As with any big-time player who comes to New York, Johan Santana is expected to be the second coming of the Messiah(or for my Jewish folks, the second coming of Seinfeld on sit-com television).
Mike Piazza, Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine, Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez. The list is endless of big-time acquistions who were brought to Shea with immense expectations heaped upon their shoulders from Day One. All of them, repeat, ALL OF THEM, had trouble adjusting to the weight of having 55,000 fat-fuck fans of a marginally successful organization in the biggest media market in the country on their shoulders every night.
Some of it had to do with the players not being able to handle New York pressure(fuck you Mike Hampton, I hope your vagina gets a perpetual yeast infection).
Some of it had to do with the natural adjustment period of having coming to New York, see Mike Piazza, Carlos Beltran.
But a lot of it had to with unrealistic expectations placed on these players by us, the fans. Too often we demand the Mets go after the “biggest name out there” because we want them to be better. Too often we demand the Mets do this without any regard to how good that player actually is, how they fit in with the team and the city, and whether we really will even like the guy.
Very often fans will go, “Oh, this guy’s great, the Mets are a lock” even though the only exposure they’ve had to said player is what they read in the newspapers, maybe a Sportscenter highlight, and maybe actually seeing him in a game against the Mets.
Then the player gets here and he sucks and everyone goes crazy(Hello, Roberto Alomar).
The rumblings are already starting with Johan Santana. Short of going 25-1 with a 1.19 ERA, 315 K’s, a World Series trophy and Cy Young Award, it seems like many fans will consider him a failure. Don’t believe me? People were getting riled up already last week when he got roped around in batting practice.
So in honor of all the fair-weather fans who are worshipping Santana in February, but will be booing him by May, here is a timeline of the 2008 Season for Johan Santana.
October 2007: (Mets collapse) “I fucking hate this team. You guys suck. I’m never rooting for you again.”
Note: I said this.
November 2007: “Let’s go Jets.” (Jets collapse)
December 2007: “Let’s go Giants.” (Eli Manning struggles)
January 2008: “Ooh Ooh, maybe we’ll get Santana. He’s awesome. Come on Omar!”
January 29, 2008: (Mets trade for Santana) “Yes! Yes! Yes! We are going to be 2008 World Series Champions. When do tickets go on sale?”
February 1, 2008: “Omar Minaya is a genius. Yankees suck.”
February 3, 2008: (Giants win Super Bowl) “I always knew you’d do it, Eli. Woo hoo!”
February 6, 2008: (Mets hold press conference introducing Santana) “Wow, he speaks English. I didn’t know that.”
mid-February: (Fan proceeds to obnoxiously predict that Mets are best team in National League. No team has shot at beating them.)
February 29, 2008: (Santana pitches 1 inning in televised Spring Training game) “I thought he was taller?”
March 27, 2008: “What do you mean he tops out at 91 mph, I thought he threw 95 mph?”
April 9, 2008: (Santana leaves in 7th inning of Mets-Phillies game, score tied 3-3) “That’s it?” (Mets bullpen loses game)
April 18, 2008: (Santana pitches into 8th inning against Phillies, gives up one run, Mets eventually lose) “WTF?!?! Score some runs you jerks. Why can’t Brian Schneider hit? Arrrrghhhh!!!”
mid-April to mid-May: (Santana goes 1-1 with 2 no decisions and has an ERA of 3.50). “Booooooo!”
May 18, 2008: (Mets-Yankees Sunday night game, Santana pitches into 8th inning, allows four runs, Mets win game 7-4): “Ho-zhayyy, Ho-zhayyy, Ho-zhayyy Ho-zhayyyy . . . Ho-zhayyy Ho-zhayyy!!!”
mid-May to mid-August: (Santana goes 7-3, Mets battle Phillies and Braves for first place) “Yeah, hey guys, this is Jerry from Queens, first time long time. I never thought Santana was as good as everyone was hyping him up to be . . .”
mid-August to late-September: (Santana goes 4-2, finishes season with 16-7 record)”We could have kept Glavine for less money for one year and then signed Sabathia this off season . . .”
UPDATE: The above photo was substituted for the photo originally posted, because it’s funnier. Thanks to Adam Rubin’s Surfing the Mets blog(linked up top).