly because of this:

In 2000, the Mets got Mike Hampton. The season became World Series or bust. A strange feeling for a Mets fan. Hampton would deliver. He was the NLCS MVP. The Mets then had to face the Yankees in the World Series. It was a cruel series with Todd Zeile‘s ball landing on the wall and falling back into play.  Timo Perez didn’t run and didn’t score. Roger Clemens threw a bat at Piazza and wasn’t ejected. The series then ended in the most heartbreaking way possible:

The Mets would be terrible for the next few years, but everything came together in 2006. Our homegrown stars, Jose Reyes and David Wright, we’re becoming superstars. They were joined by the two Carloses: Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. It was a team that ran roughshod over the National League. Beltran was the best baseball player on the planet that year (who somehow didn’t win the MVP). The Mets had momentum in Game Seven with Endy Chavez’s catch. Here’s how that season ended:

In 2007, the Mets reloaded and were primed to go back to the World Series. They were up 7 with 17 to play. On the final game of the season, they sent future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine to the mound with his 300 wins. He wouldn’t be devastated when he got out of the first, but we would:

In 2008, the Mets diagnosed their problem, and much like 2000, they went out to get it. The Mets brought in Johan Santana, and he delivered. they needed him in a strange year that saw Wille Randolph fired after a win on the first game of a west coast trip. The interim manager threatened to cut Reyes if he didn’t come off the field after pulling up lame, and people acted like it was a good thing. Through all of that, the Mets were collapsing again, and yet an injured Santana took the ball on three days rest. He saved the season, but only for a day: 

The last three were the most difficult for me because I was there. It got more difficult because Citi Field was initially a disappointment. It got worse because the product on the field was bad. 

Then Matt Harvey came up and was an All Star. Jacob deGrom came from seemingly nowhere to become a Rookie of the Year and an All Star. They were joined by Noah Syndergaard. The Mets made a flurry of trades including one for Yoenis CespedesDaniel Murphy had an out of body experience. Then this happened:

All that pain. All that suffering. We know what it’s like to be Mets fans. There’s pain and suffering. However, there are moments of pure joy. It’s all the losing that makes nights like last night all the more special. 

We’re Mets fans. We were there for all of this. There are older fans who experienced more pain, but also more joy. There are younger fans who only know losing. Now, we’re all Pennant Winners. It’s like the 80’s again when the Mets are the best team of baseball. We’re “Back in the New York groove!”

Collins is Inconsistent

I was talking to one of my loyal readers a while back, my cousin Brian, and he said to me, “you really hate Terry Collins.”  Honestly, I don’t. I think he’s a good man that makes baffling moves. However, I will admit he irked me yesterday. Here is his quote regarding Matt Harvey:

It’s hard for me to get it, because I am, at heart, the old-school guy. But I understand where it’s coming from. Therefore, you adjust to it. Because I’ve said before, there’s a lot of things in our game today I don’t necessarily agree with. You either adjust to it, or get out. So, I’m adjusting to it.

I read that as a veiled shot at Harvey and the innings limits. I read that as Collins wanting to push Harvey in a relatively meaningless September game when he should be getting his team ready for the playoffs. I wasn’t expecting that from him. 

When it came to Johan Santana and his no-hitter, Collins was moved to tears over the possibility of ruining the guy’s career post-surgery. Three years later, Collins said he was still affected by it. He says he’s learned from it, and he will act accordingly. I don’t think he was lying. I just think old habits and views are tough to break. 

I think he admires Johan for going out there and getting it, as we all should. I think he has disdain for the innings limits, but he just won’t come out and say it. It’s amazing the man crying over possibly ruining a guy’s career for a moment of glory is irked by getting a young pitcher rest so he can pursue his moment of glory. 

I thought Collins learned something three years ago, and maybe because of that, he was the right guy to handle Harvey this year. I saw a guy that wanted to protect his players. I saw a guy who knew the right time to go for it. I guess I was wrong. 

Matt Harvey Isn’t Billy Chapel

Clear the mechanism.”  

Billy Chapel was a fictional pitcher in the underrated For Love of the Game. He’s at the end of a great career. He’s pitching on short rest to face the Yankees, who are one game away from making the playoffs. From years gone by, Chapel had a sore shoulder and was at the end of his career. Only the immortal Vin Scully could describe what was happening:

And you know Steve you get the feeling Billy Chapel isn’t pitching against left handers, he isn’t pitching against pinch hitters, he isn’t pitching against the Yankees. He’s pitching against time. He’s pitching against the future, against age, and when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight I think he might be able to use that old aching arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer. 

Billy Chapel prays to God asking for his shoulder to stop hurting for 10 minutes to let him finish the game. The moment becomes so big that he can no longer “clear the mechanism.”  He’s out there by himself, as he always was. There’s a certain beauty to it. As his ex once told him:

You’re perfect. You, the ball, the diamond, you’re this perfectly beautiful thing. You can win or lose the game, all by yourself.

It’s the romantic version we all have of baseball. When we saw Billy Chapel finish off the perfect game, it was magic. I had chills as if it were a real game.  After the game, whether realistically speaking or metaphorically speaking, Chapel’s career was done.  The Mets had their own version of Billy Chapel. His name is Johan Santana

In 2008, the Mets were collapsing again. Santana was having none of that. On a knee that would require offseason surgery, Santana pitched a complete game shut out on three days rest. It was a heroic performance. For at least a day, the Mets season was saved. He was 29 years old, and it would be the last time he would pitch in a game of that magnitude. 

In the next two seasons, he wouldn’t crack 30 starts. He pitched well, but there were diminishing returns. Was that the result of aging or was it due to injury?  After the 2010 season, Santana needed shoulder surgery. He missed the 2011 season. 

Santana would come back in 2012 and have his Billy Chapel moment. On a Friday night in June, Santana pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history. On a night he was supposed to be limited between 110-115 pitches, he threw 134. Once again, Santana put injury concerns aside, acted like a warrior, and he delivered for the Mets.  

After that night, he has only had 10 more starts. He needed another shoulder surgery. He keeps trying to come back, but something always seems to get in the way. It’s the reason why Collins was in tears the night of Santana’s no-hitter. It’s the reason, Collins is still distraught about the decision to let Santana pitch to this day. 

We don’t know if pitching on the injured knee precipitated the shoulder problems. We don’t know if the no-hitter precipitated the second shoulder surgery effectively ending Santana’s career. We do know Santana became the Mets version of Billy Chapel.

Is this what Mets fans want for Matt Harvey?  With the recent drama involving Scott Boras’ remarks, I’ve seen a lot of people saying Harvey should just go out there and pitch. I’ve seen people try to inform Harvey he needs to pitch if Sandy Alderson tells him to go out there and pitch. 

Much like 2008, I’m desperate for the Mets to win a World Series. We saw what happened when we tried to sacrifice a 29 year old’s career to make that happen. I’m not doing it again with a 26 year old. If Harvey’s healthy, he will pitch. If he needs some rest now, give it to him. If he needs to be shut down, shut him down. 

I don’t say that lightly. Keep in mind, I’m the one who has questioned the Mets skipping starts. I did that questioning the logic. There seems to be some smoke that Harvey needs rest, and/or is perilously close to needing to be shut down. No one wants this. 

The one thing no one can ask is for Harvey to risk his career for the 2015 season. Not me, not you, not Sandy Alderson, not anyone. That includes Matt Harvey. If that was my son, Sandy Alderson wouldn’t be hearing from Scott Boras, he would be hearing from me. If other parents say they would send their child out there in harm’s way to pitch in October potentially ruining his career and future earnings, they’re lying to themselves. 

I’ve seen Billy Chapel on the Mets.  The experience gives me a sense of melancholy. I don’t want that for Harvey. I want him healthy and effective. Let’s do what we need to do to get him to October. Let’s do what we need to do to keep him healthy for a long career with the Mets. Maybe there will be multiple Workd Series titles. 

“Clear the mechanism.”