So the news just came down that Johan Santana has a serious elbow injury that will require surgery, and is likely done for the season. Added to the news that Jeff Francouer has a torn ligament in his thumb, it is just ridiculous how injury-bitten the Mets have been this year.
But the bigger story here is how horribly the Mets have mismanaged Santana.
Last time I checked, Johan Santana is under guaranteed contract for four more seasons after this one, to the tune of a whopping 98.5 million dollars. But even though Santana has been experiencing sever pain in his elbow since at least June, the Mets have continued to allow him to keep pitching all the way to the end of August, even thought this season has been a total lost cause for at least two months now.
Jerry Manuel admits that he has been “terribly concerned” about the pain in Santana’s elbow. But apparently not concerned enough to take the obvious step of shutting Santana down for the season and protecting his team’s massive $100 million plus investment.
Santana never complains, so he just kept pitching through the pain, and Manuel never shut him down until Santana himself begged out of a start. And if Santana himself begged out, you know it’s got to be crazy amounts of pain. It should never have even gotten close to this point, especially in a completely lost season.
Look it would be one thing if there were vague mentions of “discomfort” or something, which Manuel just wrote off. Even that would have been bad, but in this case we hear in a direct quote from Manuel himself that “He has not been throwing between starts for quite awhile. I would say since before the All-Star break.”
Your ace is not even throwing at all between starts for two months, your ace who is under contract for four more years, and yet you keep running him out there? Rob Neyer recently wrote a column calling Jerry Manuel a “medieval manager,” but it turns out we really had no idea!
But ultimately, blame for this ridiculous situation has to go all the way up the chain to Omar Minaya and ownership. No matter which way you slice it, there is some serious idiocy going on here, because how dumb do you have to be to not take steps to protect an investment like that, in a lost season? Whether they knew about the injury and did nothing, or somehow are so oblivious that they didn’t know about the injury, Minaya and the front office have been totally negligent.