As a child nothing excited me more than a party in my honor. Birthdays were waited for with bone chilling anticipation and the thought of presents and a day just for me was almost too much for my young mind to grasp. Unfortunately for me, and countless other children, when the fun ended and the food coma subsided there was one meticulous task left to be done; writing thank-you notes. This usually was put off until my parents were on the verge of grounding me and I had no other choice to complete them, but all in all they are a polite way to let the giver know you appreciate their graciousness.
Now, it is no secret that Johan Santana threw the Met’s first ever no-hitter on June 1st and every sports outlet has covered every possible angle of the game and every writer has had their own take on the feat. Combine the former and the latter and you get what Santana may have wrote regarding the historic night, had the brass of the Mets made him write a thank-you letter:
To whom it may concern,
There are countless people I could thank for this great night and each of them hold a special place in my heart, but there are a few who stand out that I want to personally recognize.
First off is manager Terry Collins; his job has not been easy here and although I would have fought to the death to stay in the game, he still made a decision which held a weight that 99% of people could never understand. The faith he put in me throwing 136 pitches coming off shoulder surgery was that of a friend and believer and I will eternally be grateful for the opportunity granted to me.
Second is Mike Baxter, the homegrown, feisty kid who has done everything asked of him and more while playing for the team he grew up rooting for. His catch cost him precious playing time and a lot of physical pain, but because of his bodily sacrifice he will forever have a place in Mets history. Knowing his love for the game I firmly believe he would gladly go through that pain again given the chance.
Third is Josh Thole; another hard-working kid who came back from a concussion a day early to call the no hitter, an accomplishment that, while makes pitchers famous, is almost equally exciting and impressive for a catcher, especially one at the beginning of his career. Thole has all the tools to have a great major league career and I will forever share a special bond with him.
The fans, who have waited 50 years and over 8,000 games for this moment. The ones that cried, woke up their children, or just smiled, shook their head and had a beer. This was for you.
The rest of my teammates, who without their presence and help this wouldn’t have been possible, and my coaches, especially Dan Warthen, who have individually and uniquely helped me throughout my whole life to this point.
Finally, to Adrian Johnson, who had a slight lapse in judgement on a ball hit by Carlos Beltran and Bud Selig who has greatly limited the use of instant replay. Thanks for that guys.
With love to all,
Way too much has been made about the Mets tough June schedule. Yes, it comes against the majority of the best teams in baseball, but it is not that big of a deal. I explained why in my most recent column for Bleacher Report:
On The Journal News, LoHud Mets Blog I explored what having Carlos Beltran still a Met would be worth: http://mets.lohudblogs.com/2012/06/01/would-mets-be-in-first-place-with-carlos-beltran/