Thursday, July 28, 2011

Goodbye, Carlos Beltran

It's official. Carlos Beltran is gone. Signed, sealed, and delivered to San Francisco in time to be in tonight's lineup against Philadelphia.

As word leaked out that the trade was taking place, I noticed a funny thing on Twitter. All of a sudden, Beltran was being thanked by Mets fans who, for years, considered him "soft" and even more ridiculous, "selfish" for supposedly caring more about himself than the team.

Perhaps for many fans, the trade of Beltran helped them realize that you really "Don't know what you got till it's gone."

New York has had a love/hate relationship with Beltran since his arrival seven years ago. There were those who loved him, and then there were those who just plain loved to hate him.

He will forever be remembered for that third strike in game seven of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals in 2006. But what about all of the other pitches he did swing at, and made contact?

In his seven years with the Mets, Beltran had 551 hits, 149 home runs, 559 RBIs, and 100 stolen bases.

In 2011 alone, he played 98 games, hit 15 home runs, 30 doubles, 66 RBIs, and three stolen bases. Not bad for a guy who wasn't expected to play too often this season.

In the beginning of Spring Training, there was talk that Beltran may be moved to right field. How disappointed the Media and the haters must have been to learn that Beltran had no problem with the move, which allowed Angel Pagan to become the team's new everyday center fielder.

So selfish.

It appears that Beltran knew his days were numbered. Following Tuesday's game, he took his teammates out to dinner, footing a pretty hefty bill.

I, for one, wasn't terribly heartbroken about the trade of Beltran. Maybe that's because I've been expecting it for months now. I've had time to brace myself.

In the next few days, I expect to see articles with quotes from Beltran stating his appreciation for New York and Mets fans. I don't need the quotes though.

If Beltran wants to show gratitude, he can do what he does best. Play baseball. Help the Giants beat up on the Phillies tonight, or better yet, help knock them out of the NLCS in October.

I wish you well, Carlos. Good luck.

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