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Carlos Beltran: Mets fans need to get over the 2006 NLCS

Jan 25, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Carlos Beltran is now a St. Louis Cardinal. Before that he was a San Francisco Giant. Yet he still gets asked about his time with the Mets a lot. And not just recent stuff. Stuff from 2006.

For example, the other night he appeared at a charity event in New York and he was asked about what Mets fans might think about him playing for the Cardinals, who eliminated the Mets in the 2006 NLCS. With the moment of elimination being the Beltran strikeout that, for some reason, a certain segment of Mets fans can’t seem to shake. Beltran’s response:

“Actually, I’m not thinking about the fans, I’m thinking about myself … I just want to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs. What happened in 2006, you have to turn the page. That’s over. We can’t bring 2006 back to 2012. It has been six years. If they want to continue to think about that moment, then that’s their problem. Like I said, I have turned the page. I have really moved on.”

That’s not diplomatic, but I can’t find fault with any of it. I mean really, I would love to meet the sort of Mets fan who actually has issues with Beltran signing with St. Louis. Or who still burns with anger and sorrow over that strikeout in 2006 to the point where it colors one’s impression of the guy’s tenure in New York.

Every team’s fan base has a moment like that they can point to. You don’t forget the moment, but man, at some point you let it go as a personal grudge, don’t you?

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Mets fans should be more pissed about what happened in 2007 and 2008.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      and 2009, and 2010, and 2011, and 2012….and probably, years beyond.

  2. mjanik25 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    This only makes me love Beltran even more… Arguably the best all-around position player in Mets history, and all some people want to talk about is how he didn’t hit a pitch that no player in baseball was hitting that night… So glad he finally told them all off.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Always glad to see other Beltran fans.

    • dohpey28 - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      I think this is the case of the vocal minority, like radio call-ins, etc. Most Mets fans apreciate how good he was, and won’t remember him for just 1 pitch.

      The other point is that it was asked by a media member, who never let things die. No fan asked him how he could do this. I doubt any Mets fan is hurt by him being a Cardinal. Now a Phillie on the other hand wouldn’t have been well received.

  3. easports82 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    How dare Beltran not live in the past and dwell on what fans of a former team think of him.

  4. thefalcon123 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Carlos Betran’s stats in the 2006 NLCS:

    8 runs, 1 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, .296/.387/.667

    He and Delgado were the only Mets players to do *anything* offensively that series. Yeah, he struck out to end the game….it happens. I still hear people here in New York bitch about it. Blame Heilmann for couching up the homer to .216 hitting Molina, blame Wagner for the Taguchi homer in game 2. But stop blaming the guy who had a great series but struck out that one time.

  5. papasadappa - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Yeah as a Mets fan Beltran will always be one of my favorite players. Dont know any other Mets fans who still blame him but I guess they are somewhere out there apparently….

  6. sgtr0c - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    What the heck else would you ask him about? Reguardless of his feelings, he should be honored to answer questions about his “moments”. You cannot find any fault with what he said, you need to try again. It isn’t like he hangs out with brad pitt, played in a masters, climbed a mountain…..What else you gonna ask him about?

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Yeah, I am always “honored” when people come up to me, acknowledge all of my achievements and then say, “but let’s talk about that time you failed 6 years ago, what do you say to the people you disappointed that one time so long ago.”

      Yep, honored, that the feeling I get.

  7. cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Well, that wasn’t diplomatic, now was it? I think that statement will have the opposite effect of encouraging those Mets fans who still care to move on. Which is a pity. I think Beltran’s right. Blaming one of the 2 guys who were of any use that series seems pretty dickish. IMO, to a large extent the 2006 Mets got to where they were on the strength of Beltran’s play. Given his series production, the game shouldn’t have come down to his 3 strikes if his teammates had done what they were supposed to. That’s what people should remember.

    • stex52 - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Two opinions:

      As a bitter Houston fan who watched as Boras and Beltran played them like fools when they had no intention of signing, I say that strikeout brought comfort and joy to my heart.

      As a fan and lover of baseball, I say Wainwright just did his job. Beltran was down in the count and you could see his response as the pitch came in. The delivery froze him for a split second; then it was too late to anything but hope the pitch missed the corner. It happens all the time to good players. It just happened at a bad moment for Beltran. It doesn’t take away from anything else he did.

      But in any case, going back over that moment with all the other things Beltran did for the Mets franchise is a little small-minded.

      • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        Boras being Boras always rubs off on the players that hire him. Signing him up as an agent should come with a Surgeon General’s Warning.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Beltran gave Houston on the best playoff performances ever given by a player to any team ever. Are you are saying certain Houston fans hate on Beltran for signing a big contract in New York? If so, I think those Houston fans should go hang out with the Mets fans mentioned in this article.

      • gostros19 - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Its funny because he left the Astros because of A. money and B. he claimed he wanted to go to a world series. What happened the very next year and first as a Met? Astros in the World Series while Beltran sits on his ass and watches. Karmas a bitch Carlos.

      • nategearhart - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        gostros19, I don’t think you know what “karma” is.

      • stex52 - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        No, I am saying there are two different fan-boys operating in my brain. #2 won out a long time ago. The reality with Carlos was a lot simpler than people make it; he and Boras were out for maximum bucks and stringing Houston along was part of the game. Too bad for Houston.

        Now he is at St. Louis. I like St. Louis. I hope he has a near-MVP year.

  8. jetsmets65 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Everyone knows that if he would have swung at the ball he would have hit the ball 600 feet

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      That was sarcasm people, get with the program.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Imagine how different many people would look at Beltran if he had said something like this…

    “I understand the frustration of the Mets fans and I definitely sympathize with them. We had the better team that year and we didn’t play up to our potential as a team. We should have won the World Series that year, and it still frustrates me from time to time. Especially since I made the last out. So yeah, while it has been 6 years since that last at bat, I am as frustrated about it as any of the Mets fans out there.”

    • stex52 - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Excellent point. But that is a little over Beltran’s head.

    • danrizzle - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      No doubt that would be more comforting and easy to listen to for Mets fans than what he actually said. But the subject is his feelings on the matter, so I can’t blame him for giving a straight answer rather than giving the fans what they’d like to hear.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Knowing that Fiorentino is such a diplomat, I’m sure that is how he would have approached it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        paperbag, maybe I would and maybe I wouldn’t. But the fact is that I am not paid millions to play baseball. I’m a fan. So I have the side of the fans…all fans…even the Mutts fans.

      • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Chris, since you can’t be bothered to be respectful, I’m just going to call you asshat…..just so you know who I am referring in responses addressed to asshat.

    • nategearhart - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      He DID say that. SIX YEARS AGO. At this point, I agree that the proper response is “shut the fuck up about it”.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        Show me where he said that, ever, even once, and I will stand corrected. Because I don’t remember Beltran EVER giving that exact type of response.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      At the time, he said:

      “I’ve had so many beautiful moments in my career, in my life, this was one of the bad ones I’ll remember forever”

      “It’s tough. It’s difficult. I’ll have to live with that. But that’s life.”

      “Next year, we’re going to be a better ballclub. The front office is going to add [a few] players to the ballclub, and with what we already have, we’re going to be better. We’re going to get to the World Series. I have faith. We’re going to accomplish that.”

      “We did accomplish something. We won a division that was owned by the Atlanta Braves. We’re proud of what we did. We’re disappointed we’re not in the World Series — that was everyone’s goal — but we are going to get there.”

      No where in there did he mention that he was great during the series and his team mates were not….he also didn’t look 6 years into the future…but those seem to be some pretty reasonable things to say.

  10. dondada10 - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Oh, by the way, the pitcher who threw that curve from hell was Adam Wainwright. He turned out to be not bad.

    • thefalcon123 - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      …it’s was a pretty spectacular pitch too. Beltran didn’t swing because it looked like it was going to be high….and it dropped into the zone.

    • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Wasn’t like he was caught looking by Oliver Perez, now was it?

  11. Jonny 5 - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    The thing about this though. It wasn’t a fan bringing this up, it was a member of the media trying their best to create news where there is none. As usual. I’d wager that 99% of Mets fans could really care less which team Beltran signs with. The best they got was ”I don’t care what your imagined distilled fan thinks.” Good answer.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Edit! ”disgruntled fan”

      • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Too bad. I thought “distilled” worked really well. Basically implies that the media person has to boil, evaporate, and condense a goodly number of fans to muster enough Beltran-hate to make a case to even ask the question. I liked ‘distilled’ a lot and only wish I’d thought to use it when I went off all “holier than thou”. Kind of disappointed you did it in error. I retract my wordsmith envy and extend my spell check sympathy.

  12. plmathfoto - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Huge Mets fan here too. I think most Mets fans were in shock that the Mets lost that series in 2006. Many of the comments above are right on imo. A few things not mentioned though:

    I think many were miffed (rightly or wrongly) that he had his bat on his shoulder and didn’t seem to care afterward.

    HIs statement of I’m only worried about me is typical Beltran.

    THe guy has huge years in walk years. Obviously last year wasn’t huge, but here’s injury prone Beltran playing in almost every game, and many question if he would have done that if it wasn’t a walk year. The last time he had a walk year was his huge playoffs hat led to the big contract that just ended.

    • danrizzle - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      His bigtime production in walk years is so good that it’s almost equivalent to what he gave the Mets in 2006 and 2008.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      I think many were miffed (rightly or wrongly) that he had his bat on his shoulder and didn’t seem to care afterward.

      It’s no wonder most players, when asked for their opinions, give statements that say absolutely nothing (aka Derek Jeter Syndrome).

      You see a guy [Beltran] fail, he does nothing, you think he doesn’t care. You see a guy fail [Paul O’Neil], he breaks a gatorade cooler or two, you think he’s a douchebag. You see a guy fail [JD Drew], talks about not being 100%, you think he’s a whiner. You see a guy fail [Favre*], 6 months later you find out he had a torn bicep tendon, you say wtf why didn’t you say something?

      They cannot win!

      *In no way is this an excuse for that assclown Favre. He’s just one of many examples. Could have actually used JD Drew with his kid but since my keyboard doesn’t have a functional backspace key…

    • stex52 - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Watch it again if you can. He froze for just a split second. I think Wainwright’s delivery fooled him and it took a split second to pick up the ball. At that point it probably still looked high, but I doubt he could have moved the bat in time anyway. What do you do? You hope it’s called a ball. It wasn’t.

      I don’t think it was ever Beltran’s persona to show a lot of emotion. We don’t really know what was going on inside. But if any player took any single at-bat too seriously, he would never last in the pro’s.

      In his defense, he was quite popular with his ex-teammates in Houston, if not so much the Houston fans for a year or two. I think it’s water way under the bridge now.

  13. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    They should also be mad at Endy Chavez for not catching more home run balls. If he hadn’t let a few bombs get over the fence, or if he had caught every ball off of every Cardinal bat that entire series, the Mets would have probably won. Makes just as much sense to blame him as Beltran.

  14. spudchukar - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I still believe the pitch was a ball.

    • youngyankee - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      was this sarcasm? lol because i remember that game and im not a mets fan and remember thinking..

      My goodness that fucking pitch was NASTY.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      spud = Beltran

    • spudchukar - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Nasty yes, a strike arguable. Seldom do pitchers get the high outside corner on a yacker. Look I danced with joy on the call, but while it certainly broke about 2 feet, it was borderline at best.

  15. henryd3rd - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    The only thing that pissed me off with Beltran was his not going with his Mets teammates to visit wounded servicemen at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2010. He wasn’t alone because Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez didn’t attend that event either because at that time all had some issues with Mets’ management. Beltran came up with some lame excuse that he had a prior commitment.

  16. henryd3rd - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    The only bitch I have with Beltran was his not going with his Mets teammates to visit wounded servicemen at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2010. He wasn’t alone because Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez didn’t attend that event either because at that time all had some issues with Mets’ management. Beltran came up with some lame excuse that he had a prior commitment.

    • henryd3rd - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      sorry bout the double blog

  17. aronmantoo - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Hey I’m still upset with Ralph Branca giving up that homer to Bobby Thompson

  18. foreverchipper10 - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I hate that Beltran almost single handedly took out the Braves in the 2004 playoffs as an Astro but if he had joined ATL this year I would have been pumped.

  19. dickclydesdale - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Beltran is hated in NY because he did not have the balls to swing at that pitch. If you dont swing you cant get a hit. Basically he quit & walked to the dugout a complete failure. This is magnified because a hit would have put the Mets in the world series & he did not swing the bat. He has almost $200 million in career earnings so that makes him feel better.

    • thefalcon123 - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Really? 100% of Carlos Beltran swings turn into hits?

      Here’s a note about that Wainwright pitch. It was really, really awesome. It looked like it was going to be eyeball high, the type of pitch Beltran could only have popped up. He held back….and the pitch dropped in for strike 3.

      Also, judging by Beltran’s career numbers, there was a 71.7% chance that pitch would have been in out if Beltran had swung. Sorry, at least make your hate-filled rants sensible.

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