Collins on Santana: You don't want to ruin the organization

“You don’t want to ruin the organization,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper, but saying it all.

via Terry Collins, New York Mets manager, emotional after Johan Santana no-hitter, feeling burden of decision to let him finish game – NYPOST.com.

I don’t know if we will ever know what caused this new shoulder injury but I can’t help but think of that night, that June 1st night, when everyone got a little too hopped up about the 0 under the H.

Maybe things would be better had Baxter let that ball drop.  Or if the umpires made a better call of the ball down the line.

Maybe this only just happened recently, this spring, when Santana did an “I’ll show them” bullpen session.

The two games Santana will be remembered for are the no-hitter, and the penultimate game of 2008 when he also went deep in an effort to keep the Mets in a pennant race.  For both, he will forever be remembered as an all-time Met.

But tonight I keep thinking back to June 1st.  A career high pitch count, for a few days of fan buzz.  Some think it was worth it.  I never did.  Anyone who knows me knows I have been debating this for months.

Maybe it wasn’t those 134 pitches.  It sure isn’t his foot/ankle/whatever else excuse people gave me all winter.

You don’t want to ruin the organization.

“Not tonight Johan, don’t even think about it.”

Alt-Terry, after the 5th inning, June 1, 2012, Mirror Universe.

 

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9 comments
Kathy C
Kathy C

Also, while the naysayers say that Johan didn't bring us a championship, to that I say he got shitty run support, with numerous no-decisions and losses because of it. Even if he won every single start he made for the Mets, we STILL wouldn't have won the World Series with him as the rest of our lineup sucked. Maybe I'm biased because I love Johan's heart and I'm convinced he never dogged it and every time he stepped on the mound, all he cared about was the team winning, not his personal stats. He pitched on one leg in that second-to-last game in 2008 against the Marlins (only to have Tom Glavine screw everything up the next day). Thankfully, I was there at Shea for that game too. I got to see Johan at his best as a Met and that always brings a smile to my face. Was he worth all the money the Mets have paid him? Hell, yeah. When compared to other disastrous contracts, I loved having Johan as a Met. Hope they have a Johan Santana Day for him in the future -- I'd buy the first ticket!

Kathy C
Kathy C

As I sat (or rather, stood) there on that Friday night of June 1st, I wondered "Is this the last time I'll see Johan pitch in person?" as I too was concerned about the pitch count and wondered the long-term effects of throwing more pitches than he ever threw in his career. We'll never know. But I think that if irreparable damage was done due to the no-hitter, Johan wouldn't have won a game after that start. I'm thinking the "I'll Show Them" outing is what did it. But, then again, he showed up to Spring Training unable to pitch. The best part of it is that no matter what you, I and the other 22,000+ who were in attendance that night thought, the decision wasn't ours to make (thank God), Johan wasn't coming out of the game, and management backed Terry's decision. If we had already had a no-hitter under our belt, it's a different matter altogether. He would've been taken out once he reached the pitch-count limit set for him.

vincent
vincent

30 million this year for no ability to produce. Can the Mets void the walk away money because the contract was a "legal impossibility" to complete. Sanatana mised about 50% of his time with Mets and made over 137 million! Fans pay at ticket booth and now must suffer these contracts which prevent any spending on the team this year. Every dollar you spend goes not to positive returns but to getting the Mets out from under this deficit! Maybe santana will take only 1 million walk away money or shave a few million off salary so Mets can reinvest in team this year or maybe pitch for minimum next year. Doubtful he will be able. Its been done before in sports! Why did the Mets not get insurance? Why do they put themselves and fans in this situation...why does MLB have no recourse on these failed deals (48 wins for 137 million)? There should be disability pay of no more than a million per month when a palayer is constantlty injured and c/n produce that kicks in after 30 days on the DL during any season or MLB should mandate insurance to the extent possible. More importantly when will MLB learn not to lavish Santanas, Veron Wells ,ARods et all with untold wealth for several years when the risks are so high? The statistics of poor production and injury plaaqued contracs with zero production is enough evidence to defend collusion charges! . They d/n learn' just this week Cards gave 31 yo twice operated on Wainwright 97 mill over 5 years...very nice pitcher but will he improve over next 5.....this onm the heels of their Carpenter deal and Santana. Plus just this week I heard commmentators starting the spin with Verlander who like Zimmerman and Votto last year has 2 lucrative years left on deals and they ae already talking about extensions and it must be done by this date so as not to disturb JV this year etc..all this molly coddling is a reflection of society and further enables the agents to exploit the situation..Votto missed 50% of last year, Zimmerman ,oft injured is an axxident waiting to happen ...it is time MLB changed their approach for the financial sanity and quilibrium of the game so they can be viable into the future v other sports with stronger financial and contractual recourse for contract structures and players unable to perform. AS cold and distasteful as the NFL is a veteran constantly injured is released and the team moves on and young players are not banished to minors for fear the arbitration clock will cost them at the back end (D'Arnaud in minors but career AAA palyer Recker is back up)...they have financial recourse which will self correct this financial burdens if called for!

mets2013
mets2013

Come on..he threw a shutout the game before, went 9. The no hitter was an extra 30 pitches, and after a lull did pitch two excellent games after that no-no. This is the type of injury that just happens, blaming Collins for ruining his career over coming out for the no hitter is as silly as Yankee fans who somehow blame Nick Swisher for Jeters ankle because his misplay extended the inning Injuries will happen you cannot prevent them

Lou
Lou

I have a hard time believing that an extra 20 pitches last June did this. With all the warm-up, side sessions etc, the extra pitches he threw that niht add up to very little.

Kurt Smith
Kurt Smith

Personally, I think coddling pitchers ruins an organization. The Nationals possibly win the World Series last year if they pitch Strasburg in the playoffs...St. Louis probably wouldn't have beaten him twice. Maybe I'm old school, but if the guy can't pitch nine he should go to the bullpen.

Kathy C
Kathy C

The Yankees started all this high-paying for free agents back in the 1970s. Had to get Lou Piniella from the Royals, Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson from the A's, Ken Holtzman (from either the Cubs or the A's -- I forget which team), Graig Nettles and Chris Chambliss from the Indians, and so and so on, right up to getting CC, Texiera, etc. from the free-agent pool a few years back. They even out-bid themselves by $60 million for Sabathia, to the point no other team was willing to match it. They're to blame for the top-dollar bidding they've created. And now A-Rod's contract is coming back to bite them in the ass. Serves them right. I hope the rest of his tenure with them is mirrored in injury after injury. As they say, there's money and then there's Yankees money -- apples and oranges.

Sparks
Sparks

The far-too-often-overlooked part is the "two excellent games after the no-no." Santana's season didn't go to crap until he after suffered the ankle injury. Assuming the shoulder injury even had one overriding cause, given the timeline, it's more likely that trying to pitch on a "bad wheel" led to more stress being put on his shoulder than it is that the extra pitches in the no-hitter fried it.

Kathy C
Kathy C

Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one wants to pitch complete games anymore -- they think their arms will last longer with less innings pitched. And the ERA maybe should be earned runs divided by 6 innings, not 9. That's what I love about Nolan Ryan as he says the same things you've said. Stop coddling pitchers. And Strasburg was upset about last year, and rightfully so. This is what you play for: the post season. And to be deprived of that -- who knows if they'll ever get another chance? Injuries happen all the time -- and for Strasburg to maybe never getting another chance, would truly suck.

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