Johan Santana is the talk of Mets Spring Training camp so far, with manager Terry Collins anointing him the Opening Day stater, assuming good health between now and then. Santana hasn't pitched in a real game in a year and a half and the Mets owe him a frightening sum of money over the next two seasons, but all reports find him fit and fully recuperated from shoulder surgery so let's just ignore that other stuff for now, mmkay?.
Despite his seemingly interminable layoff from baseball, I'm still a huge swooning fan of Santana's, even as I recognize that he's not only well short of the pitcher who dominated the American League for much of the twenty-aughts, but likely also inferior to the great-but-not-superlative version who tossed 600 innings with the Mets from 2008 through 2010. He sure looks the same, though, with the steely gaze, the effortless delivery, and the fastidiously groomed Van Dyke we're so familiar with. Whatever the outcome, it's nice to have him back in action this spring.
We'll have a full profile of Santana on Wednesday afternoon.