A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Carlos Beltran

Every now and again, the sun even shines on a sleeping dog's ass.
Big Sluggi (the designated former favorite player of Beantown) seems to be back. He had a great game last night and raised his average to .295, his homers to 7, and his RBIs to 19. Hell, he has as many walks as strikeouts (19) and is nowhere near as futile as he has been at this time in years past. And last night, he had a great game in helping the Red Sox kick the holy hell out of the Yankees for a weekend sweep and a .500 record for the season - albeit with a performance against a team in the decline... a team that is looking to one of it's former greats and saying (in the words of Buster Olney):
The bottom line is that Posada is 39 years old and failing at the last task the Yankees' decision-makers believe he can handle: being a designated hitter. The only thing saving his job this morning is his two decades of history with the franchise.
It's a sad day when a team has to kick its former star to the curb.
But it's only REALLY a sad day when a team isn't prepared for the what ifs... take Minnesota who is in dire need of plastic sheets to avoid bed crapping supreme (that would be the fault of the 2 Joes - Mauer getting injured and Nathan just being lousy) as they went down this weekend to the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista who jacked 3 souveniers out to the customers in Sunday's game alone. I know that I didn't believe in him before, but he seems to be in the groove in the relative obscurity of Toronto, which is nice - as long as he doesn't think he can parlay that power into a move south of the northern border.
This weekend was quite a weekend for former Royals going on a 3 homers in one game tear.
With a 3 for 5 performance (all long balls) on Friday, Carlos Beltran showed that he still has a little wiggle in his stride. That said, he's batting .285 as of this fine Monday morning, but it was a weekend to make the Mets remember why they paid the big money to get him after his 8 homer / over .400 batting average performance in the 2004 playoffs against Atlanta (who everyone beats in the playoffs) and St. Louis (who Houston couldn't beat).
Of course, those were different days for Carlos Beltran. He had a fair bit of pop and a hell of a lot of upside. Then again, he was playing for Kansas City, and when he got traded to Houston for the stretch run, he jacked 23 dingers and hit .258 with 53 RBIs in a potent lineup. He quickly signed with the Mets, which is a place where dreams come to die (and injuries pile on like trash in the Hudson). Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, and Luis Castillo are just a few, though fans and followers seem to have many more choices of who the worst Met signing is, but this isn't about the worst - it's about getting out from under bad decisions.
That said, Beltran's 7 years haven't been all hard time. The first 4 years had some power and some bat, but the last few years... half and 1/3 seasons just make the team wonder what they were paying for. Was he really going to hit 40 home runs and bat .300 every year? Would he patrol center field with a fine toothed comb and shag all of the nasty fly balls that came his way, or would he prove to be what most things that do well in media obscurity truly do when the light of the Big Apple shines on them?
That said... it seems like he's just trying to play his way out of the Mets lineup, which would be nice for them if they could get some return for the next few years and ship him to a contender, where he can just be free to decide if he'll come back or not next year - provided he doesn't get injured and provided he can continue to hit... which are 2 big ifs.
One definite thought being... he won't get 7 years, $119million - no matter what kind of potential he has with the decline he's already showing.

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