You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Seems like the Mets can't catch a break these days. When the Mets went out of their minds in '06 and put a whoopin' on everyone in the NL, out came the haters. When the Mets 'choked' as Met-haters like to call it in 2007, all was good in the rest of the NL East. Now that Johan Santana is in tow, representing the 'ace' the Mets needed, all of a sudden I'm hearing things like: "I hope Johan AND Pedro get injured", "The Mets still aren't that good", "The Mets still have questions", etc.
Well, I have a question: Why can't the fans of other teams just concede the fact that the Mets got what they needed in Johan, and now it's going to be a competitive season in the NL East? If Johan happened upon any other team in the league, I'd be disappointed, but not hateful of that team. I'd simply wonder why management didn't do what they needed to do to get him, and express hope that either Livan Hernandez or Kyle (I'm still not signed) Lohse could help the Mets get back to winning ball games. I'm not saying one has to renounce his allegiance to their team (though joining the Mets bandwagon at this point may still be permissible), but 'geez', the Mets need for an ace was obvious in 2006 and 2007. If they had one, you can bet they would have easily beaten the Cardinals in '06; and they sure wouldn't have given, yes given the division over to the Phillies on the last day of last season. But, I don't have to think about that because Johan is down in Port St. Lucie iat this moment as a member of, and working out with the Mets...and will be for the next 7 years.
Now that they've got an ace, LOOK OUT! The offense is more or less the same as it was last season (pretty potent), and everyone in the starting rotation is moving back a slot for Johan. Pedro is just as good if not better than any #2 in the league, John Maine and Oliver Perez as the Mets' third and fourth starter (remember both had 15 wins); and El Duque, the Mets' best starter last season regardless of how old we all speculate he is, is the fifth starter. What a luxury. The bullpen is going to be stronger and more defined not only because of Johan's presence in the rotation, but because Duaner Sanchez is healthy. The bench is deep; and everyone who was with the club in September is going to be playing this season with a huge chip on their shoulder. Note to the rest of the league: this season isn't about adding Johan Santana as much as it is about the Mets getting back to playing the kind of baseball they were playing two years ago when they were thrashing everyone in sight!
Just when you think all that is too much, Carlos Beltran goes out today and tells some reporter to "Tell Jimmy Rollins the Mets are the team to beat". Carlos Beltran??? On what side of the bed did he wake up this morning? Usually humble and reserved, Beltran must know something we don't: The Mets are hungry for revenge, they've have heard all the mess being talked about them this winter; and everything's in place to resume whipping the crap out of everyone in sight. If there weren't enough Met-haters before this, certainly there are a slew more now.....especially those living near Citizen's Bank Park.
It's going to be a great season. For all those who questioned the Mets' leadership in the clubhouse, I think we've found it....and his name is Carlos Beltran.
Let's go, Mets!!!