Every year, there are some absolutes in Spring Training.
Someone will offer a mea culpa for past steroid transgressions. A career minor leaguer will make someone's big league club out of nowhere. A once seemingly invincible star will fade. And someone from the New York Mets will start talking trash, despite evidence that the team does not have the intangibles to actually function as a cohesive, winning collection of talent.
This year's loudmouth? The once respectable Johan Santana.
According to Newsday's David Lennon, via Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, the following Q&A transpired:
When Johan was asked to name best pitcher in NL East, he replied, "Santana."
The question was a complete setup, of course. But the answer? Over the past couple of seasons, that is debatable. Both Santana and new Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay are, when healthy, all-world aces and can completely dominate not only games, but seasons. It should be a fun season in Philadelphia. New York? Let's hope the Mets' inability to keep their mouths shut continues to reap the same results - early tee times in October.