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Johan Santana is “angry” and “bitter” toward the Mets

Mar 11, 2013, 10:44 PM EDT

New York Mets Photo Day Getty Images

Things are getting weird between the Mets and Johan Santana.

Santana has yet to make his spring debut because he is still in the process of building strength in his shoulder. The Mets were caught off guard that the veteran southpaw wasn’t in pitching shape upon reporting to camp, which is all the more curious considering that he wanted to pitch for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson went public with his disappointment last weekend, which resulted in Santana reportedly irking the team by throwing unscheduled from a mound just one day later.

While Santana has scaled back his throwing program in recent days, making a trip to the disabled list inevitable, it’s clear that he is not over how the situation was handled.

Santana is a competitor, so it’s not surprising to learn that he’s still peeved by the perception that he showed up to spring training out of shape. The Mets have every reason to be frustrated if he wasn’t where they thought he’d be when spring training began, but perhaps Alderson should have recognized the possibility that Santana would take his comments personally and divert from the plan. Who knows what was said behind closed doors, but this appears to be a failure of communication on both sides. Of course, if Santana comes back at some point in April and pitches well, this drama will all be forgotten.

Santana, 33, is owed $25 million this season while his $25 million club option for next season includes a $5.5 million buyout.

  1. thebadguyswon - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I’d say failure of communication pretty much nails it. It really should not have been a big deal. He’s coming off shoulder surgery from 18 mos ago and he’s older. Its going to take him awhile to get ready. If he wasn’t in the top shape he could be given that, its easy to see why a club paying him $25M per would be peeved.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 12, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      I had a feeling things would get a little sour for Johan, it always does in the end
      when things don’t go the way you want. I hope this get’s worked out before heading

  2. thebadguyswon - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    But being angry and bitter at a team that paid you crazy money for 8 years is laughable. Try a job in the real world, Johan.

    • bigleagues - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM


  3. beagle11 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    What a waste,such a shame he couldn’t stay healthy and the Mets couldn’t field a better team during the length of this deal. He’s 33/34 during the last season of a mega deal, doesn’t sound so bad not considering the injuries.

  4. dickclydesdale - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    This lazy bum collects over 100 million on the disabled list & is still angry..Send him to shine shoes & take away all that money so he can appreciate this country for what it’s done for him.

    • zen609 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Let’s not get too far from reality here:

      Santana is a lazy bum? He’s a world-class athlete – until his injury, the top player in the premiere baseball league in the world. Professional sports, especially at the top level, is extremely competitive – pro athletes are only lazy in the comment sections of sports blogs.

      Santana isn’t responsible for his own success, it was given to him by the country? Really? So, as a citizen, you are actually responsible for his accomplishments?

      Go shine shoes? Dude, here’s reality – you’re a helluva lot closer to shining shoes than Santana.But I like how you advocate seizing his property, and in the same sentence imply some faux-patriotic crap about the country – because seizing private property is what this country is all about, isn’t it?

      Stupid comment.

      • zen609 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        Oops – ” a top player” – not “the top player”.

  5. kander013 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Can’t think of a big time trade where it was lose-lose for both sides, in any sport.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      Herschel Walker to Vikings?

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        Cowboys used the picks to add Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper, Dixon Edwards, Darren Woodson from 1990 to 1992. Pretty sure they didn’t lose.

      • djpostl - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:45 AM

        Lol the Cowboys built a dynasty almost exclusively off picks brought in from that trade

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      I dunno – ’08 was their shot. Johan had a great year and they missed by a game. I wouldn’t say it was a loss for the Mets. We even got our no hitter.

      But cautionary tale on the wisdom of mega contracts to pitchers? ABSOLUTELY

    • Kevin S. - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      The four-way Howard trade? Biggest winners were the Nets and Rockets for not being involved.

      • tsi431 - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:09 AM

        Lakers won that hands down. They wouldn’t be in the playoffs without Howard. Bynum hasn’t played a game this year. Its no contest.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        Considering Andrew Bynum wouldn’t have been in an East Windsor bowling alley if he was still in LA, you really can’t say that.

  6. bigwayne75 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    I am a huge Mets fan and this cat is really getting on my nerves, I can’t wait until the Mets trade him (that won’t happen) or his contract expires. The last 2 years there has been problems with him. He was a good pitcher but the word is was.

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      June 1, 2012

      Just saying.

      • djpostl - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        Juan Nieves, Wilson Alvarez, Chris Bosio, Francisco Córdova, Hideo Nomo (twice), Jonathan Sánchez, Dallas Braden, Phillip Humber, Homer Bailey, Bus Smith….the list goes on & on.

        All pitchers who managed to be really awesome for one game then fairly mediocre the rest of the time.

        If sacrificing that much payroll for some trivial thing like a no-no is worth it you deserve to have an idiot like Wilpon running your franchise into the shitter.

      • tsi431 - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:19 AM


        Mets getting their first no hitter in 50 years…. priceless.

        For that reason the Santana deal will always be worth it.

        Are you comparing Johan, one of the best pitchers of all time, to one hit wonder pitchers?

        Via Wikipedia
        2 time Cy Young Winner
        4 time All Star
        Gold Glove Winner
        3x Era Leader
        3x Strikeout leader
        MLB All decade team
        W/L 139-78
        3.20 career ERA
        1,988 SO

        Yea sounds like a one hit wonder. Idiot

  7. ptfu - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Santana and the Mets?

    • tsi431 - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:20 AM

      I think they are communicating well. Mets are saying Santana was not prepared and they are pissed. Johan is pouting in the corner.

  8. maddogg911 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    MLB teams keep on signing pitchers to lengthy deals. What a bust Santana turned out to be.

    • tuberippin - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Since signing that contract with the Mets in 2008, Johan managed to:

      * Pitch more CGs and shutouts as a Met (9 and 6) than as a Twin (6 and 4)
      * Lead the league in ERA, starts, innings pitched, and batters faced in 2008
      * Post two sub-3.00 ERA seasons
      * Throw the first no-hitter in Mets history

      Not Johan’s fault the Mets collapsed and couldn’t win one more game in 2008.
      Not Johan’s fault that the Wilpons put significant amounts of money into Ponzi schemes and nearly bankrupted the team, causing the team’s payroll to subsequently be drastically severed.

      Was he overpaid relative to what he gave the Mets? No doubt.
      Was he a bust? Certainly not.
      Mike Hampton was a bust. Barry Zito was a bust. Carl Pavano was a bust.

      Hell, I’d argue the Mets giving Oliver Perez 3 years/$36 million or Jason Bay 4yrs/$66mil in 2009 were both worse than giving Johan 6yrs/$137mil the year before.

  9. fissels - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Excellent post. I have a hard time blaming Johan. He has been a solid, stand-up guy throughout his time with the Mets. It was wrong for Alderson to throw him under the bus.

  10. chaseutley - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    This could be a contract year for Santana. $69.5mil for a 17-18 record over the last 3 years? If it were me, I’d be in the BSO(my)L and ready to prove something in 2013.

  11. Old Gator - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Well, it’s nice to see the Wilpoons are right on top of everything again.

    Except the division.

  12. louhudson23 - Mar 12, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Getting paid is not something one needs to be in shape for.

  13. DonRSD - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    Wilpons need to go.
    Johan is still a solid pitcher.
    Thank God we have great you g pitchers coming up.
    1-2 more years and we are contenders again…..LETS GO METS!!!

  14. mrznyc - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Sell, Fred, sell

  15. kingjoe1 - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    At over 1 million dollars per win, Johan should be thanking the lord for the Mets.

  16. gbar22 - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    I can’t listen to fans complain about contracts and label players busts. Fans no matter what the player does if they have a huge contract get labeled busts. People were screaming a-rod was a bust when he was winning MVP’s for the Yankees. Please get over yourselves and stop the pathetic jealousy and just be a fan. It’s not your money.

    • tuberippin - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      I agree that a lot of how a player and his contract are judged are not based upon performance; I think a lot of that is based upon image/reputation, which means that having good PR is critical. Most people didn’t bat an eyelid when Derek Jeter got 10yrs/$189mil back in the day.

  17. jfk69 - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Lets cut the BS. The Mutts are on the hook for 30 million and the separation process has begun. Fire up his competitive spirit and the thinking is… Maybe we can unload him at the 2013 trade deadline for some draft picks or outfield help. At the very least someone else can eat some of what is left on the contract.

    • jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      No trade clause.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Doesn’t mean he can’t waive it, especially if that involved an increase on his buy-out next year.

  18. officialgame - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I have friends who work in the media and as general rule baseball players are the most difficult to deal with. They are arrogant, self centered, SOB’s interested only in their selves. This man has given back very little to the Mets and received a ton of money from them. It would behoove Santana to STFU and keep a low profile.

    • zen609 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      STFU? Santana didn’t say anything. Do you understand the story? Do you understand what happened?

  19. iamjimmyjack - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Santana mad at the mets? Hahahaha give me a break. “Shame on u for paying me 25 million a year. U expected me to be in shape? How dare you!”
    – Johan the thief Santana

    • zen609 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      “But the team was aware Santana would be scaling back his routine after working to come back from injuries in each of the four previous offseasons.

      “He wanted to take the winter off so maybe we wouldn’t see the fatigue we saw last year in midseason,” manager Terry Collins said. “We didn’t like where he was when he was on the mound, so we slowed him down. … There’s always going to be a variance of opinion. Last year [in the offseason], he threw and threw and threw and faded out [in the second half]. I’m not surprised he took it easy.””

  20. jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it’s very much in the Mets’ best interest to have Santana start the season on the DL. If he pitches 215 innings and finishes the season healthy, the $25M 2014 team option becomes a player option. If he misses a few starts in April, that goal becomes much more difficult to reach.

    • mtr75 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      So how did they talk him into coming to camp not ready to pitch? That’s a pretty bizarre conspiracy. Johan conspiring with the Mets to screw himself out of $19.5 mil.

  21. sandwiches4ever - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    From the look of this thread, Johan isn’t the only one bitter and angry at the Mets.

  22. mtr75 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    To all of you clowns knocking the Johan trade and/or signing, I’d like to know which one of you though it was a bad move when the Mets made it. This was the trade of a lifetime when it went down. We got one of the best pitchers in baseball for 4 nobodies. He had no injury history. The guy was a stud, heading into his prime, and any team in baseball would have made that trade and signed that deal if they could have. Anyone saying the contract was bad now is a clown. Nobody thought this was a bad deal when it happened. Nobody.

    • cackalackyank - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Well, except for maybe several thousand Twins fans, give or take few.

  23. gbditka - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Mets would love to trade him….nobody wants his contract! Damaged good usually end up on the 50% off shelf in a store

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