Results tagged ‘ Carlos Beltran ’

Beltran on Mets years: “They’ve got to blame the guy who makes the most money”

Carlos Beltran was officially introduced as a Yankee on Friday, and had some harsh words for the Mets. For the first time publicly, Beltran admitted the friction that surfaced between him and the Mets after he skipped a team visit to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington in 2010, and when the two sides clashed over Beltran’s medical procedures.

“All the controversy about the Walter Reed, the knee — the organization was trying to put me as a player that was a bad apple,” Beltran said. “‘I was this, I was that.’ I can deal with 0-for-4 and three strikeouts and talk to you guys. But when someone is trying to hurt you in a very personal way, trying to put things out there … then we got trouble. Now, it’s personal.

“When they say all that about myself, I was hurt. You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down. In that aspect, I felt hurt.”

Despite all that, Beltran’s legacy in New York still seems to be the called strike three he took against Adam Wainwright in the 2006 National League Championship Series — not the three homers and 1.054 OPS he posted that series, nor the .280/.369/.500 slash line he put up over seven seasons in Flushing, averaging 120 games played per season.

As Marty Noble writes, Beltran finally has a chance to rewrite that legacy — only with a different team. Give it a read.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

In defense of Carlos Beltran, an October stud

For Mets fans, the enduring image of Carlos Beltran in October is this:

But judging him on that at-bat alone is far from fair. With his National League Championship Series Game 1 heroics in the books, Beltran has further cemented his legacy not just as a good postseason player, but one of the best of all time.

Consider: Beltran entered NLCS Game 2 with a .750 career slugging percentage in 178 postseason plate appearances, the highest of anyone with even half that many PAs. (Second on the list? Some guy named Babe Ruth, whose lifetime playoff statistics look eerily similar to those of Beltran.)

Coming into the day, Beltran’s October OPS sat at 1.199, fifth on the all-time list by mere hundredths of a point. And while his 16 home runs only rank eighth all-time, they are the most by anyone with fewer than 200 postseason plate appearances.

The common misconception is that Beltran did not enjoy much of that success with the Mets, which is entirely untrue. He hit .278 with three home runs and nine walks in his 10 postseason games as a Met, including .296 with all three of his homers in the 2006 NLCS against the Cardinals. Had Beltran not scored the Mets’ only run in the first inning of Game 7, he would not have batted with the tying run in scoring position in the ninth. Had his two-run homer not provided the only runs off Jeff Weaver in Game 1, the Mets might never have even reached Game 6 of that series, let alone Game 7. (Endy Chavez sends his regards.)

So begrudge Beltran for one called strike three on a fantastic Wainwright curveball if you must. But do not let that color your perception of what he is: one of the most talented clutch performers in postseason history.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Beltran returns; Wheeler does not

The last time Carlos Beltran addressed the media at Tradition Field, he spoke about Jon Niese’s nose job and his own decision to sign with the Cardinals.

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He made the trip again Wednesday, in a game that was supposed to pit him against Zack Wheeler until the latter suffered a minor oblique injury. Instead, Beltran talked about…

The pressures of signing a multi-year mega-deal, as he did in 2005 and David Wright did this winter:“Sometimes you really want to do more than to help the team because you feel like it’s on your shoulders. But with David I believe it’s going to be a little bit different. He’s been with the organization for a long time, so there’s nothing he needs to change. There is nobody he needs to impress. So he just needs to go out there and play the game.”

His own career renaissance with a playoff contender: “What really has rejuvenated me is being healthy. When you’re healthy, you’re playing games, you’re competing, it keeps me going. And of course the opportunity of playing in meaningful games in October has always helped. I was very happy to have the opportunity to play in the playoffs again, and it was fun. Even though we lost, for me, it was a good experience.”

The trade that sent him to San Francisco in exchange for Wheeler:“It worked out better for them, because I thought I was going to go to the playoffs and it didn’t happen. But it is what it is. I took the chance of going to a team that was fighting for a playoff spot and it didn’t work out for me, but it worked out for the Mets.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Beltran credits New York City for success under fire

As you may have noticed, Carlos Beltran has been pretty darn good so far in his return to the postseason with the Cardinals. He credited some of that to playing in New York for six-and-a-half-seasons, where the stakes are always high.

“There’s pressure everywhere,” Beltran said Tuesday at Nationals Park. “When you play baseball, there’s the pressure of going out there and doing the job. But as players, I guess playing in New York, I just learned how to handle it a little bit better.”

As for his failure to reach the playoffs more than once — and that one did not end well for him — during his time with the Mets, Beltran said: “In the years that I played there, I did the best I could to try to be in this type of situation. It just didn’t happen.”

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/13

Injuries struck Mets camp again on Tuesday, with Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno and D.J. Carrasco all suffering minor ones. All are day-to-day, but that did not stop Terry Collins from voicing his frustration over the rash of injuries to hit his players. You can view the comprehensive list in the previous post.

Tuesday also marked a return for Carlos Beltran, who made the short trip from Jupiter for his first appearance against the Mets. Beltran had some complimentary things to say about his former team, though he was coy when asked about paying for Jon Niese’s nose job.

Here’s Beltran sporting his St. Louis red:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 2/20

Hello, and welcome to the first day of spring training. I’m going to attempt to work this blog more thoroughly into my Mets coverage this spring, using this space to highlight the best content on Mets.com as well as some tidbits that may not make it to the main site.

The big news today, on the report date for pitchers and catchers, was that Jon Niese underwent a rhinoplasty last October at the behest of former teammate Carlos Beltran. Originally a cosmetic decision, the surgery ultimately allowed Niese to breathe better, helping him do his cardiovascular workouts this winter and drop 10 pounds.

Much, much more tomorrow, when Terry Collins officially addresses the media for the first time.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Summing up the Beltran coverage

There certainly has been plenty to absorb over the last 30 hours, from the time news of the Carlos Beltran trade first broke to Beltran’s press conference in Philadelphia, a mere hour ago. To make it easier for all of you out there in cyberspace, below is a catalog of the coverage on MLB.com.

It began Wednesday afternoon with this news story,  which received continual updates throughout the day. The final tweak came early Thursday afternoon, when the Mets and Giants announced the deal and made it official. At that point, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson addressed the deal on a conference call, noting that his team is probably done trading prior to this weekend’s deadline.

I later caught up to prospect Zack Wheeler, the centerpiece of the deal, who called the trade “eye-opening” from his perspective.

In between, there were emotional victories for the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday. MLB.com’s Giants beat writer, Chris Haft, also weighed in on the trade from a San Francisco perspective.

In all, an eventful day and a half in the Queen City, and there was more from Philadelphia. Late Thursday, the Giants welcomed Beltran to the team, before beating the Phillies in his debut.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

World Baseball Classic to expand to 28 teams

The World Baseball Classic announced its plan Wednesday morning to expand from 16 to 28 teams in 2013 through use of a qualifying round. The expansion will give more players an opportunity to play in the tournament, though fewer big leaguers may actually qualify for to the round of 16 — and it’s not yet clear exactly when in the fall of 2012 the preliminary games will be played. Among the teams that now have to qualify for the tournament are Canada and Panama, which could affect Mets players Jason Bay and Ruben Tejada if they choose to participate in the event.

Here’s a list of participating countries and those Major League Mets who participated in the 2009 event:

Automatic Qualifiers
1. Dominican Republic (Jose Reyes)
2. Mexico (Scott Hairston)
3. Puerto Rico (Carlos Beltran)
4. United States (David Wright)
5. Venezuela (Francisco Rodriguez)

Qualifying Round Invitees
1. Canada (Jason Bay)
2. Panama (Ruben Tejada)

*Note: Angel Pagan (Puerto Rico) and Johan Santana (Venezuela) did not participate due to injuries.

—-Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Fred Wilpon and baseball ops

I tend to look at things through the prism of baseball. I enjoy the game, the people and the stories; the extraneous stuff that sometimes pops up does not interest me.

So when I read Fred Wilpon’s critical comments in today’s New Yorker magazine (see previous post), my mind turned immediately of their effect on the team’s baseball operations. The three stars Wilpon criticized — Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and David Wright — are all trade candidates for the Mets this summer. Reyes and Beltran in particular are likely to be gone before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

So why would the owner of the team come out and disparage those three players, calling Wright “not a superstar,” referring to Beltran “sixty-five to seventy percent of what he was” and saying that Reyes “had everything wrong with him”?

Now, shred general managers can flaunt those comments in front of the Mets when they look to extract value from their stars this summer. That premium package for Reyes may lose some of its luster in light of the team’s self-deprecation. The Mets may have just given other clubs reason to lower their offers for Beltran, as well. And what about Wright, who remains under contract for two more seasons? Will he be as willing to stick around long-term?

Judge Wilpon as a person if you must. More damaging to the Mets may be the effects of his comments on the team.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster: 3/17

We’re now two weeks away from Opening Day, and I still have no idea who the starting second baseman will be in Flushing. And I’m pretty sure the Mets have no idea either.

Manager Terry Collins has taken time this week to praise Luis Hernandez, who started at second base for the Mets down the stretch last season. But with nothing more than a handful of spring statistics under his belt, has he really leapfrogged Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Luis Castillo in the competition? Seems unlikely, though perhaps Hernandez could land a bench role in lieu of Chin-lung Hu. Anything’s possible. To that end, it would still surprise me to see Castillo on the Opening Day roster…but it certainly wouldn’t shock me.

For now, I suppose, I’ll stick with Emaus, my original pick. But I will remove Carlos Beltran from the projected roster, under the growing assumption that he will start the season on the disabled list. I just can’t see him being ready in two weeks’ time.

C – Josh Thole
1B – Ike Davis
2B – Brad Emaus
SS – Jose Reyes
3B – David Wright
OF – Jason Bay
OF – Angel Pagan
OF – Lucas Duda
Bench – Chin-lung Hu
Bench – Daniel Murphy
Bench – Scott Hairston
Bench – Willie Harris*
Bench – Mike Nickeas

SP – Mike Pelfrey
SP – R.A. Dickey
SP – Jon Niese
SP – Chris Young
SP – Chris Capuano
RP – Francisco Rodriguez
RP – Bobby Parnell
RP – D.J. Carrasco
RP – Tim Byrdak*
RP – Taylor Buchholz
RP – Jason Isringhausen*
RP – Manny Acosta

In
the running: IF/OF Nick Evans, 2B Luis Castillo, IF Luis Hernandez, IF Justin Turner, RHP
Dillon Gee, LHP Taylor Tankersley*, LHP Mike O’Connor*, LHP Oliver
Perez, LHP Pat Misch, RHP Pedro Beato, RHP Ryota Igarashi*, RHP Boof
Bonser*, RHP Blaine Boyer*.

*Denote non-roster invitee.

Comments: Nickeas makes the Opening Day roster due to the eight games remaining on Ronny Paulino’s PED suspension.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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