Stop me if you've heard this before: baseball is a team game. Every once in awhile, the big high-priced free agent (or pitcher who forces another team to trade him because he's going to be a free agent) will make the difference between success and failure, but not that often.
Last night, the pitcher who spurned flyover country -- Johan Santana -- pitched another great game for the New York Mets (7 innings pitched, 1 earned run allowed) and lost... again. He's 0-3 this month, and has pitched better than just about any pitcher in baseball.
This makes him the best pitcher in baseball who isn't worth what the Mets paid him. Granted, it's not his fault that he hasn't put the Mets over the top, but he hasn't put the Mets over the top and it's a bottom-line sport.
With last night's loss, the Mets slipped one game below .500 (37-38).
The Twins, meanwhile, are 40-36, and just 1 1/2 games out of first in their division.
It's a funny game, but Johan likely isn't laughing.
I'm not laughing either, considering that it's ridiculous salaries like this that cause team owners to ask taxpayers to pay for their places of business. There' nothing funny in the fact that I will be shelling out my tax money to support this crap.
And yes, I realize Santana isn't playing for the Twins, but the run up in salaries affects every team, not just the ones stupid enough to pay the highest salary.
And of course, Santana gave up a grand slam to the opposing American League pitcher!
Life is sweet sometimes.
Santana's line is a bit misleading, because, as pointed out by Jeff, the 4 unearned runs came from a grand slam by the opposing team's pitcher, a guy with all of 8 at-bats. He has pitched better than his record shows, but those taters are a concern (he's given up 14 so far).
As to the larger point, I have a feeling this is one of the last long-term deals we'll see given to a pitcher. I think teams are starting to realize you just don't get the return on investment. Of course, When CC Sabathia gets an 8-year deal from the Yankees, I'll be eating my words.
Ah, the sports fan's snap judgment. It is our right to make sweeping statements with barely enough information to support them.
Willie Randolph is a master at combining talent to get his team to within an out of the World Series.
The Tigers lineup will be unbeatable
Livan will only eat up innings.
Jose Reyes is just mailing it in and the Mets should trade him.
I would say - "Bob don't judge the Santana move quite yet..." But the snap judgments are our God-given birthright as sports fans.
Meanwhile.... wow, are the Twins headed to the playoffs or what! uhhh....
Maybe there'll be a turnaround now that Jerry Manuel has taken Willie Randolph's position, just maybe...