It took over 50 years for the New York Mets to make a special history that other teams have made at least two or more times in one year. It was a moment which appeared set to happen decades ago, but continued to appear as the one moment this organization would never see. Fans would hold their breaths every time it looked as if it would happen on their watch. Fans would pray. Fans would stay quiet. Teammates would ignore this one player throughout the entire game. One broadcaster would get tongue lashed by the fans every time he would bring it up when it seemed it was going to happen.
Enter the one man who brought what was considered the most elusive accomplishment to Flushing: Johan Santana. Here is a man who was given $137 million to pitch for the New York Mets. He was to be their ace. He would be a mentor to all who came after him. This pitcher was talented. Everything was put on the table for him. Many would say he was not worth the money he was given.
I ask you this: What price would you put on a no-hitter?
For years the Mets fan base was tortured with near misses for a no-hitter. Many thought it would never happen in their lifetime. Yet one lefty from Venezuela got the job done. It was his shining moment. It was his biggest contribution to the New York Mets and their fans.
Yes, he was brought here to help bring a championship to Flushing. How many games did you watch him pitch? How many games did you see him lose by one run because the team had the weakest offense? In 2008 the team ranked eighth in offense. That was the only strong offensive years during Santana’s tenure as a New York Met. In 2009, 2010 and 2012, they were ranked 25, 24, and 25 respectively. Poor choice of words. I should probably use the term, “disgustingly”. A pitcher can be a winner only if his offense will allow him to be. He could have been a bigger contributor if he had not been hampered by a tear in the anterior capsule of his left shoulder causing him to miss all of 2011. Then he suffered a re-tear of the same capsule just before the start of the 2013 season.
Now Santana is trying to make his comeback in winter league ball. He makes his debut Tuesday. Scouts will come out to watch him pitch from several teams. The Mets should in no way be interested in him. They have a set rotation. With that said, wish him all the best. Despite what you might see in his win percentage with the New York Mets, he was the ace the team needed. He was also the guy that gave you that elusive moment in Mets history.