If the Mets have insurance policies for some of their bigger stars, the insurance company is probably reeling as bad as the Mets are. Has any team in history lost so much talent for so long in one season like the Mets have this season? And it keeps getting better and better. David Wright got concussed a while back and now Johan Santana, one of the most expensive pitchers in baseball history, has blown out his elbow and is headed for surgery.
Remember when everyone skewered the Yankees' general manager because he failed to trade Hughes and others for Santana? The Steinbrenners should kiss the guy now because he saved them a pile of money. Santana always reminded the Fan of a more-skilled Mike Hampton. They have similar body types and deliveries. And Hampton, after more time on the DL over the last five years than off of it, could be what the Mets are looking at with Santana.
Rob Neyer, among others, have publicly wondered about how the Mets have abused Santana by sending the great pitcher out there to pitch for the last month when everyone apparently knew he was hurting. The point is valid and you have to wonder why the Mets would have risked their biggest prize in such a lost season. But you have to put some of the responsibility on Santana too who allowed himself to pitch when he obviously wasn't right.
And now the pitcher will be out for a long time as he has to undergo surgery. Nobody has said yet whether it will be Tommy John surgery, but that's what will probably happen. If it does, you're looking at a year or more until we see Santana again.
Meanwhile, the Mets have to be wondering what the heck is happening. Let's add it all up again: Beltran, Delgado, Reyes, Maine, Putz and now Santana. That's a lot of talent shelved for a long period of time. The result is predictable and the team has now gone 29-47 since the end of May. That .383 winning percentage during that time is more like the Royals than the team that was supposed to win the division this year.
But injuries only appear to be part of the story for this club. Minaya has been erratic from the GM seat and Jerry Manuel is not inspiring as a manager. Manuel's record since taking over for Willie Randolph is now 57-68 and he has been roundly criticized on his handling of David Wright's concussion and now Santana's elbow. Perhaps that is justified and perhaps just as much of Manuel's record is justified by all the injuries. But it still seems that the Mets would be well served to clean house and start over.
Perhaps Bobby Valentine is available?