So, it turns out Johan Santana wasn’t supposed to do a butcher boy style swing when he got an RBI double in Tuesday night’s game against the Phillies. He was given a sign to try to bunt for a third time in that at-bat. Without that hit, the Mets might not have won.
Jerry Manuel has said that Santana won’t be fined for ignoring the bunt sign. He also reiterated yesterday that Santana was not trying to show him up when he was barking at Manuel when he came to take Santana out of the game. Manuel chalked it up to Santana’s competitive nature.
When I saw that, I couldn’t help but think back to Manuel’s first game as Mets skipper when he took Jose Reyes out of the game and Reyes refused to go. Clearly this is a different situation. Santana is a seasoned veteran, and Reyes, well, is not. Both ultimately conceded to Manuel’s will.
I like to see that fire coming from Santana. He wanted to finish out the inning and he thought he could. He had a low pitch count, but I think Manuel’s decision was the right one, had they won the game or not. He allowed four home runs, which wasn’t like him at all, and sometimes you have the save the player from his own worst enemy—himself.