Johan Santana won’t be ready for Opening Day

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Johan Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder in September. At the time it was reported that the time table for rehab was 24 weeks and that he could throw at 20 weeks. That would have had him throwing — not pitching — in mid-February.  As such, it seemed that it was pretty unrealistic that Santana would be ready to start the season. Sandy Alderson confirmed that yesterday:

“We’ve been told he’ll be able to begin tossing in January. But, realistically, I don’t think anybody expects him to be ready Opening Day. And, really, the question is when exactly he will be ready. Nobody has told us he’ll miss the season or anything of that sort. But I think that certainly we have to assume he’s not going to start the season.”

I think it’s fair to say that no general manager in baseball faces a tougher task than Sandy Alderson. I mean, sure, there are far worse teams, but at least in those situations you can just bulldoze everything and start over. The Mets, however, have enough pieces to be respectable, but enough problems — things like trying to find a replacement for an ace — that getting to that point is going to be really hard. Add in the managerial search and the inherent pressure that goes with New York, and it’s just a really hard job ahead of him.

 

Manny Machado to face another team that doesn’t like him very much

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Brewers fans booed the living heck out of Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado during the NLCS. They had reason to, of course, as Machado turned in a couple of pretty dirty plays. To Machado’s credit, he embraced the role of heel pretty well by grabbing his crotch in the crowd’s general direction in Game 7. I can’t say I want my kid doing that, but (a) Machado is not my kid; and (b) If you’re gonna be the bad guy anyway, you may as well own it, so thank you Manny. You provided us with some entertainment.

You might think that the ill-will toward Machado is over now, but that may not be the case. Because if you remember back to April and May of last year, there was a good bit of it between Machado and the Red Sox.

In a series between the Orioles and the Red Sox in late April 2017, Machado slid hard into Dustin Pedroia, injuring him. Despite the fact that Machado seemed genuinely concerned about Pedroia, suggesting no ill-intent — and despite the fact that Pedroia seemed OK with the play — Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head later in the series in retaliation, earning a suspension.

Fast forward a week, when the teams met again, and Chris Sale — the World Series Game 1 starter — threw behind Machado, resulting in a warning being issued. Machado would later homer in the game, which one thinks would help bring some resolution to all of that, but after the game was over Sale’s pitch was still sticking in his craw.

As was the F-word. A lot of F-words were in Machado’s craw too:

That ended up being the end of all of that, but one wonders if Machado still harbors some ill will. Or if Barnes does. Or if Sale does. My guess is that even if they do harbor some ill will, or if Machado harbors ill will toward them, everyone will keep a lid on it because this is the freakin’ World Series and no one wants to hurt their team over a more than year-old beef.

But I bet the Fenway Faithful let Machado hear it. Keep a camera on Machado, Fox.