ESPN is reporting that Mets manager Jerry Manuel has no plans to discipline Johan Santana for ignoring a bunt sign.
Santana's decision helped New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Tuesday night. Rather than try to sacrifice on an 0-2 count in the sixth inning, as he was instructed to do, the pitcher faked a bunt, swung away and hit a tying double to right field for his fifth career RBI.
Asked on Wednesday if he had any plans to fine Santana, Manuel said: "No, not at all. He's playing baseball. As long as he plays baseball, I'm fine with that."
Manuel also had no problem with the way his ace reacted on the mound when the manager removed him in the eighth inning after 91 pitches. Santana, who had just allowed his fourth home run of the game, held up the ball as Manuel approached and appeared to speak sternly to the skipper.
"He was just saying, you know, 'I'm a man, I'm a man.' And that's what he says in the clubhouse all the time," Manuel said. "I can say this: It was definitely not a plea to remain in the game. Definitely not. Not at all."
Manuel doesn't think Santana was showing him up, either.
"No, no. I don't have a problem with that," the manager said.
After the game Tuesday night, Santana gave his explanation of the exchange.
"I just told him that, 'I feel good,'" Santana said. "I'm [not] trying to show anybody up or anything. I just felt that I had enough stuff to battle through it. But he thought different. He's my skipper and I respect everything that he does."
In absolutely unrelated news, here is a complete update on the Mets minor league system from Adam Rubin in his Daily News Blog.
UPDATE - 11:24 PM:
In a brilliantly written post, Skeptic Al writes, "As the resident blog psychologist, I can tell you that any guy who walks around saying, "I'm a man I'm a man" all the time, either is not a man, or has insecurities about his manliness. My guess? Mets brass have told Manuel not too push the envelope too much, since if he's really a woman in disguise, they will feel pressured to build another Rotunda. This one for a someone breaking the gender barrier."
Great stuff, Al, but I believe the gender barrier was broken by a guy(?) with dreadlocks in L.A. We should've seen it coming though. Moody? Long hair? Likes nice things?
I guess it's Manny (giggles) being Manny. (runs away shyly)