Ervin Santana’s Revenge
So, you’re telling me that after one terrific start in Fenway Park that Santana is back? Uh-uh. No way.
There were several Angels followers (I will save names to protect the ignorant) with blogs and filling up message boards that they believed in Santana and the guy everyone saw in Boston two starts ago was the real deal.
Sorry, folks. What happened Tuesday is what this kid is all about.
This is the Santana everyone knows. This is the Santana nobody loves. This is the real Ervin Santana. Whose fault is this? Not mine, nor my fellow beat writers.
Thus wrote Riverside Press-Enterprise beat writer Matt Hurst on August 28, 2007, insulting people like me who had written that Ervin Santana’s problems were mechanical and eventually he’d figure it out.
Ervin, of course, has shown this year he’s one of the best pitchers in the American League. And those of us who were called “ignorant” were proven more knowledgeable about the game than a sports writer with a chip on his shoulder because Ervin gave an interview to a Hispanic Los Angeles Times reporter instead of the beat writers.
Let’s keep in mind he’s only 24 years old. Nearly all young pitchers go through growing pains. John Lackey was inconsistent his first two full seasons — he had a 4.63 ERA in 2003 and a 4.67 ERA in 2004. Certain fans on the Angels board called him “Lacknuts” and demanded the Angels dump him. Thank goodness Stoneman ignored them. Lackey was 26 years old a month after the end of that 2004 season, about two years older than Santana is now.
It would be pretty foolish to give up on a 24-year old kid with Ervin’s stuff just because he’s behind the maturity curve due to his upbringing in third-world squalor.
Read through the replies posted to Hurst’s blog and you see the same clueless instant-gratification garbage that shows up on some fan boards. It’s so easy to be a fan when a player is doing well. But some of these self-proclaimed “fans” will stab a player in the back at the first sign he’s human. Garret Anderson has more holes in him than a voodoo doll, a favorite target of those who are more interested in attaching themselves to a winner than offering support when it’s needed most. GA started out slow, but in his last ten games is batting .444 and has hit three homers. Quick, everybody, back on the bandwagon!
Ervin so far is 6-0 with a 2.63 ERA. In eight starts, he’s thrown 54.2 IP, struck out 45, walked ten, and has a 0.97 WHIP (Walks + Hits)/(Innings Pitched). He has a complete game shutout. He’s 7th in the A.L. in strikeouts, and one of only three 6-0 pitchers in the league. His AVG/OBP/SLG are .214/.251/.303.
Everyone is entitled to post an opinion, but that doesn’t grant you an exemption from criticism when your “opinion” turned out to be flat wrong. People who call themselves “fans” but jump ship at the first hint of trouble have no cause for complaint when held accountable for their words.
Meanwhile, whipping boys like Ervin Santana and Garret Anderson go about their business, successful major leaguers, while their critics remain seated in the stands, hoping their ill-informed rants are lost in the anonymity of the crowd.