This is another misfortune in a lousy season for the New York Mets that keeps getting lousier: millions of dollars more on the disabled list.
The latest millionaire to land there is left-hander Johan Santana, once the most dependable aces in the game. Oh, and Santana’s got a couple of Cy Youngs to prove it.
Now, he finds himself looking not ahead to his next start but to an appointment with a surgeon. Santana’s balky elbow shortened his season. He fought the pain and the discomfort since Spring Training, but the pain and the discomfort won.
Nobody expected this in New York City, not with a sparkling new ballpark and expectations as large as the Yukon Territory. Of course, injury to a pitcher’s arm can never be predicted, but if you fancy yourself a baseball fan, you have to hope it never happens to the Johan Santanas of the game.
Without the 30-year-old Santana (13-9, 3.13 ERA) to anchor the rotation, the Mets have little to look forward to themselves as they wind down their inaugural season in Citi Field. No Miracle Mets this season.
They might as well be the Pirates or the Nationals, two deadbeat franchises in flashy ballparks that months ago baled on the ’09 season. Or even the Indians, a team that has also seen its season come unhinged.
At least Mets GM Omar Minaya can be hopeful about next season, prospects that elude his counterparts in Pittsburgh, D.C. and Cleveland
Minaya can also take comfort in the fact that Santana is only having bone chips removed from his elbow; luckily, he’s not facing Tommy John surgery, an operation that might ruin what has been a brilliant career.
Yet such news offers little solace to Mets fans, men and women who see the high-priced Santana’s trek to the disabled list as the final chapter in what has been a Shakespearean tragedy.