I realize that I may get some negative feedback on this article and that's ok, but I need to vent about Johan Santana and the way he treats his teammates who are filling in for the injured regulars.
He is a respected pitching ace, no question there, but his dugout attitude leaves a lot to be desired and may end up costing him a lot of respect in the clubhouse.
A few months ago, I wrote an article after he threw Ramon Castro under the bus and he also has thrown Daniel Murphy under the bus, but would not take responsibility for his own mistakes.
Whatever goes wrong is someone else's fault, he thinks his responsibility ends once he releaseses the ball. He is taking the part of the innocent victim and its starting to rub a lot of people the wrong way.
Last night, the fourth inning was very sloppy and costly, with Santana himself being a culprit in the events. Yet, when he went into the dugout, he only appeared to be angry at his teammates who made a few mistakes that same inning.
I realize that he was probably as frustrated with himself at the same time, but glaring at Fernando Martinez for falling while trying to catch a ball and barking at everyone in the dugout afterwards will not win anyone's respect as a leader.
He was not an innocent victim last night, he walked 4, struck out 4 and gave up a home run, and made a very costly throwing error into left field while attempting to throw a runner out at third.
Both Santana and David Wright are considered the team leaders, and that is fair, but they have different ways of going about it. That is fine, and they both have showed more intensity than usual of late during these stressful times.
Wright is an everyday player who goes about his leadership business with respect and consideration, constructive criticism face-to-face, not glaring and barking at his teammates.
A few weeks ago, he got into a heated discussion with Mike Pelfrey, but did handle it face to face and spoke to him constructively with a stern tone to show the intensity.
If you are trying to get a message across to a teammate, a smile is not always in order, but glaring and barking is not a way to do it; he should have cooled off by himself and then go back and say what he needs to say to Martinez and whoever else he was mad at during the fourth inning.
Santana is in his second year as a Met, while David Wright is approaching his fifth year with the team later this month.
How their teammates respond to their varied leadership styles will determine how successful this team is in 2009 and beyond.