It’s Time To Let Go Of Johan Santana

By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper

I’ll never forget how I felt when there was talk that the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets were interested in the two-time Cy Young Award winner, a hero in Minnesota.  I had some texting going on with some Mets friends.  “He’s going to the Bronx, we all know it,” we had convinced ourselves.  Till the Twins asked for too much and basically, Boston nor New York thought to keep Santana out of the mix.

Then the Mets got him.

Stuff like that wasn’t supposed to happen for us.  We weren’t supposed to get the guy everyone wanted, especially a guy who was coveted by the Yankees.  See, they got everyone they wanted.  We did not.  We got sloppy seconds, like Doug Mientkiewicz over Carlos Delgado.  We got Brian Schneider and Ryan Church instead of Barry Zito for Lastings Milledge.

After a monster late season collapse in 2007, Mets fans were holding their collective dicks, wondering what, if anything, would happen.

And Omar Minaya orchestrated a trade for who was the best pitcher in baseball at the time, Johan Santana.

Johan Freaking Santana.

I remember the euphoria, the excitement associated with him starting on Opening Day in Miami April 2008.

I’m not going to knock the trade.  The prospects didn’t amount to much and the one who ended up pitching a perfect game (Philip Humber) ended up sucking all around.  Not to mention, he pitched the game just weeks before Johan pitched the first no-no in Mets history. (The irony? One of the young pitchers Minnesota wanted and didn’t get then…they have him NOW.)

Yes, Johan has given us some good memories.  He left us with a lasting impression of the good times we had at Shea Stadium, by pitching a complete game versus the Marlins the last Saturday game in 2008.

He gave us a no-hitter.

Was it all worth it?  I think so.  It wasn’t J0Jo’s fault that the team around him couldn’t come through when they needed to.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying on his part.

From 2009 to 2012, he’s had injury-marred seasons.  Why this talk of him not making the Opening Day start is a) shocking or b) n0t expected is beyond me.  In fact, I called it weeks ago that it was foolish to believe Johan Santana was still an “ace” in name only.  But that was more of an argument to quit undervaluing Jon Niese’s role in the pitching rotation.

I love Johan.  I will always be grateful for the hope he brought to the Mets in their last season at Shea, and even associated afterwards.  But that’s just it. You can hope in one hand, and shit in the other, and see how quickly one fills up.

I don’t mean “letting go” of a traditional or proverbial sense.  I mean, in the sense of any hope or fear or triumph we had associated with Johan Alexander Santana, the great pitcher from Minnesota who came to the Mets via trade in early 2008, that is an idea we need to let go of to fully move on from the past.

It’s time to let go of the idea that somehow, Johan Santana is going to be THE Johan Santana of old.  This shouldn’t surprise people.

It’s time to let go of the idea of Johan Santana.


13 responses to “It’s Time To Let Go Of Johan Santana

  1. Why do you find it necessary to use vulgarities in your writing? You sound like a teenager trying to impress his peers.

  2. When the Mets got Johan most of us knew it was going to be a gamble on the back end of his 3 year deal. We were more than ok with that because he was supposed to be the great pitcher we needed on the front end of the deal to put the rest of this very good team over the top.

    Well he did his part those first 3 years – it was the rest of the organization that fell apart around him. Then the injuries, which we all knew were a very real possibility, started to kick in and take their toll.

    It bothers me to see so many Mets fans (not you Coop) bash Santana today. Revisionist history at its best. The man basically did what those of us who were paying attention thought and hoped he would do. I thank him for his time as a Met – for being a ferocious competitor and for having a trait that is lacking in many other Mets players, front office members and owners – the desire to win for Mets fans.

    Time to let go for sure, but I hope Mets fans don’t forget the quality player they had in this guy for years.

    PS – Hello from the Mid-Atlantic Coop!

  3. I think most have let go already. Other than his no-hitter, his time with the Mets has been unremarkable.

    And for the prudes out there…RELAX! A few choice words won’t kill ya…and they certainly don’t do anything to hurt the article.

  4. Pingback: My Beloved Mets – It’s time to let go of Johan Santana·

  5. I believe that most Mets fans have let go. I’m hoping Johan has a solid May and June so that we can acquire a prospect for him in July.

  6. Steve, not trying to impress anyone, certainly not you. This is a baseball blog, not Shakespeare. I’ll let a F bomb fly every now and then.

  7. Nope, John, spell check is fine. Now if I had written “suck my duck” in the piece, that would have warranted spell check. Then again, I’m a chick, so it wouldn’t be linguistically correct.

  8. Felix, by my count I used two “bad words.” Why not bring up the valid points to discuss?

  9. Thanks for reading BigMetFan!
    Frank, definitely I think most fans have let go of the idea of Johan. But then, you’d be surprised how many people just mere weeks ago thought he’d be good eough to Opening Day.

  10. SEAT5!!!!!!!!! Oh how I miss you up here. I won’t bash Santana, when he’s been healthy, he’s been a competitor. But it’s time to face facts and see he’s nowhere close to being what he used to be. It’s sad, really.

  11. Are you guys kidding? As a long time writer, I enjoy the use of rough languge from time to time when it fits. Coop is an excellent writer and I not only have no issue with her colorful languge, I fully support it. Toughen up people. How about the actual point of the article? I have to agree with you Coop. I have actually let go of the idea that Johan is Johan from last year. I look at him like I looked at David Cone his last few years in the majors…. of a guy who makes adjustments had has the baseball sintelligence to pitch smartly and understands his arms isn’t what it used to be.

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