Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bye Bye Beltran

"What we’ve seen from Beltran is ours to keep forever, no matter what team he’s playing for tomorrow. Carlos Beltran playing baseball at the peak of his ability is a beautiful sight to behold, and we got to watch it hundreds of times."  Ted Berg

There are some Met fans who have never forgiven Carlos Beltran for taking a called strike three with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh and final game of the 2006 playoffs.  It was a brutal end to a great season and the Mets have suffered nothing but heartbreak and frustration since.  But the Mets would not have come close to making the playoffs that year without the incredible season Carlos had.  He was an All Star, played a brilliant centerfield, earning him the first of three consecutive Gold Glove awards, and put up huge offensive numbers, especially for a Met (41 home runs, 127 runs scored, 116 RBIs).

I recently wrote about great players who came to the Mets with high expectation only to flounder.  Carlos was not one of them.  The Mets signed him after his monstrous 2004 post-season with the Astros to a 7-year contract that at the time was the biggest in franchise history.  In his first year, he suffered from injuries, including those stemming from an outfield collision with Mike Cameron, and his numbers were off .  But for three years, 2006-2008, before getting hurt once again, he was great.  And this year, finally healthy after knee surgery, he has rebounded superbly, making the All Star team once again, and becoming the much sought after hitter for contending teams. 

As a Met, Beltran hit 149 home runs (6th All Time), had 557 RBIs (6th), scored 548 runs (6th) and stole 100 bases (11th).  He has been a great leader on the field and was known for charitable works off the field.  Although admittedly not a deep pool, he is one of the greatest Mets ever.  But with his 7-year contract coming to an end and the Mets going nowhere this season, they decided to trade the 34-year old to the Giants.

I understand why the Mets made this deal.  They got an excellent pitching prospect, Zach Wheeler, in exchange for two months of Beltran.  But it is a shame that the business of baseball comes down to buyers and sellers in the second half of the year, with struggling teams having to give up players before they are lost to free agency -- especially players as fun to watch and who have given so much to the team as Carlos Beltran.  He will be missed.

2 comments:

Stephen said...

Who's Ted Berg? Are you collecting pseudonyms?

Lovechilde said...

Ted Berg writes a blog Ted Quarters. I fixed the link.

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