Siberian Baseball

Friday, August 03, 2007

Teams happy to hear Santana is not

"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"

Sounds more like a frustrated middle manager tired with ownership's meddling with "Hawaiian shirt Friday" than a Cy Young pitcher in the prime of his baseball life, huh?

If only it was that simple for the Twins.

Following the trade deadline, the Twins offloading Luis Castillo to the Mets and a muggy couple of weeks in the Twin Cities, Johan Santana went off on management to the media.

"I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things," he said. "I've seen a lot of those guys [like Castillo] come in and leave. [The decision makers] don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care.

"Because if you're always talking about having young players — that's the philosophy the team has, and I respect all that — but it's been proven that it's not enough to go all the way to the World Series."

He's got a valid point.

Add to that free agency for Torii Hunter after this year and for Santana and Joe Nathan next year and if the Twins' front office isn't treating this with a sense of urgency, they should go back to school and pursue another line of work.

In what has become a familiar refrain here, you have a team with the AL MVP, Batting champ and Cy Young and still can't lead a suspect AL Central this year. This is a team that will be looked back on in 15 years and fans will question why they didn't win bigger games or more often if something doesn't change soon.

Now, it looks like Santana is seeing that as well and for the Twins, that's bad news.

There's a degree of hope in play with those three free agents in waiting - the loyal section of the fan base is crossing their fingers that Hunter takes a major hometown discount, but this suggests that Santana will either wait for his money or wave goodbye to a team he doesn't trust to follow him to the promised land.

Making matters worse, the new ballpark on the horizon, letting Santana slip away would be a major mistake. As a major draw for the casual fan, Santana is worth his weight in gold for the franchise.

Terry Ryan isn't a stupid man - Twins fans better hope he's not a cheap man, either.

If he is, I can't imagine Santana will have to look to hard to find his payday or a legitimate contender.

(Update: Oh, and this certainly won't help matters.)

(Image from



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