You’d think that after he was actually traded that New York columnists would stop blaming Carlos Beltran for everything that’s wrong with the Mets. But I suppose until he plays his first game with the Giants there’s still time to slam him as he walks out the door and pretend that he took more from the Mets than he gave.
Today’s slammer: George Vecsey of the New York Times, who calls Carlos Beltran “the symbol of failed expectations” for the New York Mets and, as so many have done, he reaches back five years in order to do it:
Now that era is over, and Beltran has his name attached to it because he lasted more than six and a half seasons, and personified the time with one signature called third strike to end the seventh and last game of the 2006 National League Championship Series. Even if he had taken one last lusty “Casey at the Bat” swing, and missed, perhaps his fate would have been different. But he gawked.
Vecsey isn’t suffering from Beltran derangement syndrome here — he acknowledges that the problems of the Mets for the past several years ran far deeper — but references to that 2006 NLCS called strike are silly in assessing Beltran’s time with the Mets. It was one isolated thing that says virtually nothing about him as a player or his contribution to the team.
Ryan Howard looked at a called third strike to end the 2010 NLCS and people don’t treat that as the defining moment of his legacy. Why do so many do it with Beltran?