The news conference seemed to have seating for about 200 or so,
and plenty of people were standing.
The luncheon menu featured chicken and beef satay,
rice pilaf, pasta, green salad and gourmet sandwiches.
The festivities were broadcast live on two television stations, one radio station and two Web sites (mets.com and losmets.com).
How dare the Mets...allow...people to hear...the press conference? (I'm struggling here, to locate nausea. I'm sure it'll get easier. Hofmann seems so strident.)
First, a video was shown that featured all manner of New Yorkers, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Chris Rock to Jerry Seinfeld, proclaiming their city as the greatest place in the history of places.
New York's a pretty great city. Actually, do you have a copy of that? It sounds cool.
It was all very understated, as per the local custom.
Well, the time for restraint is definitely: introducing the best pitcher in baseball to fans and media who follow the team. I'm thinking a terse press release, ("Santana signs with Mets. 'We are pleased,' say team officials, understatedly."), followed by an ascetic black-and-white photograph session. Water should be served (room-temperature) and then local and state police calmly but firmly escort people to the exits.
Then Santana arrived and was introduced by general manager Omar Minaya. Then they lined up for pictures - ownership, manager Willie Randolph, everybody smile now. A public-relations functionary had them turn to the dozens of exploding still cameras, and then to the other cameras over there, and then, could the still cameras please kneel down so the television cameras in the back could get a clear shot? Turn this way, turn that way; the guy had the group pose for everybody with a camera except Google Earth.
Here. Maybe this will help you understand what you were watching. Have you not been to one before? They can be scary and confusing if you've never been to one before.
And then the PR guy attempted to shut down the last shutterbugs and begin the news conference by announcing, "Johan, your public awaits."
At which point, I gagged on some vomit.
You have now induced more nausea than any press conference possibly could.
The Mets themselves said all of the right things - third baseman David Wright said the Phillies were still the team to beat in the National League East, as did Randolph - but this was quite the welcome for Santana, the two-time Cy Young winner. And listening to the radio on the way home, you could tell it was clear that all of the pomp and circumstance has led Mets fans to the inescapable conclusion that they already have won the World Series, before the first golf club has been shipped to spring training.
Well, they did collapse last year, in horrific, almost 2004 ALCS Yankees-esque fashion. But they were 7th in the NL in team ERA, and 6th in Ks, and they really didn't have a #1 starter. Though their offense struggled late, if they had Santana last year, they'd've made the playoffs easily. So, despite Moises Alou being 58, and Glavine leaving, and Pedro being a wild card, you have to say that getting Santana makes them pretty effing tough.
And, in that spirit, Santana raised his hands at one point and showed off all the World Series rings he won in Minnesota.
Ha ha ha ha! He never won a World Series in Minnesota! What a douche. Only jerks and losers don't win World Series titles by themselves.
Santana has won 70 games in the last four years. Here's how the Twins have ended the season in runs scored in those four years: 12th, 8th, 14th (last), 10th.
"It takes 25 players," Santana said, more than once, in response to more than one question in more than one language. He seems a sincere sort, and he has been a great and durable pitcher (although only 15-13 last season).
His team had a .721 OPS. That's 13th out of 14 teams. The league -- the American League, mind you -- batted .225 off him with a .273 OBP. He had 55 more Ks than anyone on the Mets. And this was a down year for Santana.
His career ERA+ is 141. His career WHIP is under 1.1. He Ks 9.5/9 IP. His DERA is 3.20. He is left-handed. His change-up looks like it's being controlled by a dude playing RBI Baseball, who can maneuver it mid-air with a joystick. He is 28.
These are all things you could have written that would have been more relevant than "only 15-13 last year."
"I'm happy to be here," Santana said, at one point. "What happened last year stays in the past. I'm looking forward to '08 . . . We're going to start a new season, '08, and make it very special from now on."
Take it home, Hofmann.
The Mets do not want to find out [what will happen if they are in a long divisional fight]... Because they just spent up to $150 million on one of those green Christmas-tree things you hang from the rearview mirror. They would hate to find out that it failed to mask the stench of 7/17.
(That's 7-game lead with 17 to play, not July 17th.)
Anyway, in an article about how gross and disgusting a press conference was, here are words that Rich Hofmann used in his article:Nauseating