Results tagged ‘ Johan Santana ’

La Russa: Collins did “the right thing” during Johan’s no-hitter

Not long after Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called Terry Collins to share his thoughts on the game — including the decision to leave Santana and his surgically-repaired left shoulder in for a career-high 134 pitches. La Russa discussed the genesis of that phone call Wednesday:

“I happened to be in New York and I watched every pitch even though I wasn’t at the ballpark,” La Russa said. “The thing starts developing and since I’m not in it, I watch these games and try to put myself in each manager’s shoes. I was managing for Mike [Matheny] and I was managing for Terry. All of the sudden you have what was really, clearly a terrific dilemma.

“I could just tell by looking at his face. He was really grinding on it, and I know the pitching coach was. They wanted to do the right thing. What’s the right thing? It was a really tough call, and they’re worried about his health first and foremost. I just knew what he was going through and it was really quick. When he got the last out, if you look at his face, he was the only guy in the ballpark that was not cheering and celebrating. I knew it was because he had doubts about pushing it.

“I just called for whatever my opinion was worth. I think we were raised the same way about protecting pitchers and caring for them. But I just think the sense of history and the drama. I saw him talk to [Santana] a couple of times. I’m sure he said he’s good to go. So as long as he did that, in my opinion, he had done the right thing. And then I read his comments and I knew that he was still beating himself up, and he was going to want and see how he came out of that. I just wanted him to know before he ever found out if Johan’s got some extra stiffness and soreness, in my opinion, he did the right thing.”

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Ozzie: Santana is the reason I got fired

Asked today how well he knows Johan Santana, Marlins (and former White Sox) manager Ozzie Guillen responded with this riff:

“Santana is the reason I got fired. I gave Santana his award; the Cy Young award belongs to the White Sox. If you take Santana’s wins against the White Sox when he won the Cy Young, he don’t win any Cy Young. That’s six, seven wins. Santana, he’s one of the best lefties I’ve ever seen. I see him very good. I saw him, like I made a comment the last time we faced him, since Santana was pitching bad, as soon as he sees me, back to normal. … He sees my face, there we go, nine-inning shutout. What can I say about this kid? He’s a hard-worker, he takes a lot of pride in his job, he loves to compete and he loves to win. That’s all I can say, because I’ve seen him for a long time and I’ve seen him on the top of his game. I don’t see anything better. He throws 95-96 and his changeup is 78, and breaking ball is 84. He’s been competing against good pitching staffs and good hitting teams and he’s still one of the best lefties in the game the last 10 years, maybe more than that.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 4/1

Unless you’re R.A. Dickey, who received two stitches on the right heel after being spiked in Sunday’s game, it was a good day to be a Mets starting pitcher. It was a good day to be a left-handed Mets starting pitcher, at least. The team named Johan Santana its Opening Day starter, then news broke that Jon Niese is in serious talks to sign a pre-arbitration contract extension.

As for me, I’m heading home for a few days of rest before Opening Day. Check back here for plenty of updates then.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/31

The last major test of spring is in the books for Johan Santana, who said he felt “great” after throwing a bullpen session Saturday at Port St. Lucie (pictures below). Assuming his shoulder is not barking when he wakes up Sunday, or during a more routine bullpen session Monday, Santana will start Opening Day against the Braves on April 5.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/26

David Wright (below) made his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut today, playing four innings in the field and going 1-for-2 at the plate. Among the highlights were a diving snare of Rafael Furcal’s sharp grounder and a single up the middle in his first at-bat.

Not so sharp early was Johan Santana, who struggled to find his command and velocity before settling down — and, perhaps more importantly, speeding up — in the middle innings against the Cardinals. Santana has one abbreviated start remaining before his Opening Day assignment April 5 against the Braves.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/21

It’s getting down to the most interesting time in camp, when game action is magnified and competitions really start heating up. To that end, Terry Collins called Johan Santana’s 69 pitches in Wednesday’s game “a giant step forward” in Santana’s road back from left shoulder surgery.

Other than Santana, the most interesting aspect of camp right now may be the center field situation, with Andres Torres still nursing a tight left calf, Jason Bay volunteering to sub in center, Jordany Valdespin experimenting at the position while hitting the cover off the ball, and Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen still duking it out for a bench job that is purportedly still one of theirs to lose. I profiled Baxter, a Queens native, for today.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/11

Those looking for good news may want to close out this window now. The Mets revealed Sunday that David Wright has traveled back to New York for an examination and possible cortisone injection in his left ribcage. Details on his and Tim Byrdak’s injuries are available on

Some better news for Mets fans came courtesy Johan Santana, who allowed one unearned run over 2 2/3 innings in his second Grapefruit League start. Strong early, Santana struggled with his control in the third inning but still came away encouraged.

Finally, since the rain prevented me from taking any good shots during the game today, here’s a picture of a lizard who found his way into the press room and decided to chill upside-down on a ceiling panel:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/8

It was all about Johan Santana again today at Mets camp, where the left-hander took another significant step by throwing a full bullpen session two days after his start. You can read about why that’s important here, and check out the pictures below:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/7

A quiet day at camp gave me a chance to catch up with Josh Lewin, WFAN’s new color commentator for Mets radio broadcasts. You can read my profile of Lewin and the rock band he left behind in Texas on

The rest of the day was quiet mostly because Johan Santana did little more than receive a massage on the day following his first big league action in 18 months. Santana will throw again in some form on Thursday, which should be far more telling.

Also, an apology for the lack of pictures lately. Here’s one of Ruben Tejada hanging around the cage; I’ll try to be more diligent regarding pictures in the future.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/1

Things are ramping up at Mets camp, with intrasquad games scheduled throughout the weekend and the first Grapefruit League game against the Nationals on Monday evening.

Before Johan Santana threw to live batters Thursday for the first time since October, I caught up with R.A. Dickey and some of the people who have made the past year of his life such a whirlwind. Check out the profile on

As for the pictures, here’s Santana chatting up Terry Collins after his live batting practice session:


Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.