Mets to All-Star Manager: Keep Santana on the Pine

The Mets have been the punch line to pretty much every MLB joke
throughout the first half of the 2009 season. But the amazingly
embarrassin’ Mets aren’t ready to add an injury to the insults.

When Johan Santana was picked to join his fellow National League All-Stars in St. Louis, New York placed a call to Philadelphia, asking manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee to spare the southpaw’s arm if they could.

The Phillies skipper, who is guiding the NL team this year thanks to
that shiny 2008 pennant hanging in his team’s trophy case, said he’ll
try to comply but can’t make any guarantees.

“If we can stay away from him, we’ll try to, unless we get into a bind,” Dubee told the Daily News. “Unless it gets into extra innings and stuff and we have to use him, we’re going to try to stay away from him.”

As seen in last year’s 15-inning marathon at Yankee Stadium,
anything is possible and anyone suited up in the dugout should be seen
as fair game.

“He’ll be somewhere toward the back end, that’s for sure,” Dubee added.

The Phillies are in first place in the NL East, leading the
second-place Marlins by four games, the third-place Braves by six games
and the fourth-place Mets by 6 1/2 games. Santana has gone 10-7 with a
3.09 ERA in 18 starts for the Mets this season but threw 114 pitches on
Saturday in New York’s 4-0 win over the Reds and is slated to pitch on
Sunday when the MLB returns to its regularly scheduled programming.

“They want me to stay away from the game, I believe, so we’ll see,” Santana said.

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