Johan Santana Will Return To Minnesota

A few news updates to get you through your Monday, beginning with Johan Santana …

Assuming Johan can come back from his season-ending injury, he will return to Minnesota next April.

No, it won’t be as a member of the Twins — at least, not as of this juncture. Johan will presumably still be wearing the orange and blue when the Mets travel to Minnesota to play the Twins at Target Field for a three-game series from April 12-14. If Santana takes the mound, it will be his first appearance in Minnesota not as a Twin. Further, it’s the first interleague series and the first road series the Mets will play in 2013. The season begins in Flushing hosting the Padres, followed by the Marlins and Phillies.

Why will the Mets be playing the Twins so early in the season? It’s all part of Bud Selig’s gradual elimination of real baseball, to be replaced by the form practiced by the Adulterated League (you know, the one where a Designated Pinch Hitter bats for the pitcher throughout the ballgame). This elimination plan begins with interleague play occurring somewhere on the MLB schedule every day of the season in 2013, and will eventually culminate in 2020 with 50-man rosters and “baseball” teams consisting of two units — one for defense and one for offense, just like the NFL. No longer will fans have to watch powerless middle infielders poke outside pitches to the opposite field, or see awkward sluggers hidden in outfield corners lose fly balls in the sun. There will be plenty of room on every club for defensive specialists such as Mario Mendoza and Rey Ordonez, as well as cement-handed power hitters such as Dick Stuart and Adam Dunn. Rumor has it, MLB may even experiment with designated runners, so players who can’t hit or field, but have speed (Joey Gathright, Andres Torres, Herb Washington) will also be able to participate. Further, MLB will adopt the NHL’s practice of rendering the regular season worthless — not by a player strike, but by sending 25 teams to the postseason. The future is all about participation, and as long as you show up, you’re a winner! Yay!

OK, I made up that stuff about 2020. But I won’t be surprised if “baseball” evolves that way in my lifetime.

In other news, former Met Francisco Rodriguez has struck again – literally. This time, the King of Class manhandled the mother of his children. Beating seems a strange and inappropriate way to express love for family, doesn’t it? We can only hope there is some way his family can find a way to return that love similarly. Perhaps Frankie can go to a prison, where inmates can, on behalf of his family, deliver that love to him a daily basis. One can only hope …

Changing gears, it may be time to finally ditch that AM radio, because WFAN is moving to 101.9 FM. The switch will begin in November, though the station will broadcast on both bands for an undetermined length of time. My initial reaction has one serious question: what will Howie Rose sound like in stereo?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Joe October 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    Meanwhile, did the spirit of the Mets players get into the Yanks? I realize they had that killer fourth starter or something from the third seed to deal with and all, and Jeter is out, but I thought unlike the Mets, they didn’t have one bat and a bunch of also rans.

    Yankee fans should be relieved to know that former Yank Phil Coke (the Rauch/closer replacement of the moment) will be on the AL team if they don’t’ make it.

    • Dan October 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm
      After his 10 up, 9 down , 3 innings complete with a save against them I doubt they’ll be able to forget, at least until Aroid completely fades away.
  2. derek October 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    HAHA…Designated runner and def specialist..love it joe…

    We need to just let pitchers hit….give players one extra roster spot (26) so players union doesnt cry over no dh and losing a player…make mangers earn money and learn to double switch, yank pitchers early, etc….lets bring the bunt back!!!!

    • Joe Janish October 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm
      “Bunt” ? What is that? Some kind of a cake?
  3. Andy October 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm
    I guess I like the 26-player roster idea, but won’t it lead to further dilution of an already thin talent pool? The Mets aren’t the only team struggling to put major league-level players in 25 roster spots as it is . . .

    Maybe demote San Deigo, Pittsburg, and Kansas City to AAA and increase the rosters to 26?

    • Joe October 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm
      To be serious, I also am wary of there being certain perennial loser teams that water down the overall talent. KC is an interesting case — the White Sox and Detroit seemed to repeatedly have trouble with them. Perhaps, KC could play them regularly as an AAA team.

      Maybe, limit the MLB slots by four and if teams fall beneath a certain threshold, they become AAA. Of course, given post-2008 activity, the Mets would be at risk there.

  4. DaveSchneck October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm
    Joe,
    I would be for upping the roster to 26. I would also be for limiting the Sept call-ups, or perhaps allowing the Sept call-ups but limiting the roster to any 26 (or maybe up to 28) per given game. This is window dressing, as the big one is the adulterated baseball. Like you, I am not fan of it. However, I think that sooner or later the NL will become adulterated, just because I can’t se the opposite happening. If the pitching continued to dominate the hitting, this may happen sooner than later. That will be a shame, and if they take the plunge, we might as well go to cinderella batting/running/fielding, reinsterting players removed from the games, any method of reaching base is a hit, and the batters can wear hodkey goalie equipement when they bat (wait, I think the last two have already happened).
    • Joe Janish October 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm
      Unfortunately, it’s crystal clear that the endgame is universal use of the DH.

      So weird, because Bud Selig grew up a National League fan. Maybe seeing Hank Aaron’s career extended by two years thanks to the DH had a profound effect?

      I am fine with the 26-man rosters, so long as 3-4 teams are sent down to AAA, as suggested above.

      • Izzy October 16, 2012 at 8:06 am
        You all are living in a past fantasy of the 70′s and 80′s when there really was a difference in managing. There is no difference and you know it but just want to deny it because its so easy to bash the DH. NL managers don’t manage either. starter pitches for 102 pitches or whatever. If he’s having a bad day the book tells the brain dead NL manager to leave him in for his allotted number and if he’s good the brain dead NL manager takes him out at the same exact pitch number. There is no managing in the NL anymore. And you want to expand the roster!!!! WHY??? so the brain dead NL managers have one more very mediocre relief pitcher to use every night and make the games last an extra 10 minutes. And to those that want to eliminate KC or Pittsburgh, why not the Mets????. They are the small market team in NY. The Yanks can’t fill up the Stadium for the playoffs, why does NY still need two teams? Baseball is obviously fading fast in the City that never sleeps.
        • derek October 16, 2012 at 11:25 am
          in the 70s and 80s every game wasnt on tv and advanced stats werent updated real time on the internet….

          i dont agree that managers were better in 70s and 80s then now..if anything more guys prob kept jobs longer cause there was barely any media and reporters actually hid stuff from papers, not in tmz era like now….Roy Hartsfield , Marcel Lachemann , stump merrill were real winners in the 70, 80s…

          i think larussa, bochey, black could have managed and done well in that era and think they did make a differ in this era…

          the mets drew over 2 mil, and finished middle of pack in attendance…that is why they wont get retracted…baseball is still a biz and they drew over 2 mil people…obviously someone wants to see baseball…now that madoff mess is fading by the yr the mets will go back into top half of attendance whether u agree or not…that stigma fading with a better product, ridding bay and santana contract..adding wheeler and harvey excitement will get attendance over 2.5 mil…closer to 3…

        • DaveSchneck October 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm
          Izzy,
          When the Mets resume their winning ways Citifield will be mobbed and tickets hard to come by. The payroll will ultimately get back to top 5 position. Even the Wilpons fumbling won’t eliminate that eventuality. The 25 man roster is outdated. It was set long before the day of bullpen specialists, pitch counts, and gameplanning to take as many pitches as possible. Yes, NL managers go “by the book” based on data analysis, and you or I can probably be as effective an in game manager as most of these guys, but I don’t oppose the DH strictly on the managing point. Baseball was invented and played most of its glorious history will all in game participants playing offense, and all playing defense. To me it’s not old school vs. young school, or offsense vs. defense, strategy vs. less strategy. It is part of the beauty of the game, a core value so to speak, and it should be preserved.
        • Joe Janish October 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm
          You seem fixated on the managing aspect of the DH, but that’s only a small part of the issue. It’s mostly about — as DaveSchneck says — the participants playing the ENTIRE game, both offense and defense, regardless of where one stands on the diamond. It’s why we have the term “ballplayer” — because even a pitcher can be one, and many corner players are not. The beauty is in the completeness, of an athlete contributing to the final score in every possible way.

          I admire and condone specialists when it comes to medical surgery, engineering, and similarly serious, life-impacting tasks. Baseball is a game, and when one plays a game, he/she should be able to, and be judged by, ability to play the entire breadth of the game.

          As for mediocre relief pitchers, I agree – I don’t want to see more of them. I also don’t want to see mediocre catchers, second basemen, outfielders, etc., which is why I endorse adding one player to each roster and if that’s what it takes to drop 4 entire teams — the final result is 74 substandard players sent down to the minors.

        • DaveSchneck October 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm
          Joe,
          On 26 man roster, I agree with the points made by you and Izzy. I just see this as the last and only possibility to avoid the adulteration of the senior circuit. The MLBPA will never accept the return of real baseball to the AL, as it will remove higher paying DH jobs. Perhaps they would consider this correction if 30 more union jobs were added.
        • Joe Janish October 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm
          The power of the MLBPA is ridiculous and mind-boggling. Considering the volume of similar talent at pro levels, and the existence of the minor leagues / farm system, there’s zero reason for owners to have continually caved in to players. If MLB players went on strike for two years, the league would easily be replaced by A, AA, AAA, and indy players. The owners have always been too scared to go a year without revenues.
        • derek October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm
          and that is why fehr was hired by nhlpa….

          u will see pitchers able to hit….when once they graduate hs, there college coaches dont forbid them to hit…shoot…alot of pitchers dont even hit on there hs teams anymore…

          althou harvey can swing it!!!

  5. friend October 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm
    “gradual elimination of real baseball”

    This is reminiscent of the Winchester House in California. The widow Winchester guided/controlled by ghostly spirits, spent decades modifying and adding on to her home, with each change being more bizzarre than the last. This could be Selig’s problem as well.

    • Joe Janish October 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm
      Intriguing and apt comp!