Carlos Beltran: Why do fans still hate him?

The New York Mets took a chance nearly two years ago when they traded an established outfielder and clubhouse leader in Carlos Beltran. Beltran, who still ranks in the top ten in several offensive categories in Mets history, has recently stated that their gamble paid off.

At the time, the experts proclaimed that the immediate winner in the Wheeler-Beltran deal was the San Francisco Giants. They had gained an offensive threat to balance out their lineup and help give run support to their rotation. However, the Mets would be the long-term winners in the deal, according to these same experts. The Giants missed the playoffs that season and Beltran was gone that winter.

Fast forward to present day. Beltran is a major part of the St Louis Cardinals offense and still searching for that elusive World Series ring. Meanwhile, the prospect that the Mets acquired for him in that July 2011 trade, Zack Wheeler, has been labeled the next big thing. This is a comparison that has not been used improperly according to Beltran.

In an interview with ESPN NY, Beltran states “All I’ve heard is he’s a good prospect. He has good stuff. I mean, he’s a young guy. I think they’ve got the people here to mold him to be the pitcher he can be for the organization — the ace that they’re looking for”.

This quote is very telling of Beltran’s affection to the Mets. It’s obvious he holds them in high regards to this day. And why shouldn’t he? It was the Mets that rewarded him with that massive seven year deal after his amazing playoff run with Houston. It was with the Mets that he earned five of his seven All-Star game appearances.

He enjoyed a wonderful career with the franchise. His 149 home runs, 559 RBI and 208 2Bs with the Mets are the most that he has with any other team. Yet, he is remembered mostly not for these great numbers in Queens, but for leaving his bat on his shoulder in the NLCS for the final out. This begs the question: why?

Here’s a man who did and said the right things under constant scrutiny of the New York media, played the game fluidly and with great grace and was well respected among his teammates. If we were to ask David Wright, the only remaining player on the Mets roster from the Beltran days, about Beltran, he would speak in extremely high regards.

In fact, in a very recent Newsday article, he did so. Wright says “he was the type of guy you want to mold your game after — a five-tool guy that could steal bases, hit for power, hit for average, play Gold Glove defense. That’s the kind of player everybody aspires to be — to do it all”.

So, why the continued hate on Beltran? His peers love him, the statistics favor him and the media are intrigued by him, yet, there are many fans that hate him, even to go so far as to say that he was overrated. One thing is for sure, though he was injured for chunk of the final few years of that seven year deal the Mets awarded him, not many players in Mets history have lived up to their enormous contracts the way Beltran had.

In the end, fans must look at his Mets career with the same level of fondness that they do when evaluating any great Mets player. He was and still is a very dangerous hitter and exceptional fielder. His prime years were spent in Queens and it was an honor for us all to be witness to them.

10 comments for “Carlos Beltran: Why do fans still hate him?

  1. February 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    A number of fans boo’d the booing and there was a groan of disapproval from the Mets bullpen when Carlos was first introduced.
    I stood to give him an ovation and I think the Mets appreciated it greatly.

    • rds900
      March 1, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I loved watching Beltran play – he was always a true professional. He was. by far. the best centerfielder the Mets ever had. He always gave 100%. Those who boo Beltran probably also boo Reyes and think Omar Minaya was a good GM

  2. Steve Rogers
    February 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Long memories of a frustrating era.

    Fans still don’t quite give Kevin McReynolds a fair shake either.

    >In the end, fans must look at his Mets career with the same level of fondness that they do >when evaluating any great Mets player.

    Hmmmm…I kind of take issue with this a bit. Yes to date he has better numbers as a Met than anywhere else, but that’s more due to sheer time spent with the organization. In a lot of ways he is the sterotypical hired gun player. And while you do have that quote, he never really was all that happy being here, and towards the end. Especially when it came to dealing with the fans.

    It really is akin to a “just there” more so than Piazza’s years with the team, or Carter’s.

  3. steevy
    February 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Sadly,I think most players today are of the “hired gun” type,even when they come up from your own system.That’s why you treasure a Wright or a Jeter,because they are a rarity now days.

  4. Chris F
    February 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Its crazy. He’s the best CF the Mets have ever had. I cheered for him watching it on TV.

    • Metsense
      February 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Exactly Chris. Beltran’s popularity and respect from his teamates is well documented. Dickey had so much positive to say about him in his book. I miss Carlos and he could have helped in 2012 (a modestly priced free agent that management wouldn’t consider) but like the Dickey trade, the Beltran trade was a building block to the future.

    • TJ
      March 1, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Agreed. This is a classy player on an off the field. When healthy, he was elite and probably the best OF ever to wear a Met jersey. Too much placed on the K against Wainright, and I think many fans saw him as soft more due to his personality and the injuries. People forgot he came back quickly from that brutal collision with Mike Cameron.

      • Mark
        March 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

        I agree Carlos Beltran was the best outfielder that the Mets ever had.

  5. Steve Rogers
    March 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Bold statement considering the talents of Darryl Strawberry.

    One of the very few Mets who was “Must See” every at-bat.

  6. Mike "Tex" Conlin
    July 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Sorry, but the bat on the shoulder was just one of many times he failed to deliver in the clutch. He was brought in with this massive contract where he was put out there as some kind of phenomenal 5 tool player, and he didn’t live up to the hype. The bat on the shoulder was one of way too many times where the moment demanded a hero and instead we got yet another loser. Right or wrong, many can forgive, but us long suffering Mets fans can never forgive a lack of effort be it real or perceived. I believe, despite the stats, that an unreasonably high expectation was put on him when he arrived, and, while he certainly got the hits, he far too often didn’t produce when we needed him to. Again, sorry, but that’s my and many others opinion.

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