Monday, June 12, 2006

Carlos Beltran

This is my first post since Art Monk was robbed of his enshrinement into the NFL's Hall of Fame. I have been too busy with work to post, but today I need to follow up on a post I made last August.

I say I need to follow up because my wife is sick of hearing me say this during Mets games:

Now they (Mets fans) love Carlos!!!

Maybe if I post it, it will reduce my urge to say it (and help my marriage) whenever I hear Mets fans cheer Carlos Beltran as if they loved him all along.

It is obvious why fickle Mets fans now love Carlos: He has the most home runs of any centerfielder in the major leagues this year and his defense has been nearly flawless. He's batting .297 (team rank: 2); with 17 HRs (2); 49 RBIs (1) and a .406 OBA (T1); a .631 slugging average (1-no one else is even close) and 1.037 OPS (1). He will be the starting centerfielder for the NL all stars this year.

Why is this issue important to me? As a Mets fan and former season ticket holder, I'm sick that great players do not want to play for the Mets unless the Mets give them over-the-top compensation. They have to go over the top because Mets fans can be the most unintelligent and unforgiving fans in baseball, as Beltran's experience here proves.

The list of excellent players that recently said they wouldn't play here is long. Delgado, another Mets fan favorite this year, screwed the Mets in negotiations last year and signed with Florida for much less than the Mets were willing to pay him. Beltran allegedly begged the Yankees to get to around 80% of the Mets offer so he could play in the Bronx. Griffey wanted no part of Mets fans. Glavine hoped the Braves would take him back.

When the Mets have to pay more to attract the same talent as other teams, they are at a tremendous disadvantage. All other things being equal, they will be less successful. And it is all due to their fans.

As I posted last August, Beltran deserved cheers for his willingness to sacrifice his statistics to play despite pain from several injuries. Mets fans should cheer Beltran the way Pedro Martinez did in Los Angeles last week when Beltran made an incredible diving catch to preserve a tie game. Beltran was in obvious pain after the play and took several minutes to get back on his feet, but he stayed in the game because the Mets had lost Cliff Floyd earlier in the game due to a twisted ankle and Jose Reyes due to a sprained wrist. By all rights, Beltran should have left the game; Pedro knew it and stood on the mound and applauded Beltran. I hope Mets fans take their cue from Pedro, not just for Beltran but for all of the players who bust it to win, even when it doesn't show up in their statistics.


Post a Comment

<< Home