After the unbelievable deal, we waited for the physical, and the subsequent dreaming of can-it-really-be-true...I almost wouldn't have believed that Santana would be a Met...until I saw him with this on (and sorry, Zoe, I shamelessly stole this idea from you, my love!!)How sexy is that, bitchez?!?!?!?!?!?!? Yeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh.
Now, I didn't know a lot about Johan personally - I know he is from Venezuela, I know he is probably the best pitcher in baseball (next to Peavy and Webb, and how interesting to see them pitching in the same league now), I also know that he is widely known as a good baseball guy and ambassador, clubhouse favorite, fan favorite, real team player. Well, he came across as all that in the presser. Some things I gathered from the show:
1.) He does volunteer work with local kids. He seems to feel that even though he is a star baseball player, he still can use this celebrity as a means to make the world a little bit better. He is also very articulate (in both languages!), smart and knows exactly what to say. He'll do fine with the NY media.
2.) He is very good friends with Luis Castillo. He also said, which struck me as interesting, that the first person who called him after the trade was Jose Reyes. Had no idea they were even buds. He apparently loves Luis and loves Jose. Score. Built-in buds. David Wright was also at the presser and it is obvious that, as far as psyched goes, he beats us fans any day of the week.
3.) We know he was beloved in Minnesota. But already we are seeing #57 jerseys out there. It is amazing (no pun intended) to have a bona fide Cy Young guy on the team. In my generation! The truly last time we had that was with Frank Viola (another Minny alum) and Dwight Gooden. But Viola played on a Mets team that sucked (well, they were okay...a little), and Dwight Gooden, well, we all know what happened to him.
4.) Finally, I was most impressed with his thoughts about the trade and his willingness to extend prior to playing any game as a Met. He was very diplomatic in saying that he wanted the best deal out there for the Twins, period. And he is excited about playing in New York! Think about how many players who come here (See: Mike Hampton, See: Robby Alomar) and hate the idea of playing here, only to get on the first train out of here the second they can.
Now, as a Mets fan, if you are not truly excited about the prospect of seeing this dude on the mound every 5th day, then you are so not a true Mets fan, I am sorry!! I know we gave up a lot for him, but with this one fell swoop, my Sweet Pea is now a 4th starter. How unbelievable. Oh Pea could be a #2-3 starter on any other team (seriously, given the pitching structure of baseball teams), he is slotted in a no-pressure spot. Amazing.
So now...it's up to the team to execute. Carlos Delgado, please find your bat. Carlos Beltran, stop being a pussy. Moises Alou, please be well for more than 2/3s of the season. Jose Reyes, get your head out of your ass. David Wright, keep doing what your doing. And let Pedro, Johan, Maine, Oh Pea and Duque do what they need to do every 5th day.