In the most emotionally charged scene in the movie ‘Tombstone’ Wyatt Earp, played brilliantly by Kurt Russell, screams to Ike Clanton, ‘You tell ‘em I’m comin! And Hell’s comin’ with me!’
When the Mets headed north from Florida and embarked on the 2010 season, none of us were optimistic. By the time Spring Training ended we had more questions then answers. The effectiveness of Maine, Perez and Pelfrey was in doubt. We were unsure about the health of Santana, Wright and Reyes. Both our manager and general manager were living on borrowed time.
However, we all hoped for one thing: If we can hopefully at least stay close until Beltran comes back. Well, we got our wish…and then some.
We are now just a few hours away from the return to action of our secret weapon. We have not just ‘stayed close’ but have played well and remained competitive all-season. And this is without Carlos Beltran.
We now begin the second half and our Mets stand at 48-40, only 4 back of the Braves and 1 off the Wild Card. Who woulda thunk it?
Carlos is now 5 ½ years through his 7 year/$119 million contract and lets be honest. New York has never really taken him to heart. Much like the way that whatever A-Rod does he will never be a true Yankee in the form of Jeter or Posada or Pettitte, Beltran has never been shown the same love and admiration that Wright or Reyes or even Johan has. But why?
His stats are everything we could have asked for when Omar signed him. In the previous 4 ½ years that he’s been healthy, Carlos has hit 127 HR’s, knocked in 466 RBI’s and scored 469 runs. He has 720 hits in 677 games. He tied the Mets single season record for HR’s with 41 and established a team record for the most runs scored with 127. He’s also managed to win 3 Gold Gloves, 2nd only in team history to our beloved Keith. In addition to all of this, from 05-08 he stole 69 bases while being caught only 15 times. His 82% success rate is higher even then Reyes. Without a doubt, Beltran is the best CF-er in the history of this franchise.
But yet, despite all of this the one lasting image we have of his time in NY is standing with the bat on his shoulder, with the bases loaded, in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the 06 NLCS.
The one knock on Carlos has been his fragility. Fans and the media have accused him of not being ‘tough.’ The problem with the delayed surgery and ensuing war of words between Carlos, Scott Boras and the front office also did not help his case. People have also spent 5 years accusing him of ‘not hustling.’ To them I say, ‘The great ones make it look easy.’
Later today, for the first time all year, #15 will be patrolling CF for the Mets. As well as we have managed to play without him, imagine for a moment what excitement is ahead in the second half. It’s time for the fans to show Carlos the long overdue respect he deserves but has never gotten. And what better way to get that then by leading this team into late October? The Phillies are struggling due to their own injuries. And while the Braves seemed to have turned it up a notch for their manager’s final season, neither of those clubs have a player the caliber of Carlos returning to the lineup.
He is the rare athlete who can single-handedly carry a team all on his own. It now may be his time to shine.
After Wyatt Earp screamed, ‘You tell ‘em I’m comin’. And Hell’s comin’ with me,’ he proceeded with what historians have referred to as his ‘Vendetta Ride’ where he single-handedly nearly cleaned up the old west and gave payback to all those who deserved it. The west was never the same. Soon, Carlos Beltran will be comin’ back and he just may single-handedly help the Mets clean up the NL East and also give payback to all those who deserve it.