"If I want to be teased, I'll date" -The unidentified loverThe Mets know from failed courtships.
For example, Omar Minaya had a long one with Manny Ramirez. It spawned so many crazy rumors that the courtship was reminiscent of dating one of those women who recite Black Sabbath lyrics while slicing pagan stars into their forearms. When it was over, there was a little disappointment, but also a sense of relief that she didn't kill you in your sleep.
It was also a long flirtation with Barry Zito...longer than just an offseason. Barry Zito was a dance that lasted the better part of 30 months. When it ended, we were all left to pick up the pieces after that long courtship ended badly. In some ways, it was like the geeky high school kid getting his hopes up lusting after the head cheerleader in the shadows for years only to see her predictably date somebody else. There was more disappointment, but there was even a relief when that was over because there were no more illusions and you could get on with your life.
"I thought all along you'd Be the death of meNow, thanks to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the geeky high school kid has found a new cheerleader to lust after with no hopes of a relationship at least until the geeky kid grows up and is C.E.O. of a large financial unit...and maybe not even then. According to the nameless columnist (how dare somebody write and not put their real name...er, never mind), we shouldn't be surprised if the Mets, and not the Yankees, sign Johan Santana after the 2008 season. So what the paper is telling us is that two full seasons before Santana's contract expires, the Mets are the lead horse.
I met one tonight who wants
What's left of me
I've seen that look before
She'll tear my world apart
I'm working on my next broken heart" -Brooks and Dunn
Forgive me if I'm not dancing around the complex lathered up in baby oil with unbridled joy.
Does this newspaper know what it started here in New York? Because I gotta tell you, I'm not sure that this fan base is completely ready and/or willing to start pining over another pitching stud who isn't going to throw a pitch in an M-E-T-S uniform for at least another season and a half, if not longer. You thought Barry Zito was bad? You thought Manny Ramirez was bad? Imagine if Scarlett Johansson rode past you in a limousine, rolled down her window, stuck out her head and blew a kiss at you? And you proceeded to spend two years looking out your window hoping that she would roll by again, but this time stopping and actually exiting the limo and coming up to you and kissing you like you've never been kissed before?
Because this is going to be the lives of Mets fans for the next two seasons, thanks to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. We're going to wait around Shea Stadium hoping for Johan Santana's limo to stop...hoping for Johan Santana to exit the limo in a hard hat to pound some nails into the new Citi Field, then going into the ol' barn to spin the first, second and third no-hitters in Mets history before coming up to us, autographing our freshly minted "SANTANA 57" alternate black jerseys before grabbing our cheeks, pulling us in, and kissing us like we've never been kissed before.
Don't tease me. I'm perfectly capable of finding my next broken heart on my own.
(Editor's update: Proving that daydreaming is much, much better than reality, the Mets respond to the Johan Santana rumor the only way they know how, by signing Chan Ho Park to a one year-$3 million deal of course. The rationale is easy: the Mets obviously can't go a season without having a guy who not only gives up home runs, but gives up historic home runs...from Steve Trachsel's grooving of Mark McGwire's 62nd to Park's delivery of Barry Bonds' 71st. With baseball's tougher steroids policy Park should have more success, although that didn't help when Trachsel faced Jeff Suppan in the playoffs. Park will compete for a spot in the Mets rotation, which is great when you consider that the best success Park has had recently was at 2006's World Baseball Uniform Sale and Tournament...as a closer. Terrific. Just terrific.)