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2/1/08 The Mets' Deadline To Sign Santana Passes...BUT?

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Deadline -definition- "the latest time or date by which something must be completed."

     MLB.com has announced that Major League Baseball has, as of 5:00 pm EST, granted the Mets and Johan Santana two more hours to work out a deal...

Questions...

Who has the right to grant two extra hours?
What is the point of a deadline if it can be extended?
Is this a common occurrence I've somehow never heard about?
Why give the Mets a break? Really?

     MLB.com's Marty Noble quotes Santana's agent in Mr. Noble's mlb.com article entitled, "Mets get two more hours", saying, " "It's not done by any means...It wouldn't surprise me if it got done or didn't."...

*UPDATE...an hour and a half after the deadline passes, the Mets and Santana get the deal done, completing the trade from Minnesota to NY.*