The Mets and Johan.
I’m really disappointed in Major League Baseball and not just because a team I loathe got the best player available in the free agent and trade market. Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball.
How on Earth do the shady New York Mets obtain the best pitcher in the sport without giving up nearly the talent the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees offered? Worse yet, what middle to upper payroll level team isn’t going to make a run at a guy who will still be effective at the end of the long-term deal he needs to sign in order to waive his no-trade clause? The answer: Most of them.
Seriously, what team wouldn’t benefit from having Johan Santana as the number one pitcher in the rotation? Additionally, what team couldn’t benefit from having the wins he brings as well as the merchandise and ticket sales a player of his stature brings? A small market team probably couldn’t afford the long-term contract and overall commitment but then again, with baseball parity in a pretty good state a pitcher like Johan could term a small market underdog into a favorite overnight. It’s obviously more complicated than that, but the Mets with their overhyped farm system took advantage of Minnesota’s growing anxiety to swoop in and rip the best pitcher from the clutches of the rest of baseball [though the deal isn’t 100% formalized so there could be a snag]. The Twins simply couldn’t have broken camp with him. Too much water under the bridge. He’d rebuffed their offers and his presence on the team would have been too much of a distraction. That said… The Mets? Really? Let’s look at the rest of the world:
The Baltimore Orioles – No. This is a fucked up team already, unsure of what to do with ace Eril Bedard. Duh. You pay that son of a bitch for a long haul. Plus, Johan Santana would rather pitch for the Baltimore Ravens. Every bit of good work that Cal Ripken Jr’s regime did in that town is shot to shit. What a horrible franchise.
The Boston Red Sox – Yes. Can you imagine how much richer the rich could get with Santana? Even if they gave up Jacoby Ellsbury [who, mark my words, will not be a superstar] and Clay Buchholz, having Santana, Beckett, Matsusaka, Schilling, and Jon Lester [or Tim Wakefield if Lester was traded] as their starting rotation affords them the luxury of off-years from any three of their starting position players. Theo Epstein should have pulled the trigger on this one. And I am a Yankees fan!
The New York Yankees – Yes. The Yankees with Johan Santana would finally have gotten the kind of player to not only get them into the playoffs, but within five years two World Series rings. I don’t care if they lost Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Hughes. I know that Brian Cashman and the new boss Steinbrenner disagreed about the deal but whether it’s a defensive or offensive move on their part, it needed to happen. The only team worse than the Red Sox stealing Santana? The Mets. Oops.
The Tampa Bay Rays – No. I love watching that team at the plate. It hurts to watch them pitch but something needs to happen. Soon. Either way, Johan is more likely to be traded to the 11 Colonels than the Rays. Also, there is nothing wrong with the Devil. You shouldn’t have taken his name away.
The Toronto Blue Jays – No. They’re a decent team but somehow so damn boring it isn’t funny. That said, Halladay and Santana fronting a rotation is sick.
The Chicago White Sox – They could use a front line starter. Mark Buerle is a good pitcher but not as lights out as Santana. They don’t have the prospects, and more importantly… they’re in the same division as the Twins and that is a no-no.
The Cleveland Indians – Same division. Also, if they had Santana they would be the scariest team in baseball. Sorry American League East, the Indians would own your ass.
The Minnesota Twins – The Twins are too lame to pull off a trade with themselves.
The Detroit Tigers – Same Division. Remember how evil the Indians would be? The Tigers would score the most runs in baseball and give up the least. Fuck me…
The Kansas City Royals – I just wasted four seconds typing this.
The Los Angeles Angels – They’d be pretty damn scary. That said, there’s something weird about this team. They’re always a favorite yet somehow either too bland or just not resoundingly consistent enough. Johan would make them kings but they’ve had a lot of “cant miss” prospects miss and that’s gotta hurt.
The Texas Rangers – Texas has good food.
The Seattle Mariners – Actually this is an intriguing choice, though I’m not acquainted with their farm system enough to know if they have the wattage to earn a trade. They aren’t loaded with cash but somehow find the money to pay Japanese guys and I can assure you that a one-two punch of Felix Hernandez and Johan Santana would change some mindsets in the Pacific Northwest mighty fast.
The Oakland Athletics – I’m so tired of Billy Beane I’d fuck Billy Bean just to not think of Billy Beane.
The Atlanta Braves – I wish. It doesn’t make sense, but the Braves have prospects out the ass and depth at any position you can name. Especially if you think that having a pitcher like Johan makes it easier to float a rookie in center field or at second base or whatever. It’s unrealistic and there’s no real definition of how much “new spending flexibility” the newly purchased Braves have. It’s not realistic, but then again… neither is the Mets’ shitty prospect pool.
The New York Mets – Fuck you.
The Florida Marlins – Never. Once they get their new stadium approved, perhaps. They have a talented young team and they got a lot of good young talent in the Dontrelle/Miguel culling. They’re half a decade away from being someone to look out for.
The Washington Nationals – I actually think that this team could have been a dark horse. They are starting to put the pieces together. Granted, they’re taking a lot of troublesome players, but with the new stadium, the rise in awareness and attendance, and the decline of the nearby Orioles they’re also a comer. The National League East is going to be competitive for quite a while.
The Philadelphia Phillies – It hurts me to even consider it, but they’re a better fit than the Mets. I wish the whole team just went for a plane ride into the Andes with the Mets…
The Chicago Cubs – Even the Cubs couldn’t fuck this up but YES THEY COULD.
The Houston Astros – Nah. No way. Not in this lifetime.
The Pittsburgh Pirates – Nope.
The Cincinatti Reds – Nope.
The Milwaukee Brewers – This is an intriguing possibility, because the eleven days that Ben Sheets is healthy plus Johan… never mind.
The St. Louis Cardinals – Thankfully a team in a tailspin and deservedly so.
The Los Angeles Dodgers – They could have done it. They should have done it. They have the dough and the ability to satisfy the demands a player of Santana’s value would require. Pussies. Then again, they overpaid for Andruw Jones.
The San Francisco Giants – Nice stadium. I wonder if it smells like Barry Bonds still…
The Colorado Rockies – If it weren’t for that altitude, they’d be an amazing young team to wrap around the best pitcher in baseball.
The San Diego Padres – How does any player NOT go play there? How do teams fly into town to play against the Padres and not stay forever?
The Arizona Diamondbacks – These assholes already stole Dan Haren. Any more insult would just be insulting.
Bottom line is FUCK THE METS.
– Nick Nunziata hopes the Mets all get injured every day of the year.
And now… a brand new Mary Worth War Strip…
All apologizes to the creators of the strip. This intended as parody only and not an attempt to be the best thing ever.