Johan Santana made history when he threw the Mets first and only no hitter, but he is now sidelined with a shoulder tear that many believe was because of that game. Many except for Santana himself. PHOTO COURTESY: MIKE STOBE/GETTY IMAGES
Ok Terry Collins; you can breathe easy now. Even though the Mets manager may blame himself for the Johan Santana shoulder injury, Santana knows it wasn’t his fault.
On Wednesday, Santana told Los Cronitos (which translates to “The Writers” in Spanish) that he does not think his career is over and believes that he could be back with the Mets next season. He also went on to say that the no-hitter was not the reason he hurt his shoulder. Here is what Mets beat writer Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger tweeted:
Santana to @loscronistas: “You have to be in the bullpen to understand — I don’t think the no-hitter caused my injury.”
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) July 31, 2013
It’s great to see that the former Cy Young has not given up even though many around the league have already assumed that his career is over. When Collins let Santana throw 134 pitches (Santana’s career high) in the team’s first and only no-hitter last season, no one was more nervous than Collins. Santana was just a few months removed from shoulder surgery and you could see the weight fly off of the managers shoulders after the final pitch. Santana would go on to struggle the rest of the season until he ultimately was back on the DL by August.
After it was announced that he had a second tear in his shoulder capsule, pitch count aficionados were all saying it was Collins’ fault. Nothing else can be expected in the “pitch count era” but let us not forget what baseball used to be like. Before closers had major roles, starters were extended to complete games every outing. Sandy Koufax threw 137 complete games in only 11 years, including 115 in his final six seasons. No one was worried then and you never heard about those guys having arm problems. Look what happened to a guy like Joba Chamberlain after the “Joba Rules.” It has seemingly ruined a once very promising career.
It’s nice to hear Santana come out and say this and take the pressure off Collins. The Mets manager has done a solid job this year with the 2013 version of “The Bad News Bears” but because he is in New York and the team will most likely finish under .500, he will certainly have his doubters who want him out. However, if they can take one hardship off his shoulders, it could maybe make some of the Terry Collins haters into believers.
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