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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