What a week to be a New York sports fan, providing you root for the Mets and the Giants. In a move that surprised a lot of experts, the Mets made a deal for Twins lefty Johan Santana on Tuesday, giving them the number one starter they badly needed without having to give up crucial players.
In fact, this deal should go down in history as a major theft, considering how little the Mets had to give up for the best best left-handed pitcher in the majors. None of the prospects the Mets gave up were considered "can't miss" prospects and even though the Mets will have to pay Santana a boatload of cash, his history, his arm motion, his intelligence and talent ought to make it a rare time when paying a pitcher millions over several years makes sense.
Rumors say Santana isn't totally healthy but I'm thinking that Boston and the Yankees, the other front runners for Santana's services, just didn't want to risk trading viable major-league ready players for the expensive services of Santana. I feel the Yankees made a big mistake because Santana would have been an instant upgrade to their pitching staff, a staff I think is overrated, certainly as yet unproven.
The Red Sox, just off a second World Series title in four years, probably did the right thing by backing off. Trading Jacob Ellsbury, their young, electrifying centerfielder, would have been a huge mistake in part because they just don't "need" Santana. Sure, he'd be great at the front of their rotation but with their young pitching talent already making a name for themselves on the major-league level, with a presumably more comfortable and better adjusted Daisuke Matsuzak, and the hottest pitcher in the majors at the front of their rotation, I'd say getting Santana was not as important as keeping Ellsbury and Jon Lester.
The Mets need Santana in the worst way. He turns them into legit World Series contenders and more important, almost stops the talk about last season's end-of-the-year collapse. Almost. George Vecsey over at the New York Times couldn't help but bring it up today. I think he's wrong, wrong, wrong. I'll get to why as we get closer to the season.
Santana is not only talented but the guy is a serious gamer. A winner who has intelligence and ability and a penchant for rising to the occasion. He will thrive in New York, the hotter the spotlight, the better he'll play. Mark this down but for my money, Johan Santana is going to mean to the Mets what Josh Beckett meant to the Red Sox last year.
As for the Super Bowl, it's only day three of the week of the big game and I'm already over the hype. And I'm a Giants fan. It took more than half of the two week break between the title games and the Super Bowl for controversy to rear it's ugly head.
Oh and to the chick from Mexican t.v. who showed up in the wedding dress yesterday -- thanks for making it even harder for women reporters to get respect. Really. Thanks a whole fucking lot. Maybe you can show up at Jets games next year to entertain the Neanderthals.