Johan Santana and the World Baseball Classic: It’s Just Business

We all know sports journalists and columnists for the major mainstream media make up stories just to have something to write about, right? I mean, there really is no doubt that happens. That’s why I’m hoping the latest news from Marc Carig of Newsday is Te’o-esque, but unfortunately, I don’t think it is.

jsinjuryJohan Santana wants to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. The constantly hurt, weak armed, injury waiting to happen, six games winning over the past 2 years and property of the New York Mets Johan Santana. Yes, that Johan Santana. The Mets just can’t let this happen.

Now I’m all for nationalism and I know Santana is a competitor and is full of pride for his native land of Venezuela, but in reality, he has absolutely no right to jeopardize any of the 2013 season when the Mets have invested so heavily in him. It’s funny how professional athletes always justify their selfish actions by constantly repeating the same mantra: “… it’s a business”. It’s always a business when it suits them, but when the “it’s a business” card gets played against them, all of a sudden it’s a whole different story!

And trust me, from the Mets perspective, this is a business stance more than anything else! Look, we know he’s fragile and coming off a disastrous season (despite the no-hitter*) where the Mets had to actually shut him down early due to injury concerns – to say nothing about his getting pounded start after start to the point of Oliver Perez type of embarrassment.

Here’s the business side of it: The Mets “own” Johan Santana and have paid him millions of dollars to NOT pitch. Yes he got injured, but the Mets have every right to expect him to pitch for the Mets and only the Mets for as long as he’s under contract.

Here’s the moral side of it: Johan Santana owes 100% of his effort to the Mets and their fans, especially considering the events of the past few years when he’s been paid $45 million for 6 wins.

The only possible reason I can come up with on why the Mets would allow this is the hopes of him blowing out his arm so they can collect insurance on his albatross of a contract, but I’m not even sure that would happen if he actually did get hurt while pitching for this farce of an event.

Are the Mets going to be in a pennant chase and truly need Santana down the stretch? Of course not. Will Johan be a difference maker in 2013? No way! But that doesn’t mean a little common sense shouldn’t apply here. The fact of the matter is Johan Santana is an employee of the Mets and the Mets are paying him handsomely to – in theory – do exactly what they want him to do. And that should include staying as far from the WBC as possible.

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