Are Mets fans over 2006?

Carlos Beltran seems ready to move on his from his post-Mets career by writing a new chapter for himself in St. Louis.

Doesn’t it seem ironic that Beltran is ready to turn the page with a team that he is so symmetrically intertwined with? As you all are aware, it was Beltran who took a called third-strike at the end of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (who Beltran is set to team up with this year).

Naturally, Beltran has moved on and he wants Mets’ fans to do so too, but can they?

“I’m not thinking about the fans,” Beltran told reporters at Tuesday’s Baseball Assistance Team’s annual fundraising dinner. “I’m thinking about myself. I’m thinking about my chances of being with a team that I just wanted to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs. What happened in 2006, you have to turn the page. That’s over.”

“It’s already been six years. If they want to continue to think about that moment, that’s their problem. But I turned that page. I really moved on,” Beltran added.

Beltran is right. I know have moved on, and I look back fondly on what Beltran did for this club and I won’t let one strikeout define his career with the Mets for me.

The problem was that 2006 team was special and when Beltran was caught looking for the final out, no one thought that the Mets wouldn’t get back to the playoffs. What followed was two seasons of epic collapses with many fans questioning if the core of Beltran, David Wright, and Jose Reyes were to blame. And since 2009, the Mets haven’t even sniffed the playoffs.

Wrongfully, some Mets’ fans pin too much blame on Beltran for these years of futility and dashed hopes. But Beltran has never been the problem, he was just the easy scapegoat.

Where would the Mets be without Beltran’s 149 home runs, 559 RBI’s, .280 batting average and .500 slugging percentage during his seven year campaign in Flushing? Sure, the last three years haven’t been particularly rosy, but for the better part of four years, Beltran brought the Mets to the precipice of greatness.

Now only David Wright and Mike Pelfrey (who only made four starts that year, so that hardly counts) remain from the 2006 team. Sandy Alderson has all but blown up the stench of disappointment of those years and has implemented a plan of doing things his way, albeit met with resistant malaise. After all, it was his shrewd moves that landed prized prospect Zack Wheeler from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Beltran in July.

While there was no postseason glory in Beltran’s time with the Mets, Beltran gave his heart and soul to the team. Beltran was misunderstood above anything else. Sure, he didn’t have the fan-friendly appeal and charm of a Jose Reyes or carried himself off the field that the way Wright does. You can’t hold his close-to-the-vest personality against him. That’s just who he is.

A lot of fans say that for $119 million, Beltran should have been more, but when he was on the field there weren’t many more productive center fielders in the league than Beltran.

There are a lot of people to blame for the failures of the 2006 squad (take your pick of someone in the bullpen) and the disappointing teams that followed since. However, Beltran should be low in the pecking order of whom to blame.

Beltran may sound a bit harsh with his latest comments, but some people need a wake-up call and it’s time for all parties to move on. Beltran has. I suggest you do the same.

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9 comments for “Are Mets fans over 2006?

  1. Brian Joura
    January 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I don’t care how loaded the question is – having the first thing out of your mouth be, “I don’t care about the fans” is not good.

    It’s hard to put yourself in Beltran’s shoes here. Maybe alleged Mets fans bring it up to him all of the time and Beltran felt he could finally say these things out loud. But there’s never anything to be gained by saying anything less than glorious about the fans as a whole.

    I’m glad Beltran was on the Mets and I wish he could have come back in 2012. But St. Louis has a history of being a good place for a veteran ballplayer and I hope Beltran enjoys it there and performs like Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker and other vets did.

  2. Bus
    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    2006 was not a failure, they made it to the playoffs and it was great. I have only positive things to say about that season. 2007, I can get over. Every team is allowed one mistake, and they got the best pitcher in baseball to help correct it. 2008 is the only thing I can’t get over.

    • Jim Yager
      January 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

      The reason why Beltran takes the blame is that he was a HIRED GUN, he took a huge contract to play in NY and was supposed to be our saviour. When he made the final out and the team failes to rebound and sunk deeper and deeper in the NL east standings, it was viewed as his faliure. Jose Reyes will now be that guy for the Marlins. When you take th ebig money people expect big things, fair or not, that’s the way it is. I never thought that Beltran llived up to his performance in the 2005 playoffs with Houston, and, was not overly impressed with him as a MET.

  3. vorn
    January 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Over 2006? What Met fan isn’t over 2006? Or ’87 after the Pendleton HR? How bout ’88 or the ’98 collapse, how bout ’99 and 2000? Moved on…Are you out of your mind? With your blase blase attitude you might as well root for the Mariners. This is NY, pal. You want Met fans to get over all of the monumental screw ups? How bout they win one. Then maybe we’ll get over it. You ask where would the Mets be if they didn’t have Beltran’s stats for the last 7 yrs….the same place they have been for the last 25 yrs watching another team win the WS. Get a grip.

  4. Heybatter
    January 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    The only thing ridiculous about the interview is the writer asking the question. You think a Phillie writer is going to ask Ryan Howard about how he ended their last two seasons with a K? Beat writer is trying to feed into the Mets fans frenzie. The writer needs to get over it.

  5. January 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Game 7 in 2006 was more than Carlos Beltran striking out to end the game and the improbable run to the World Series that the Mets narrowly missed. It was Endy’s catch. It was Oliver Perez starting a crucial game when every pitcher’s arm was falling off (a game, btw, he was underqualified to pitch). It was bases loaded and not being able to drive in any runs. It was Aaron Heilman put into a position of middle reliever when he couldn’t perform the task and did so to the best of his ability and failed. It was Yadier F Molina. Carlos Beltran ended the game. But the pitch was more on Adam Wainwright. That said, I’ve often said that 2006 was the aberration, and that the seasons following were more par for the course. Why any beat writer is asking Carlos Beltran this question six years after it happened is beyond me. The only fans who are not “over” 2006 are those who still for some unimaginable reason hate Carlos Beltran. It was not the “fans” who were asking Beltran the question. I think he’s just sick of talking about it. The team lost, not Carlos.

  6. Dan Stack
    January 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I think Heybatter and The Coop bring up the best points.

    Most have moved on, but some beat writers/reporters always look for that angle when talking to Beltran. So, it never seemingly gets dropped.

    And I agree Brian, he could have used a better set of words when conveying his message.

  7. January 30, 2012 at 12:27 am

    The first time I saw Beltran and the Mets was in 2006 when they had Heath Bell, Jose Valentin, CLiff Floyd, Carlos Delgado, they were absolutely loaded. No way he has the impact in St. Louis that he did when he was here.

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