Which do you like better? Johan Santana Field? Johan Santana Stadium? Johan Park at Santana Yards? The Joho Grounds? He can name it whatever he likes. He owns it.
Let's not wait. Let's not leave it to Mets ownership to properly honor Johan Santana. He is more than National League Pitcher of the Month. He is more than National League Pitcher of the Eon. He is more than The Franchise. At this moment, he is the entire Industry and several subsidiary interests. He is Johan Santana. When you've said Johan you've said it all. His is the one arm to have even if technically you need more than one.
Do you trust the Mets to remember that? It's bad enough trusting his teammates to score for him. That's why we mustn't wait for him to play out however many contracts he'd like to sign, however many Cy Johans he'd like for his mantel, however long he'll continue to toy with the abilities of mere mortals — even those who, by their gaudy sleeve patches, refer to themselves as world champions. If Johan Santana walks this earth, how is it possible for anyone else to presume to be championing it?
Tommie Agee was the last Met inducted into the team Hall of Fame seven long years ago. At this rate, the organization will still be dithering over Darryl, Doc, Keith and, for that matter, Ron Hunt by the time Johan is inducted by acclimation into Santanatown (an upstate hamlet closely associated with James Fenimore Santana, writer of great American pitching lines). We know they'll be giving the 2020s' version of Mister Koo No. 57 the second it's no longer actively graced by the Met body of all Met bodies, so let's stop them before they forget who brought them their greatest glory from 2008 on. Let's put 57 on the wall of Sanway Park immediately and have the Son of Jor-El simply rub his cape against it before each start. And yes, of course, rename Citi Field at once. What are they/we paying the Mets for naming rights? $20 mil per annum? Oh, Johan Santana is far more valuable than that.
Johan Santana completely stifled the Phillies Wednesday night, much as he completely stifles everybody. Somehow, almost accidentally, Fernando Tatis, Carlos Delgado and Jayson Werth combined to score an entire run for him, which is all a superman with an ERA of 0.91 requires for victory. Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez dared not untidy his work from there. And that was it. Santana wins, Mets win. It was a team effort. On those glitchy occasions when there is a Met loss and Santana pitches, I cannot fathom that he is part of that team. If Alex Rodriguez signified 24 + 1, Johan Santana is 1 who happens to be kind enough to not disavow his ties to 24. Johan has started six games thus far in 2009. The Mets have won four of them. The other two shouldn't count. A team playing behind Johan Santana can't possibly lose, therefore those two games simply must not have occurred.
Chan Ho Park picked the wrong night to stop being Chan Ho Park, for Johan Santana is always Johan Santana. Just by showing up, he has home field advantage. This is, after all, his world.
You don't have to spend the next 15 days on the Disabled List like Oliver Perez to enjoy Faith and Fear in Flushing, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.