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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Johan Santana to start Mets’ opener

The last time Johan Santana was healthy, Jaime Moyer was in middle school.

After throwing an intensive bullpen session Saturday, New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana walked by manager Terry Collins and proclaimed: “You’ve got your pitcher for Thursday.”

A day later, after Santana met with general manager Sandy Alderson, Collins and the rest of the rotation Sunday morning inside the manager’s office, that proclamation was affirmed.

Santana, who last threw a pitch in a major league game on Sept. 2, 2010, will start opposite Atlanta Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson on Thursday at Citi Field in the teams’ regular-season opener.

This is the Mets’ 51st season. Tom Seaver leads the way with 11 opening day starts for the team, followed by Dwight Gooden with 8. Now that he will make his 4th opening day start for the Mets, Johan Santana matches Tom Glavine for 3rd-most in franchise history.

R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee will round out the rotation, in that order.

Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder 12 days after that last major league pitch.

“It means everything that we have done since I had my surgery, all the way to today, has been paid off,” Santana said. “We worked hard. And I’m very happy. I’m very happy that I have an opportunity to start the season from Day 1 with the team. That’s something that I really was looking forward to. I’m excited about it.”

Santana will make his seventh Opening Day start, his fifth with the Mets.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 02:22 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4094263)
I wonder how often the opening day starter didn't throw one pitch the previous season (maybe during the war years)
   2. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4094266)
Relatedly, I was wondering how often a player never played for a team he signed a contract with, e.g. Madson.
   3. Lassus Posted: April 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4094274)
This news makes me very very happy. I am strongly looking forward to opening day.

Let's hope it works.
   4. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 01, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4094275)
If nothing else, 40% of the team's games should be enjoyable as long as Santana and Dickey are in the rotation.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 01, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4094276)
Good for him. I'm not a Mets fan, but it's always good to see the best players healthy, and I'm glad to see him make it back. I hope he has 33 starts and 200 IP in him for this season.
   6. Dan Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4094279)
Tom Glavine has the third most opening day starts in Mets history? That's pretty incredible.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4094280)
Relatedly, I was wondering how often a player never played for a team he signed a contract with, e.g. Madson.


Pokey Reese with the Mariners comes to mind.
   8. Gamingboy Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4094281)
I wonder how often the opening day starter didn't throw one pitch the previous season (maybe during the war years)


In 1871, everyone did!
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4094283)
I seem to recall in one of those great Opening Day trivia threads, that someone made their MLB debut as a pitcher on opening day.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4094286)
re: my question in #1`:I found at least one more: Tex Hughson for the Bosox in 1946. I'm sure there's more

EDIT: also Johnny Sain of the Braves and Johnny Beazley of the Cards that same year
   11. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4094287)
I seem to recall in one of those great Opening Day trivia threads, that someone made their MLB debut as a pitcher on opening day.


According to baseball reference Al Gerheauser, Jim Bagby, and Lefty Grove all debuted as an opening day starting pitcher.
   12. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 01, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4094292)
Now that he will make his 4th opening day start for the Mets, Johan Santana matches Tom Glavine for 3rd-most in franchise history.


And

Santana will make his seventh Opening Day start, his fifth with the Mets.


So is it 4th or 5th?
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: April 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4094316)
This news makes me very very happy. I am strongly looking forward to opening day.

Same here.

I'm expecting big things from Niese and Duda this year.
   14. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 01, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4094321)
A great sporcle would be listing each team's leader in opening day starts.

I bet the A's is Dave Stewart. Nats is Livan Hernandez, I would bet.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4094325)
Nats is Livan Hernandez, I would bet.

Not Steve Rogers?
   16.   Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4094327)
Here you Go (not mine.)
   17. Dan Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4094329)
I would think Lefty Grove or Catfish Hunter would have more opening day starts than Dave Stewart for the A's, but then again Vida Blue might have taken some from Catfish.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4094333)
Here you Go (not mine.)

I got 22/30--the Phila/KC/Oak A's answer surprised me, considering they've been around so long

EDIT: coke to Dan
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4094334)
Relatedly, I was wondering how often a player never played for a team he signed a contract with, e.g. Madson.

Mark Prior with the Padres comes to mind. Also Mark Prior with the Rangers and Mark Prior with the Yankees, if one of those was a major-league contract.
   20. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4094335)
That quiz was fun, I got Texas completely by accident. I thought their correct answer might be the answer for the Marlins. The A's answer also surprised me.
   21. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4094342)
Tom Glavine has the third most opening day starts in Mets history? That's pretty incredible.


Mind blowing. The Mets are such a minor league franchise.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4094347)
I would think Lefty Grove or Catfish Hunter would have more opening day starts than Dave Stewart for the A's, but then again Vida Blue might have taken some from Catfish.

not only Blue--I decided to check and the starters during Hunter's 10 seasons with the A's (1965-74) were:

Drabowski
Hunter
Nash
Hunter
Odom
Odom
Blue
Holtzman
Hunter
Hunter
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 01, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4094355)
That is the kind of quiz I like - the kind where I get 26 out of 30 correct. For three of them I had exactly one guess and then stared blankly at the screen (Finley, Gubicza, Caldwell). For the Marlins I had nothing. Would not have guessed Dave Stewart on my own.

That quiz was fun, I got Texas completely by accident. I thought their correct answer might be the answer for the Marlins.

There are two pitchers this clue might be describing.

The writer has also included a clue by saying "Los Angeles Dodgers" instead of "Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers".
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4094362)
Here you Go (not mine.)

Got 'em all.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4094363)
That quiz was fun, I got Texas completely by accident. I thought their correct answer might be the answer for the Marlins.

Me too.
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4094371)
Good idea for a quiz, poor execution. It was pretty frustrating that you had to guess "A & B" in order to get them correct when there was a tie (even "B & A" or "A and B" were not acceptable answers, it turns out). I spent forever trying to figure out the Orioles' leader after my first two guesses didn't work. Turns out they were both correct.
   27. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4094382)
That didn't happen for me. I got Baltimore by guessing the obvious choice, and Tampa and a few others were ties and I got them by only guessing A or B or C.
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4094383)
I don't get what was frustrating. When there's a tie, you can name one of the people, and get it right. (I certainly could not have named all three Padres)
   29. Sweatpants Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4094389)
Good idea for a quiz, poor execution. It was pretty frustrating that you had to guess "A & B" in order to get them correct when there was a tie (even "B & A" or "A and B" were not acceptable answers, it turns out). I spent forever trying to figure out the Orioles' leader after my first two guesses didn't work. Turns out they were both correct.
Did you guess first and last names? Guessing just the last name of either of those guys counts as a correct answer.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4094391)
I don't get what was frustrating. When there's a tie, you can name one of the people, and get it right.

This didn't work for me. I had to type it in word-for-word as they had the answer, or it didn't register. I was like "How the hell did anyone get Colorado?"
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4094393)

Did you guess first and last names? Guessing just the last name of either of those guys counts as a correct answer.

Nope. On my computer I had to get the first and last name of both players correct, and have them in the same order with the same punctuation. I seem to be the only one having this problem, and I'm using an outdated browser so that might be why. I retract my criticism.
   32. Squash Posted: April 01, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4094417)
Tom Glavine has the third most opening day starts in Mets history? That's pretty incredible.

That's the first thing I went to as well.
   33. Squash Posted: April 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4094425)
Nope. On my computer I had to get the first and last name of both players correct, and have them in the same order with the same punctuation. I seem to be the only one having this problem, and I'm using an outdated browser so that might be why. I retract my criticism.

On mine I typed a few full names that didn't register, and only got them when I only typed in the last names. Then I typed a few that didn't register at all but turned out to be right. You're not alone. Cool app though.
   34. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4094435)
Same here, & my browser, AFAIK, isn't outdated ... not that I've checked to see what the latest version of Firefox is, though I'm pretty sure that every time I'm informed an update is available I install it. I typed in all 3 Yankees, but none showed up. Typed in both Dodgers. Happened with a couple of other teams, too.

Booooooooo.
   35.   Posted: April 01, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4094459)
That is weird. I can't imagine why that would be. The quiz is specifically programmed to accept an array of answers for each question. (Eg it's not just "smart matching" the quiz maker has to explicitly say that X, Y, and Z are acceptable answers.") So can't think of any reason why it would work for some and not others.

Huh. I am stumped.
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4094482)
I had the same situation as Inge, which I'd never experienced on a Sporcle quiz. Seriously couldn't imagine that it wasn't either Palmer or Mussina - never even thought of typing in both.

   37. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 01, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4094500)
Should I be surprised that Mathewson's not on the list? Because I was.
   38. bobm Posted: April 01, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4094501)
[11] According to baseball reference Al Gerheauser, Jim Bagby, and Lefty Grove all debuted as an opening day starting pitcher.

Also according to BB-REF, 525 non-pitchers debuted as an opening day starter. (Specifically, the PI report is "From 1918 to 2012, In first 1 games, Played: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF or DH, as Starter, In team's first 1 games, In team's first 1 games")

Most rookie opening day starters did not bat in the heart of the order and played the higher skill defensive positions (2B, SS, CF). The WWII bubble aside, the trend has been to start fewer rookies on opening day. Among the non-expansion teams, it seems the more successful teams (NYY, STL) started fewer rookies on opening day than less successful teams.

Batting Order Position / Count of Player
7                              95
1                              85
8                              83
6                              75
2                              58
5                              44
3                              42
4                              23
9                              20


Fielding Position / Count of Player
2B                        94
SS                        85
CF                        73
RF                        68
3B                        67
LF                        57
1B                        48
C                         30
DH                         2
CF LF                      1


Decade / Count of Player
1920s          63
1930s          81
1940s         103
1950s          79
1960s          47
1970s          35
1980s          37
1990s          31
2000s          38


Franchise     Count of Player
PHA/KCA/OAK   36 28/3/5

CHC           34

BRO/LAD       33 24/9

CHW           31
DET           31

BSN/MLN/ATL   30 24/3/3

BOS           29
PHI           29
MIN/WSH       29 16/13

SLB/BAL       27 18/9

NYG/SFG       25 15/10

CLE           23

PIT           22
NYY           22

CIN           21

STL           20

TEX / WSA     10 8/2

HOU            8
SDP            8
CAL/ANA/LAA    8 5/1/2

MON            7
SEA            7

NYM            6
MIL            6
FLA            6

TOR            5

KCR            4

TBD            3
COL            3

ARI            2


Notable Player / Debut Year / Team 
Ken Griffey        1989       SEA
Ozzie Smith        1978       SDP
Paul Molitor       1978       MIL
Eddie Murray       1977       BAL
Robin Yount        1974       MIL
Rod Carew          1967       MIN
Pete Rose          1963       CIN
Carl Yastrzemski   1961       BOS
Orlando Cepeda     1958       SFG
Frank Robinson     1956       CIN
Luis Aparicio      1956       CHW
Hank Aaron         1954       MLN
Eddie Mathews      1952       BSN
Mickey Mantle      1951       NYY
Richie Ashburn     1948       PHI
Jackie Robinson    1947       BRO
Ralph Kiner        1946       PIT
Phil Rizzuto       1941       NYY
Ted Williams       1939       BOS
Enos Slaughter     1938       STL
Joe Gordon         1938       NYY
Al Simmons         1924       PHA





   39. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 01, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4094502)
Should I be surprised that Mathewson's not on the list? Because I was.

1. Opening Day Starter probably wasn't quite as big a deal back then.
2. Even if it was, Joe McGinnity would have stolen a couple in his early years; Mathewson probably wouldn't have started Opening Day in a modern context on his teams until 1906 at least, which would have given him a maximum of 10, which is Marichal's total.

Anyway, 29/30 for me, missed only the Angels. I had about half a dozen guesses for them, none of which were right.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4094561)
My two favorite opening day starts, favorite because of how completely bizarre they were in light of what came afterwards:

Vida Blue, 1971, who lasted 1.3 innings against the Senators and then didn't lose another game for nearly two months.

Carl Pavano, 2005, which was also his Yankee debut. He left to a standing ovation.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4094574)
I wonder how often the opening day starter didn't throw one pitch the previous season (maybe during the war years)


Adam Wainwright could be the Cards opening day starter
   42. Conor Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4094583)
So is it 4th or 5th?


Baseball Tonight said 5th as well. Unless I'm totally missing something, they're wrong, it's 4. Th is is his 5th year with the team, but he didn't pitch last year. Started 08, 09, 10, and now 12.
   43. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 02, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4094639)

Tom Glavine has the third most opening day starts in Mets history? That's pretty incredible.


Why is that so surprising? Seaver and Gooden probably bogart about a third of the opening day starts in Mets history. Glavine probably pulled the duty in all five of his Mets years. Is there any Mets pitcher from the non-Seaver and non-Gooden eras who deserved to make five opening day starts?
   44. Greg Franklin Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4094693)
Mark Prior with the Padres comes to mind. Also Mark Prior with the Rangers and Mark Prior with the Yankees, if one of those was a major-league contract.

Should Prior count? IIRC when he was signed, the Padres knew of his horrible injury history and a non-zero possibility of him never making it out of rehab.

Pokey and Madsen were both signed with the full intent of them playing out their deal. Pokey made it into the final exhibition game (and an infamous Mariners "home shopping network" ad) before bowing out for the season and the career.
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4094707)
Yeah, this is a great quiz. Attainable but you gotta think about it a bit. I got 25/30 with one absolutely unforgivable miss (Spahn). Surprised at the number for the Nats/Expos, I don't think of him being around that long at a high level.

Is "Opening Day" as a meaningful assignment something that post-dates integration? Looking at the list the number of pre-integration players is pretty low (I was also surprised about Mathewson).


Carl Pavano, 2005, which was also his Yankee debut. He left to a standing ovation.


Pavano was actually the second game that year. The first game was Randy Johnson's Yankee debut and David Wells' Red Sox debut.
   46. Delorians Posted: April 02, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4094753)
Got 27 of 30. Also lucked into the Rangers answer guessing it for the Marlins. Ws most proud of getting the Pirates. Was most embarassed by missing the Blue Jays (I kept retyping different spellings of Steib thinking that had to be the answer). Anso missed Angels (hard) and Brewers (didn't think he was there that long).
   47. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4094864)
Relatedly, I was wondering how often a player never played for a team he signed a contract with, e.g. Madson.

I can't remember if he signed a big league deal, but the O's paid $700,000 last season to Justin Duchscherer who never made one pitch.

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