One of the conversation topics I had with Senor Solly and the hubby while in San Francisco is this...it's more of a question, really.
Why is it when the Mets get a big chip free agent, he takes a year to "get adjusted" to the New York team, media and fans? Yet, any other team who signs a free agent seems to pay off in dividends (barring, say Barry Zito in recent memory...yet including someone like, I don't know, Billy Wagner, who is the Braves bullpen savior this year. He's lights out for them and for us he did shit when it mattered).
Adjustment, schmadjustment. My theory is, they are a bunch of pussy prima donnas who are looking for excuses. And we all know what excuses can be like - I'll give you a hint: everyone has one and they ALL stink.
Of course, you know I am referring to Jason Bay. When talking about it, I realized that I, too, was guilty of giving him a pass. Back in April, he had a slow start. Believe it or not, I actually blamed Carlos Beltran. Well, indirectly of course. I thought that without Carlos Beltran's protective bat in the lineup, Bay had to get accustomed to not only getting on base but still drive in runs, which was different from what he was used to. He could still be a powerful hitter, but I don't believe he has ever had a scrappy style on the base paths.
However, as time went on, I realized that I bought into the whole notion of a period of adjustment. Carlos Beltran is easily the prototype of this common excuse we make for players who do not do well in their first year. When he came over in 2005, it was evident after a time that he was indeed paid for his performance in the 2004 postseason and was overvalued for being a very good (not great) player. Of course, his performance in 2006 leading up to his injury in 2009 made us almost forget about his first bad year.
In fact, in recent memory, the only former Met who came over on a big free agent signing who actually did well in his first year but faltered in later years of it was Pedro Martinez. Of course, we can look to Bobby Bonilla as a big ticket free agent who never really amounted to anything in his years with the Mets, barring still being paid by the Mets (which as I stated previously is not as bad as it seemed).
My point is, I don't think Jason Bay is a bad player. I think he is a good, nee VERY good, ballplayer who is smart and a gamer. I think he would have complemented Carlos Beltran in the outfield and in the lineup very well had Beltran been available and not lost due to the injury this year. I also have to believe that though he is streaky historically, he cannot possibly be as bad as we see.
Yet we are all guilty of letting these biases come in and have us judge the players as being "human," there is a "period of adjustment" coming into New York. Why is it that every other team doesn't allow for that excuse yet the Mets and their fans (myself included) do?
If they can't handle the pressure in New York, then don't come here. Of course, we are the only people dumb enough to pay them. Any mediocre player can point to Oliver Perez's albatross of a contract (not to mention Luis Castillo's whose contract pales in comparison) and say - the Mets will pay me. So not only have we set the bar on mediocre talent (which is an oxymoron), we give them a pass for not performing to their highest abilities.
I know Senor Solly, uh, dislikes Jason Bay quite a bit. I have to believe he is not that bad, but unfortunately we have to wait. The Mets have made a period of adjustment a necessity to coming to this team, that they are allowed and conditioned to not perform or simply underperform and underachieve.
This only comes from the top and the excuses must stop. Adjustment, schmadjustment.
Just win some fucking ballgames.