In a report for the NY Times, Ben Shipgel relays some quotes from Mets GM Omar Minaya about Johan Santana’s participation in the World Baseball Classic. Apparently, the issue here is that Santana had a very minor knee surgery after the 2008 season ended to repair torn meniscus in his left knee.
He should be O.K., but we’re going to be conservative. If we have a little bit of doubt or concern, we’d rather have him not play. We’re pro-Classic, but we always have to be mindful and protective of our players.
We don’t want to have him be in the heat of the battle in early March when he’s coming off a minor surgery. It’s minor, but it’s still surgery. We will have to use precaution.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a huge fan of the WBC. So I’d be happy if the Mets didn’t allow any of their players to participate. The risk of injury to play in this tournament is too great and provides no benefit to the clubs.
Minaya might as well come out and say he’s looking for any excuse possible to keep Santana from playing in the tournament. Santana’s the best pitcher in baseball right now and if he got hurt in a meaningless tournament, it would have a devastating impact on the 2009 season.