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Carlos Beltran “the symbol of failed expectations”

Jul 28, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Carlos Beltran Getty Images

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?

  1. catsmeat - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Maybe those of us who appreciate Beltran should try and re-work that moment as Adam Wainwright’s defining pitch instead of Carlos Beltran’s defining at-bat. It was an ungodly curve, to be sure.

    But, you know, #BlameBeltran.

    • kingkillerstudios - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      Exactly. Thank you. Sometimes the batter just gets beat. Also, it was 0-2. It’s not unprecedented for a pitcher to waste one low in that situation. In fact it’s practically pro forma.

      I’m neutral on the trade itself but the thing I’m most psyched about is not having to hear ig’nant fans crapping all over the guy for that at-bat anymore.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      It was easily one of the best curveballs of all time. There’s a .gif of that one pitch floating around on the internet somewhere that I sometimes watch for hours.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Oh, make no mistake Craig, there are plenty of folk around here more than happy to bring up Ryan “Cookies” Howard and that called third stike…….

    ” 20 Million to keep his bat on his shoulders ” ……..I don’t agree with it one bit, but they’re out there

    • mox19380 - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      I was going to say he must not listen to Philly radio or read the philly papers. Ryan gets roasted several times a week for the strikeout to end the NLCS…

  3. sdelmonte - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I’ve lost patience with Vecsey (and most of the Times’ sports columnists) of late. The whole lot of them seem really grumpy these days. (I wish they’d bring back Ira Berkow.)

    I will say it again: I look at Beltran’s time with the Mets and I see a player who gave it his all when healthy. Was he overpaid? Maybe. Was his contract too long? Yes, but what superstar’s contract isn’t? Was he a bit unhappy with how his injury was handled? Yes, and maybe he was right to be. And did he give it his all? Yes.

    • mox19380 - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      yeah there is way too much blame to pass around the Mets organization. Reyes, Oliver Perez, K-Rod, Bay… heck you can blame players not even on the team like Bobby Bonilla who still raking in about $3million a year from the Mets. And of course it all comes back to poor management.

  4. kirkmack - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    If Beltran is the symbol of failed expectations, what is Johan Santana? or K-Rod?

    • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      Or George Vecsey, for that matter. How many Pulitzer Prizes did he win?

      • sdelmonte - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        He lives in his brother’s shadow. And vice versa.

    • screename529 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      Forget those guys, what is Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        Why not cut to the chase…WHAT IS OMAR MINAYA????

  5. dohpey28 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Beltran was the best, all around everyday player the Mets have ever had. Piazza was a better hitter, but when you add in defense and base running there is no comparison.

    He got struck out buy a guy who would go on to be 64-34 the next 4 years and finish 2nd and 3rd in the Cy Young. He also hit 3 homers and 8 runs scored in the series. Get over it already.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    “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?”

    Probably because just two short years earlier, Howard hit 3 bombs in the 2008 World Series, which was won by the Phillies 4 games to 1. Or maybe not. Maybe because everyone just overrates Ryan Howard.

  7. seanmk - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    don’t worry the ryan howard narrative is building. that was only the beginning. he will be turned on soon enough. Hasn’t even started his extension yet.

  8. vikesfansteve - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Vecsey slamming Beltran is almost as bad as going after lesser likes Jeff Francoeur and his industrial machine every week huh?

  9. buddaley - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Yeah, he struck out, but that wasn’t as bad as that bum Babe Ruth, representing the tying run, ending the 7th game (in Yankee Stadium) of the World Series by getting thrown out trying to steal second base with Bob Meusel at the plate and Lou Gehrig to follow. And they were facing an old and probably hung over Grover Alexander at the time.

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