But there’s a niggling question that no one can bring themselves to verbalize—could it have been even better if someone other than Johan Santana was the one to break the streak? Does an individual effort mean more if it comes from someone more closely identified with the team?
Santana’s not beloved. He came to Queens a mercenary, and has anchored some of the more disappointing seasons in Mets history. He’s missed more than a full year, making it impossible to view his massive contract as anything but a disappointment so far. He’s not, for lack of a less disgusting crosstown term, a “True Met.” No one’s going to be wearing his throwback Mets jersey in 30 years. Maybe all that is forgiven and forgotten now, as he’s the central figure in what’s sure to be one of the franchise’s immortal moments, and maybe he’ll lead these likable Mets to an unlikely playoff run. Still, can a Mets fan look him or herself in the mirror and say they wouldn’t rather have had burgeoning folk hero R.A. Dickey be the one to finally break the curse? Or even a homegrown product like Niese or Gee?
Wait… really? Maybe I’m out of touch with Mets fans, but is this something anyone — like anyone in the world — actually considered? That’s not a rhetorical question. Please, if you can produce any evidence that there’s a Mets fan anywhere besides members of Dillon Gee’s family who would have preferred Dillon Gee throw the Mets’ no-hitter, link it or describe it in the comments section below. And that’s nothing against Gee; he’s just not Johan Santana.
If it were Ollie Perez or Chris Young or Miguel Batista, maybe. But really, Johan Santana was not beloved? The guy who’s the best pitcher the Mets have had since Dwight Gooden?
I’m trying not to get too worked up over silly things I read these days, and the joke is probably on me for linking to it. But this one just seemed too far out there to let go. Unless, again, I’m way off-base. So help me out: