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Wally chimes in on Santana...

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  • Wally chimes in on Santana...

    By Wallace Matthews
    Newsday
    NEW YORK -- Johan Santana, welcome to the neighborhood.
    You know the neighborhood Iím talking about, and itís not Mr. Rogersí. It doesnít have a zip code; it has a price tag. The expectations are high in that neighborhood, so high that sometimes even guys who have steadily traded up throughout their careers, in terms of money and production, find them dizzying and impossible to live up to.
    Itís the neighborhood A-Rod has been living in for the past four years, and itís a tough one to reside in.
    When youíre the top dog on the payroll, youíre expected to be the top dog on the field, too. That means very little margin for error. Sometimes, it means none at all.
    By signing Santana to that six-year, $137.5 million deal Friday, the New York Mets salvaged their lost winter and brought New York a head start on spring. With one huge swing, they hit the five-run home run they needed last September. They put themselves at the top of the list of World Series contenders before a pitch is even thrown. It was a great move by Omar Minaya, who showed sometimes the best thing a general manager can do is just sit and wait. Sometimes, a package that didnít look like much in December looks a heck of a lot better in January.
    And they put a heap of expectations upon Santana. His resume -- two Cy Young Awards, the highest win total and the lowest ERA of any starting pitcher in the game over the past five seasons -- says he can live up to them without breaking a sweat. His personality, too, seems to indicate that his time in New York will be a lot happier than say, Randy Johnsonís, who came in looking for a fight and found one he couldnít win.
    But just how much production from Santana will be enough to quell the monster that always lurks beneath the surface in our ballparks and arenas, even one as patient and forgiving as Shea Stadium? Thereís an unmistakable mean-spiritedness to todayís fans, especially regarding high-priced talent that fails to deliver as advertised. As the salary goes up, patience goes down.
    Up in the Bronx, Alex Rodriguez hits 54 home runs, knocks in 156 runs, leads all of baseball in slugging percentage and pretty much singlehandedly leads his team back from the dead into October. He gets booed until the fans finally realize what has been going on all year. Then he goes 4-for-15 in the Division Series, better than all but two of his teammates, better than Derek Jeter, who can do no wrong, and A-Rod is a bum again. After having one of the greatest New York Yankees seasons since a guy named Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, A-Rod starts 2008 having to prove himself all over again.
    The reason, of course, is the tax bracket he resides in. An average of $25 million a year comes with the promise of beaucoup bang for the bucks. This year, A-Rodís bracket went up again. Heíll be expected to do even more.
    And Yankees fans arenít alone in this. Remember how Mets fans made Carlos Beltranís life hell for his first season and a half? And how last year, Carlos Delgado could barely poke his head out of the dugout without being showered with boos? The good news for them is, theyíve moved down the payroll list. Thereís a new kid in town, with a bigger paycheck and presumably, a bigger target on his back.
    So what is to be expected of Santana? His salary starts at $19 million this year, escalates steadily to $25.5 million by 2013, and tacks on another $18.75 million if the Mets exercise their option for 2014. And unlike A-Rod, his act plays only once every five days. By the nature of his job, he canít really be a leader on the field more than once a week, canít carry a club for days at a time, canít do much other than give his team its best chance to win on the days he gets to pitch.
    What will be acceptable production? Twenty wins? Twenty-five? Thirty? Or just enough to get them to October, where the judgment process will begin all over again. For all his regular-season brilliance, Santanaís postseason record with the Twins was 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA.
    Besides making the Mets a formidable team, the acquisition of Santana makes them, for a change, the more compelling baseball story in town. We have a pretty good idea of how he will adapt to the new league. The question is, how well will he adapt to the new neighborhood?
    "Fear is just another word for ignoranceĒ

  • #2
    Wally was far too forgiving there, did someone spank him recently?

    Comment


    • #3
      Were you even able to read that? I wish you could just post the link so it could be read in context rather than bunched together like a third grade essay.
      Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce
      All I know is we got some butter and salt for that popcorn

      Comment


      • #4
        Anyway, these Yankee comparisons always irk me. I know they reside in the same city, but for once I would like the Mets actions to be judged without that comparison.
        Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce
        All I know is we got some butter and salt for that popcorn

        Comment


        • #5
          Consider the source, Wright5...
          Originally posted by lgm6986
          Only this team can legitimately summon misery and regret amidst euphoria.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wright 5 View Post
            Were you even able to read that? I wish you could just post the link so it could be read in context rather than bunched together like a third grade essay.
            You know where Wally lives, go to Newsday.com to read it!
            "Fear is just another word for ignoranceĒ

            Comment


            • #7
              Randy, put a link man!


              For Santana, big bucks mean big pressure -- Newsday.com

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              • #8
                I gotta admit I don't hate Wally as much as I used to. He is a much better writer than that sawed off prick Lupica that's for sure. I will give Fatso and Fruity credit for bashing that little tyrant for running another talented writer (Lisa Olsen) out of town.
                For the Wright haters. Wright's career numbers with runners on 2nd and 3rd
                .343/.481/.600 /1.081

                Runner on 3rd, less than 2 out
                .419/.431/.671/1.102

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                • #9
                  Wally can suck **** on horseback when the Mets go 25-8 in games started by Santana this year.
                  Your Daily Rayne Summers Moment...
                  http://www.leasticoulddo.com/




                  Mitt Romney SUCKS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No mention of the chop-shops? Did Wallace turn over a new leaf?
                    The 2018 Mets - making the Titanic look buoyant.

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                    • #11
                      "But just how much production from Santana will be enough to quell the monster that always lurks beneath the surface in our ballparks and arenas?
                      There’s an unmistakable mean-spiritedness to today’s fans, especially regarding high-priced talent that fails to deliver as advertised. As the salary goes up, patience goes down.
                      "

                      Anyone who doesn't think that Wally is balls-on accurate with that passage hasn't been paying attention.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Piney Woods View Post
                        "But just how much production from Santana will be enough to quell the monster that always lurks beneath the surface in our ballparks and arenas?
                        There’s an unmistakable mean-spiritedness to today’s fans, especially regarding high-priced talent that fails to deliver as advertised. As the salary goes up, patience goes down.
                        "

                        Anyone who doesn't think that Wally is balls-on accurate with that passage hasn't been paying attention.
                        I've always been one to believe that today's athletes are not worth the entire salary they are drawing. If Mets fans are expecting Santana to go 30-0, well, that's nuts. I DO expect him to continue being amongst the top pitchers in baseball, and helping get this team to the WS.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by graves9 View Post
                          I gotta admit I don't hate Wally as much as I used to. He is a much better writer than that sawed off prick Lupica that's for sure. I will give Fatso and Fruity credit for bashing that little tyrant for running another talented writer (Lisa Olsen) out of town.
                          And that is too bad. She is a solid writer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bay Ridge Dave View Post
                            I've always been one to believe that today's athletes are not worth the entire salary they are drawing.
                            So you would have been OK with it if the Mets had set a ceiling on Santana's worth and killed the trade on account of it?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Piney Woods View Post
                              So you would have been OK with it if the Mets had set a ceiling on Santana's worth and killed the trade on account of it?
                              To be honest... of course I wouldn't. This is a player the Mets HAD to have.

                              My other side of the coin is that it is not my money.

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