tampabay.com

Inactive Twins alienating ace

Twins ace wants his team to step up to the plate.

By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published August 5, 2007


There couldn't be a more frustrated player after the trade deadline than Twins LHP Johan Santana.

The two-time Cy Young winner watched the Twins stand pat, with the exception of trading 2B Luis Castillo for two prospects (a move for the future). The AL Central race shapes up to be the toughest with Minnesota trailing Detroit and Cleveland.

And the lack of urgency seemed to rub Santana, frustrated with what he perceived as management's lack of dedication to getting to the World Series, the wrong way.

"That's exactly how they are," said Santana, who will be a free agent after next season. "That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone. It's not just about hope. In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it. You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it."

Twins OF Torii Hunter will be a free agent after this season, and closer Joe Nathan will be one after 2008 assuming the team picks up his option. Asked what message GM Terry Ryan's latest decisions had sent to that trio, Santana continued firing.

"I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things," he said. "I've seen a lot of those guys come in and leave. (The decision makers) don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care.

"We've been close," he said. "And in all those times, we seem to be a couple players away from winning it all. So I respect all the decisions they make, but I won't say that they're right all the time."

Boston DH David Ortiz, who began his career with the Twins, echoed Santana's sentiments.

"You know what, all the time I was with the Twins I don't remember us picking up anybody at the trading deadline ever," Ortiz said. "Every team at this point needs something, so when he sees they're not getting anything he gets upset."

GUILLEN NOT JONESING: Mariners OF Jose Guillen didn't necessarily give a ringing endorsement of Seattle's promotion of top prospect OF Adam Jones to try to resuscitate a struggling lineup.

"I just hope they understand this is not Triple A," Guillen said. "This is the big leagues. I guess they have something to do but this is a totally different league. ... He's a No. 1 prospect and he's going to be here sooner or later somehow, some way, but I just completely don't understand that move right there.

"I don't know what they're trying to do. I hope they don't do something stupid to mess with the lineup that we have. Because I believe we have a pretty good one."

Jones, who hit .314 with 25 homers and 84 RBIs at Triple A, was 2-for-4 with two runs in his big-league debut Friday.

TAKING A CHANCE: According to the Chicago Tribune, 1B Mark Teixeira turned down a guaranteed $140-million over eight years from the Rangers before he was traded to the Braves in the season's biggest deadline deal.

That's exactly what the Tigers offered OF Juan Gonzalez after they acquired the two-time MVP in the winter of 1999-2000. Gonzalez battled injuries the rest of his career and earned a total of $46-million.

Teixeira, who is represented by the notorious Scott Boras, can become a free agent after the 2008 season.

Fast Facts:

 

Waiting ... waiting ...

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez went through an eight-game homerless drought after hitting his 499th career home run, but that still was far from the longest streak between No. 499 and membership into the 500-homer club. Here's a look at the longest droughts:

Player Team games Dates

Jimmie Foxx 17 Sept 4-24, 1940

Harmon Killebrew 16 July 25-Aug. 10, 1971

Mickey Mantle 8 May 3-14, 1967

Alex Rodriguez 8 July 25-Aug. 3