First off, I want to sincerely thank all of you who took the time to read and comment/tweet or just think about my little “Birthday” story yesterday. The fact that it was so well received is very refreshing and motivational for me.
Now let’s move on to bigger (?) and better (?) things.
Carlos Beltran has “decided” to take his multimillion dollar everyday superstar centerfielder contract and shift himself over to Right Field for, wait for it, “The Good of the Team”.
If the soon to be 34 year old, Beltran’s health is an issue, why, after a 2010 second half filled with talk of a full recovery in the offseason and Mets press releases as recent as 10 days ago, stating that the “centerfielder” is feeling great and ready for a full productive season (even though he’ll be rested from outfield play this spring), is Carlos moving to right field?
My inclination is that this is once again a case of Carlo$ doing what’s best for Carlo$ in much the same manner as his not informing the club of his “elective” right knee surgery last January which cost him and the club the first half of last season. This move while on the surface seems like an effort to reduce the tension created by Angel Pagan playing CF is actually Beltran’s realization and acceptance that reduced wear and tear on the knee playing right field as well as his knowledge that the knee is not sound will help him be more productive which “might’ be a good thing for the club and certainly couldn’t be due to the fact that this is Carlo$’ “Walk Year”.
Admittedly, I am a cynical SOB, but, I as a Mets fan want to see Beltran perform up to his proven abilities and realize that without a 25 HR, 110 RBI and 30 SB season from him, the club will be extremely hard pressed to be competitive in 2011. Carlos and his representatives have sent a message to Mets management and Mets fans saying “For the Mets sake, we hope Carlos has a great first half and the team is able to trade him before the deadline for something of value quite simply because nothing will alter the fact that Carlo$ Beltran will not be back in Mets pinstripes after this season”.
I don’t begrudge a player getting the best he can for himself and his family in the free market that is MLB, but not to the level of pointing a gun at the Mets’ collective heads saying basically, “If I have to play center, I won’t be as productive because my knee is not healthy enough”.
All that said I hope I’m wrong, but I see a 12 Homer, 45 RBI and 8 SB first half from Beltran which doesn’t translate into anything of great value as a return in a trade. The Mets will once again be “forced’ to take what they can for Carlos at the trade deadline and watch the second half as he tears it up for an AL team (Angels/Rangers?) as a part time outfielder and DH which will earn him another, yet shorter term, and final big MLB payday. The mid season trade will bring to a close the “Blame Beltran Era.”
On the “bright” side the Mets have gotten some nice early, somewhat surprising, performances from the likes of Daniel Murphy (trying to win the 2B job or maybe a utility spot) Jason Isringhausen (maybe a set up bullpen spot) Fernando Martinez (trying to justify all the hype and make the club as a 4th outfielder) and even Ruben Tejada (fighting for the 2B job as well).
The Mets, 2-1-1 this spring head to Viera for another tussle with the Nats before trekking over to Jupiter on Wednesday to face the Adam Wainwright less St. Louis Cardinals who, on Monday, dropped their Grapefruit League opener to the Florida Marlins, 6-3, despite a Lance Berkman HR. The Redbirds face the Marlins again today in Jupiter.
Here’s to hoping that Carlos Beltran and the Mets overall can provide some impetus for a reduction in my usual cynicism.
As Always...LET’S GO METS!!!!