(in this file photo from 2008, former manager Willie Randolph confiscates a baseball from Johan Santana until the starter learns to lie to reporters more convincingly)
Having already played a part in ushering Willie Randolph out of town with a controversial 2008 interview, new ESPN NY addition Ian O’Connor has turned his attention to what he considers to be a lack of candor on the part of Mets lefty Johan Santana.
Santana, as you already know, allowed the Nats to put up 4 runs before he was even out of the first inning yesterday, and O’Connor takes the occasion to wonder if all things considered, Santana might not wish he’d signed elsewhere.
So two seasons and two starts later, after knee and elbow surgeries, after his new team choked in Year 1, collapsed in Year 2 and finished its sixth home game of Year 3 with a lost series to the unworthy Nationals and a 2-4 record, I asked Santana if he regretted doing business with the Mets.
Had his water been spiked with truth serum, his answer would’ve sounded like this: “What do you think?”
Dressing alone at his locker, refusing to darken the mood inside the losing Citi Field clubhouse, the serum-free Santana said, “No, it’s not my first time. I’ve been there before, man. I think we’re working on it, making some adjustments. We’ve got the right guys to do it, and we just have to make it happen, be more consistent, start doing the little things.”
Santana has to be wondering what in the world he’s gotten himself into. He’s only human. That voice in the back of his head is growing louder, moving to the front, telling him he should’ve put his money on a different horse. He was a frequent playoff participant in Minnesota, and his friend and fellow recruit, Francisco Rodriguez, was another October regular who won a World Series with the Angels.
I’m sure there are other occasions where NY athletes — making their best efforts towards discretion and diplomacy, have been outright accused of lying, but it’s the kind of thing I’d normally associate with sports radio hyperbole rather than a journalistic effort. In the same article, O’Connor quotes K-Rod as saying, “I don’t regret coming here, and [Santana] doesn’t either.” Who knows what sort of fantastic revelations the Mets closer might spill were he compelled to do so via waterboarding? Who knows what we’d learn about Ian O’Connor’s career frustrations were he put in the box with Frank Pembleton for 30 minutes?
There’s a number of persons at Citi Field you might wanna accuse of lying before you get to Johan Santana. None of ’em are wearing uniforms.