Johan Santana, described as either “agitated”, “angry” and “irritated” in various media reports, threw a bullpen session on Sunday, less than a day after Sandy Alderson said the lefty did not report to camp in pitching shape and would likely not pitch off of a mound for another 10 days. So there!
“He’s pissed off,” Terry Collins said of Santana, according to the Daily News. “He has every right to be.”
Santana is also apparently pissed off at the media for reporting the story in the first place. He kept reporters waiting after his session, then refused to answer any questions. All he said was this:
“What’s spring training for? What’s practice? To get you better. That’s what I’m doing right now. That’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’m working on.”
That Santana threw on Sunday was a surprise to everyone. There is speculation that he was perhaps spurred by Alderson‘s questionable statements.
“There were comments, and maybe they were motivational, even by the general manager, because he didn’t say he was going to be out there for a few days,” pitching coach Dan Warthen said. “Johan said, ‘I’ll prove you guys are wrong.’”
Johan Santana is one of the fiercest competitors in all of baseball and it is highly unlikely that he reported out of shape like Alderson claims. Maybe he is not as far along as he was in previous years, but that was to be expected after being shut down in August and needing to rest after a difficult season coming back from major shoulder surgery.
I’ll take Johan Santana’s word over the truth-challenged Sandy Alderson‘s any day of the week.