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Santana Blanks Rockies; K-Rod Does the Pokey Hokey

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Oh, the slings and arrows of outrageous Mets fortune. Johan Santana is being accused by a woman of sexual assault, and Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) was hauled off to jail for attacking his girlfriend’s father. These two guys obviously have a lot on their minds and on their plates, but Thursday’s game turned out to be a good one for the Mets (57-57) as they defeated the Colorado Rockies (59-55) 4-0.

Santana was pitching like a man with a mission out there. He said after the victory that he told manager Jerry Manuel that he felt like going out and pitching 10 innings. With K-Rod cooling his heels in court, suffice it to say that the Mets bullpen definitely needed a rest. Santana (10-6) scattered four hits en route to his second complete game of the season.

When reporters asked Santana about the situation with the woman who is accusing him in a civil law suit, Santana answered in his trademark calm and collected style. He said it is a matter for the courts, and that was that. Whether or not he’s guilty, Santana is certainly conducting himself like a gentleman in public. Privately, if he had consensual sex with the woman – he is married – as he claims, or if he did indeed force himself on her, he is something less than gentlemanly.

Of course, everything is different with the combustible closer Rodriguez. After the Mets’ crushing defeat on Tuesday night, Rodriguez was apparently on a rampage. The Mets were up by a score of 2-1 in the eighth inning, but with two out and bases loaded, Manuel elected to not bring in Rodriguez and instead inserted Manny Acosta, who gave up a grand slam to ex-Mets player Melvin Mora. While K-Rod was right to feel slighted by this (and it proves Manuel’s managing skills are severely in doubt), he tore into the clubhouse and cursed at reporters before going into the player’s family lounge where he attacked his girlfriend’s father.

K-Rod was released without bail on Thursday after appearing in Queens court, while a few miles away Santana was blanking the Rockies. The closer has been suspended by the team for two games, and perhaps more sanctions and punishment await him (including, perhaps, an anger management course?). A restraining order has been filed and he may not go near the house he shares with his girlfriend and her parents. All in all, it was a good day for one Mets pitcher and a very bad day for another.

Still, a fog hangs over the Mets clubhouse now. The allegations against Santana were bad enough to cause ill will with fans, but this thing with K-Rod puts things over the top. No matter how much you love the Mets – and many of us still do after everything that has happened during this disappointing year – this is straining the even most loyal fans and pushing them to the limit.

Santana and K-Rod. Is this what the Mets wanted when they signed these two guys? I know fans thought they would help bring a pennant our way, but once again that’s not happening this year. It looks like legal matters are going to hound them both until the end of the season, and things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better as far as these two guys are concerned. That’s the lot of Mets fans these days, and across town A-Rod must be smiling from ear to ear because no one seems worried about his cheating on his wife or taking steroids for three years anymore.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.