why don’t I LOVE jose valentin?

valentin This article from mets.com yesterday got me to sit down and think about this quandry, which has been rolling around in my head for a while.

I remember the Milwaukee series when Jose Valentin changed from the guy whose at-bats you’d watched behind split fingers, into the superhero, Grand Slam-slugging guy we have today. I remember sending a text message to TBF:
“where is jose valentin and what have they done with him”
“its someone else wearing a jose valentin suit” was his response.

And, to our continued amazement, it wasn’t a fluke. He kept producing. And producing. And his defense wasn’t half-bad either – he wasn’t going to win a Gold Glove any time soon, but he was no Kaz Matsui, either. He didn’t seem to have any attitude – none was exhibited – he accepted well-earned congratulations with equanimity, zero showboating. He even swept out a rain-filled dugout in Philly during that last day game.

I liked this story. I liked the fact that everyone had written him off and at the age of 36, he somehow found his groove again and became an active contributor, the regular second baseman (even if Willie never said as much). It warmed my heart to see this comeback – not just because it was good for the Mets, but because, damn, it must be a pretty amazing thing for Jose Valentin to have turned his performance around like that.

And, unbelieveably, he continues to amaze. TWO Grand Slams. TWO! From JOSE VALENTIN!

Which brings me to my point. The all-caps up there. When does it stop being all-caps? When do we start to believe?

Last night, watching the game, I asked TBF: “Why don’t I love Jose Valentin? Why aren’t I running to the Team Store to buy a shirt?”
TBF’s response was a very philosophical one about which players the Mets actively market, which, while fascinating (and obvious – he forgets about my MBA sometimes), didn’t answer my question.

I mean, why don’t I LOVE Jose Valentin? We cheer him and we are happy when he does what he does, but I am so not feeling the l-u-v for this guy. We applaud him and we cheer him on and we wish him well (genuinely), but I don’t see “Valentin’s Valentino’s” sitting out in the bleachers.

And I, as a fan, feel guilty about it.

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