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Johan Santana: whoever says I’m not going to pitch this year “is lying”

Mar 14, 2011, 8:40 AM EDT

Johan Santana throwing

On Saturday Steve Popper and Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record reported that Johan Santana‘s rehab has not been progressing well and that Mets sources are concerned that he may not pitch at all in 2011.  The team refuted that report yesterday.  But in today’s Daily News, Santana refutes it even more strongly:

“I don’t know who’s saying that I’m not ready or whatever because according to everything, the way it has been done, we’re right on the right track and where we’re supposed to be. Whoever is saying that I’m not ready I think is lying.”

If this were any other team we’d probably be obligated to give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s the Mets we’re talking about here.  Yes, they’re under new management, but they are coming off a recent run of being less-than-forthcoming when it comes to injuries so some trust needs to be regained before we simply take their word for it.

Indeed, last year at this time the Mets were refuting my report that Kelvim Escobar was seriously hurt, insisting that he merely had a “tired shoulder” and would be pitching any day. Indeed, Johan Santana himself was one of the people quoted as saying that Escobar was throwing the ball well and that his rehab from a winter injury was coming along nicely. That turned out to not be the case.

I’m hoping that the Sandy Alderson regime has put an end to the propaganda and I’m hoping that Popper and Klapisch merely spoke to someone with bad information because life is better when Johan Santana is pitching than when he is not. At present, however, I’d be wary of taking the Mets or Santana’s claims about his rehab at face value and would prefer to be pleasantly surprised if and when he takes the mound this year.

  1. proudlycanadian - Mar 14, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Personally, I have difficulty with stories from the Bergen Record. In the past I have seen this paper make false claims about the Blue Jays. Why should this paper from New Jersey be taken seriously when it has a past record of false reports?

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 14, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      C’mon, proudly, don’t go all chrisny3 on us this early on a Monday.As a subscriber to the offending daily, I find that puppies take well to it.

    • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Popper has usually had a good record for accuracy but Klapisch is another matter. I don’t think it’s any surprise that Klapisch shares the byline on this one.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 14, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Santana’s left arm is an a glass jar of formaldehyde in the concourse of Citifield so we can all watch it’s progress. Now that the Mets have taken the concept of transparency to the next level thusly, there should be no varying opinions on the subject.

  3. BC - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    I still wish Bonilla had knocked Klapisch 10 feet into the ground when he had a chance. The world would be a better place for it.

  4. chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    “Johan Santana: whovever says I’m not going to pitch this year “is lying””

    Craig, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but that’s not accurate. Santana and Warthen are taking issue with the Bergen Record’s claims that his rehab schedule is going badly and that it might be derailed this week.

    Johan Santana is NOT claiming he will pitch in a major league game this year. Just that there are no setbacks in the rehab schedule so far. That’s quite a different matter.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      His rehab schedule has been widely reported to have him pitching in 2011. If he’s saying he’s on the rehab schedule, he is saying he is going to pitch in 2011.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        No, that’s just a plan as specifically prescribed by the doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery as being reasonable, possible, and recommended.

        Santana himself has said words to the effect that he can’t say for sure — with guarantees — when he will be back and that his health and future are the most important things (so he won’t rush back). And Alderson/Warthen have not said anything different either.

        There is a schedule, but no one knows for sure if it will go according to plan, and no one is claiming it will. They are only claiming that so far, there are no setbacks.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        ““There’s no guaranteed time frame on any of this,” Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said, “especially as unfamiliar as this is for all of us. We know the guy.”

        Warthen/Alderson/Santana have been saying this essentially since last fall when he was first operated on.

        The rehab schedule is just a plan. And all they are saying now is that the plan is going as originally set out so far and that there are no major setbacks as indicated by the original Popper/Klapisch story. The idea that there is a setback is what they are calling a lie.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        Of course no one can predict setbacks. This isn’t a matter of clairvoyance. But it’s not accurate to say that there isn’t a timetable that the team itself has acknowledged that has him pitching in 2011:

        Santana says they’re still on schedule, which is cool. The Bergan Record reports that some Mets employee says otherwise. Which is also cool. We don’t know.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        Right, Craig, what Adam wrote was just a plan. It was widely reported at the time that that was just a plan. And, as the quote from Warthen shows, they know there are no guarantees.

        No one has ever ruled out the possibility in any way that Johan may not be back in a real game this year.

        As for the Bergen Record, they claim outright that there is an issue right now with his rehab schedule and that it may be scrapped this week. If in fact Santana continues to rehab through March, then the Bergen Record will have been proven wrong … no matter what happens in April, May or much later down the road.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        “Of course no one can predict setbacks.”

        But that is precisely what Popper/Klapisch did. They said it was imminent. Not in May or July or August. But right now. It is the setback (and scrapping of the rehab program) that Santana is calling a lie.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        By the way, just to set the record straight … as I don’t want someone to misrepresent my opinion later down the road … I personally dont’ think Santana will be back this year. If he does come back this season, the likeliest scenario is just a few starts sometime in September.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        To set the record straight in terms of Santana … this is what he said in a 2-17-11 radio interview:

        “There’s not a timeframe here on when I’m gonna come back … we’ll see how as the ST goes and how all the rehab goes how well I’ll react to it … If I don’t pitch this year, I don’t think it will be a setback …. They told me it’s going to take a lot of time … It’s going to take a long time, so I am aware of that … but at the same time they told me that if everything was successful, if everything goes right, if the rehab goes right then I shouldn’t have any problem coming back this year… my mindset is to come back this year and to help this team.”

        I feel the original post unfairly set up Santana to be called “a liar” down the road if he didn’t come back this year. He has never discounted that possibility.

    • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      IOW, if there is a setback a month from now or if for some other reason Santana doesn’t get back into a real game this year, then that doesn’t mean the Bergen Record story isn’t wrong and the source Popper and Klapisch used isn’t wrong or lying.

  5. Reflex - Mar 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Wow your grasping at straws Chris. Par for the course.

    Is literally everything an issue of semantics for you? No, don’t bother to answer that.

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