Andy Martino of the Daily News weighs in on the problem with hype, projection, unrealised expectations, and something about Mike Pelfrey being the devil.
It is dehumanizing, what happens to phenoms like Zack Wheeler over the long arc of a professional baseball career. In the minor leagues, you are an abstraction, a blank screen onto which fans and media project hopes that have little to do with who you actually are.
Then you arrive in the big city and, as any person would, reveal your normal imperfections. You are not a savior, but a human, and the public can grow bitter. Ask Mike Pelfrey, a first-round pick who became a solid pitcher, and was seen by many fans as the devil by the middle of his Mets years. Or even better, ask the guy whose debut brought more hype than perhaps any pitcher in history, Stephen Strasburg.
“What happens is, that they build you up just to bring you down,” Strasburg said Saturday. “They never get it. Unfortunately, that’s people who never played the game...