Remember when the theory was that the Mets would go as far as Jose Reyes would take them? I.e., “as goes Reyes, so goes the Mets.” The thought was that Reyes was the key to the Mets success, and there may have been some stats that kinda, sorta, backed it up.
Fast-forward to the After Reyes period in Mets history, and Ron Darling‘s quote prior to yesterday’s spring training contest:
There’s no team in Major League Baseball that looks to one player — especially a starting pitcher — more than the New York Mets. Johan Santana is everything to this team …
Ronnie may have something there. The only other teams that immediately come to mind who are incredibly dependent on one starting pitcher (or any one individual) are the Tigers (Justin Verlander) and the Marlins (Josh Johnson). The Tigers, though, have a pretty decent supporting cast, including a couple of other-worldly sluggers named Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The Fish might be a closer match, since their 2011 season went kaput in a hurry after Johnson went down. But rather than argue what player is most important to a team, let’s look at this in our Flushing vacuum: is it true that everything for the Mets in 2012 depends on what Johan Santana does — or doesn’t — do?