Allow me to be a company man here for a moment by virtue of not being one.
If Johan Santana pitches in the World Baseball Classic, I will be rather upset because the Mets need Johan to be healthy in the worst way. It will be better for baseball if Santana has a clean bill of health to help usher in Citi Field in its inaugural season.
In reality, I’m looking out for the best interest of the team for which I root, which has virtually no shot of winning its division without the services of one Mr. Santana — as if its two-years-running penchant for
collapse slumping at the wrong time weren’t enough to prevent that.
Lost in the aftermath of last season’s
collapse poorly timed, team-wide slump was one of the greatest pitching performances in Mets history in Game 161. Johan staved off the Mets’ inevitable elimination from playoff contention on that fateful, overcast day at Shea Stadium, shutting out the cocksure Marlins in rousing fashion.
Shea closed its doors for the last time the following day — with the Mets officially going home for the postseason — but in the coming weeks, we learned Johan had spun his masterpiece on a balky left knee, which eventually required surgery and rehabilition.
Which brings us to now. Team Venezuela surely wants its best native hurler on the mound in March, and Johan speaks as if he’d like to pitch for it, but he won’t do it if he’s not physically able to.
Just remember, Johan, it’s not Venezuela that signs those robust paychecks. The Citi Field faithful needs you this summer. No pressure, or anything.