How will Mets fans remember Johan Santana?

When the World Series ends, eight current Mets players will officially become free agents, and most won’t return in 2014.

No one will miss Frank Francisco.

Most of us will have a hard time remembering that David Aardsma, Aaron Harang and Daisuke Matsuzaka ever were Mets this time next year.

LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano and Tim Byrdak will be thought of fondly for a while (Feliciano and Byrdak more so than Hawkins.) However, given the stage they are at in their careers, I would certainly understand if they or the Mets decided to look elsewhere next season.

Johan Santana insert from 2012 Topps Update set

Johan Santana insert from 2012 Topps Update set

I don’t know how we’re going to remember Johan Santana.

He’s the guy who pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history, and the guy who did everything he could to keep the Mets in the pennant race in 2008.

He’s also the guy who earned more than $48 million while sitting on the disabled list, during a time when Mets fans watched the team’s payroll shrink during the post-Madoff era.

Santana’s Mets career ends with a 46-34 record, a 3.18 ERA and 15.2 wins above replacement (according to Baseball-Reference.com).  Not too shabby, but not what we were hoping for when Omar Minaya traded for him in 2008.

Compare with Al Leiter‘s 7-year Mets career: 95-67, a 3.42 ERA and 28 wins above replacement. When healthy, Santana was a better pitcher, but Leiter managed to stay on the field more.

Will we be honoring Santana with a Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremony in a few years, or remembering him as disappointment if we think of him at all?

About Paul

NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector, amateur gardener, Christian. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on October 13, 2013, in New York Mets and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. All pitchers come with an injury risk. I’ll choose to remember Santana for what he contributed on the field. No point in doing anything else. If he made a lot of money while being injured, gotta blame management for taking the risk and spending that much money in the first place.

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  2. I tend to think of him as a typical Mets acquisition, a big name who did OK with the Mets, but wasn’t quite the same as he had been before the trade. Overall, I’m not sure he’s worth of the Mets HOF, but he might make it on the combination of the no-hitter and the decent Mets stats.

    It’s not the right way of looking at things, but I think it helps his legacy that there’s relatively little wailing and gnashing of teeth about the prospects traded to Minnesota for Santana. Carlos Gomez is the best of the bunch, and I wonder how many Mets fans even remember that the Brewers outfielder was part of the package for Santana.

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  3. I will not see him as a huge disappointment as most other Mets fans might. I will see him as a great pitcher who didn’t perform to the fans expectations (winning multiple cy young’s and helping the Mets win a world championship). As W. Miller said, we can’t blame him for the injuries, they happen…unfortunately more frequent when you don the blue & orange. But I will remember him for giving me one of the most exciting moments of my life and that is seeing the franchises first no-hitter. I think a feat like that will get him a day of honor at Citifield in about 10 years.

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  4. BringBackDaveTelgheder

    I remember Santana for how good he was when he was healthy and for finally getting us a no-no, but as a whole, he was a massive disappointment. I guess there were warning signs before the Mets traded for him, but he was so fragile he made it to the end of the season….once or twice…it’s hard to live up to a contract like that, but Johan really wasn’t close.

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  5. Very easy- two games will always stick out- obviously the no-hitter and the other was the 3 hitter he threw on a bad knee on three days rest on the next to last day of the 2008 to keep the Mets alive.

    He was a warrior and a great pitcher and you make that trade every day and twice on Sunday.

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  6. Will in Central NJ

    It is entirely fair that Johan Santana be remembered in a positive light. A plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame is appropriate, in my mind. He threw the first Mets’ no hitter. Period. It would be a paradox for Met fans to have gnashed their teeth for decades because we never had one, and then minimize the deed, and the pitcher, once the deed is accomplished. Injuries happen.

    As for the Mets Hall of Fame, you have John Franco who amassed, basically, what seems to be the most soft saves ever: entering the game with a three-run lead, allowing two runs after loading the bases, having gone full count on each batter. But Franco would notch the save. Did I mention his major role in the collapses of 1998, 2001, and his blowing the save in Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS? Nice guy by most accounts, but that is the background from which Mr. Franco ‘earned’ his Mets Hall of Fame plaque.

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  7. I saw the link to this post on metsblog, I thought about what Johan meant to me, mind was kind of blank for a second, then I said, ‘oh yea, no hitter’. Well wouldn’t you know, I was at that game….. So what does Johan mean to me, I don’t know, a bad contract…. The no hitter moment was awesome to share with my family and friends but it’s not what I think of when I think of Johan Santana

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  8. I’d have to say that he should be remembered as a pitcher with huge potential, who gave his all until his body broke down on him. His paycheck not withstanding, he brought hope to a beleaguered fan base but, as all Mets fans know, players bringing hope seldom deliver, whether due to over-hype or the seemingly black cloud of health hovering over the franchise. Should he be in the Mets Hall of Fame based solely on the no-hitter? I, for one, say no. It was a tremendous day and, considering the pitchers that came before him who never had that day for us, one that should be savored by us all but c’mon, Phillip Humber threw a PERFECT game for the ChiSox and I doubt he even makes their wall of mediocrity, let alone hall of fame. Johan was a wonderful addition and unfortunately, a poster boy for how hope in Queens can can soon be quashed. I wish him the best but he’s not much more than a footnote in Flushing.

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  9. I’ll remember him like that awesome Corvette in my neighbor’s driveway that has been on blocks more often than the road.

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