Mike Silva at NY Baseball Digest has an outstanding piece on his site this morning on Carlos Beltran and his time as a Met and his comments on Mets fans needing to “get over 2006”.
I have to say it took me a while to appreciate Beltran and his contribution during his tenure. I think the turning point in the relationship came when Beltran went to Colorado to have surgery on his knee after the club, namely Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazzard handled his medical care piss poorly. Beltran was furious when the club made it seem he went rogue and receive an unauthorized procedure on his knee. When the truth came out it was Minaya and the team who were disingenuous.
What soured me with Beltran at the beginning of his Mets career was the double dealing he did behind the Mets back by offering himself to the Highlanders at a discount after the Mets made their substantial offer. It pissed me off because I saw Bobby Bonilla all over again. Bonilla, after getting the best offer out there from the Mets during his first free agent foray, took that offer to the Phillies to see if they would match it or go higher. By all rights, Bonilla was within his right to find the best deal possible and it was in my right as a Mets fan to call him a greedy prick.
The other problem Beltran had was not wanting to be the out front guy in the clubhouse. Some guys thrive in that spot, some guys, it’s just not their personality. Beltran to his credit produce as well or better than any position player the Mets ever employed but his personality as seen through the media left something to be desired. But in listening to players in the clubhouse, where the opinions count, Beltran was not just respected but revered.
As for Beltran telling Mets fans to move on from 2006, it shows the major difference in how fans are more of the fabric of a team than the players. Can I get over Beltran watching a wicked curveball break over home plate for strike three thus curtailing the Mets from getting to the World Series? No, and I shouldn’t. I’m a Mets fan, I can’t be traded or released or designated for assignment. I could leave as a free agent but the thought never entered my mind. I’m here for life. Players come and players go but fans are here forever. I still hold a grudge against Yogi Berra for not using George Stone properly in the 1973 World Series, costing the Mets a championship, what makes Carlos Beltran think he’s so special to escape my scorn?