Santana Is The Pitching Ace, No Need to Call Out Teammates

Wendy AdairAnalyst IApril 25, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 19:  Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets in the dugout against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on April 19, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Johan Santana is the undisputed ace of the Mets pitching staff, but to be honest, he does not need to call out his teammates for making defensive errors or not being able to get timely hits.

His frustration is understandable but he does need to consider that his teammates are not messing things up to ruin his or any other starting pitcher's statistics.

The Mets are struggling to score runs at the time when they are most needed, and errors on the field have been pretty costly, no question about either of those things, but they should be and are being addressed by coaches and management.

As a starting pitcher who only goes out there every four to five days, Santana does not seem to appreciate the day to day mental and physical grind that his teammates encounter so he should be more patient and understanding for the sake of the team. 

This is Santana's second full year on the Mets so his comfort level has increased and he is extremely talented and fiercely competitive.  However, if he continues to publicly call out his teammates when they either fail to score enough runs or make fielding miscues, this may lead to resentment in the clubhouse.

When Paul LoDuca called out some Latino teammates for not being accountable after games, leaving that work to David Wright and some of the other players, there was quite a bit of hostility.

Last year Billy Wagner was pressed into an interview after a game that he did not even pitch and made it obvious that he was displeased with some of his teammates for leaving so quickly after the game without speaking to reporters.

The media feeds off these types of situations and those that do call out their teammates have stirred the pot even more and this is not good for any ballclub, but even more so in New York.

Last season, he threw David Wright under the bus for making an error which eventually led to the opposing pitcher hitting a grand slam against him.  Instead of acknowledging that his teammate was fighting exhaustion and needs a day to rest, he belittled Wright to the media. 

Wright was rested the next day and he did not have an issue with Santana speaking him mind, but Wright is so polite, that even if he did take offense with the statement,  he would not let on to the media.

Last week, he called out Daniel Murphy for making a costly error in left field and last night he showed obvious disgust for Ramon Castro making some mistakes. 

This is a portion of the article about last night's game on the Mets website:

"It is as frustrating to him as it is to fans when the Mets don't hit with runners in scoring position, as they haven't been doing throughout his first four starts, and when they commit errors behind him, as catcher Ramon Castro did on an easy popup in the sixth inning on Friday.

Asked if he's wondered when the Mets will string together a big inning for him, Santana quipped, "I wonder when they're going to get a base hit."

That's the competitor in him. He called out Murphy after the rookie's miscue in left field cost the Mets a game against the Marlins earlier this month. He wasn't pleased with Castro after his error on Friday. And after the games, his demeanor hardly changes"

Even though Santana laughed almost immediately after the base hit comment, you do have to wonder when he will say it in seriousness like he does about the errors.

Murphy is working hard at learning to become our every day left fielder and Castro is being pressed into more of an active every day catcher's role due to the injury to Brian Schneider.

Being a competitor is important in baseball, but by alienating teammates for their mistakes and failures, Santana will not only have to deal with them not playing any better just because he wants them to, but it could also possibly cause a rift in the clubhouse.