Everybody has something to say about Carlos Beltran leaving and I am most definitely no different. Carlos Beltran was one of my favorite Met players in history, and probably comes second only to Mike Piazza in terms of respect and adoration in my eyes. I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the Mets for as long as most of you – this will be around my 11th year. I haven’t seen many center fielders past Payton, Shinjo, Cameron…a little Perez, Pagan, and Endy Chavez…you get the deal. Even though he plays in RF now, he’s always a center fielder to me and always great on defense. That’s been established.
Here’s the thing from me though… I’m a kid and I grew up loving Carlos Beltran during these teen years. He was a beast at the plate, 2006 was a treat for any baseball fan, and I never held anything against him. The unauthorized surgery was something he needed and as Ed and Kelly both detail (here and here in two amazing pieces), Carlos Beltran was an amazing player and charitable person.
It’s hard for anyone to say that we could’ve gotten more than we did for Beltran. We received one of the top pitching prospects in the game from the Giants, and they got two months of a player and no compensation picks after the season - and we’re not even paying his full salary. Of course, a lot of that is testament to just how good Carlos Beltran was – is - and will be.
My favorite Beltran memory… Carlos Beltran actually provided me with my one and only memory of seeing a walk-off HR in person on June 11th, 2008. Wagner had blown the save and my father was getting restless. I had bought tickets to the game because back then, Mike Pelfrey was one of my favorite pitchers. He lived up to my hopes and pitched brilliantly if I remember correctly, and then Wagner blew the save on a monstrous three-run shot by Mark Reynolds. I don’t know if that ball ever landed. Regardless, in the 13th, Beltran drilled a walk-off shot. Being in person to witness a walk-off HR is something special…The stadium rocks, your heartbeat races, and you feel like you really earned that win. It’s an amazing experience and definitely one of my favorites in the game.
It’s been a very tough week for me because I realized how unlikely it is that Beltran will be back in a Mets uniform. Memo to Sandy – if you can pull that off, you are a miracle worker. Beltran will go down in the Mets history books as a great player, and whether you liked him or not – he put up the numbers to back up that contract for the most part.
To finish off, here’s a little prose for No. 15…
Carlos Beltran : Un Icono
Will we no longer enjoy “El Esta Aqui”?
Although I wasn’t alive for the days of Tommy Agee
Carlos Beltran still had that effect on me.
A respectable man, who sometimes played on one knee.
149 HRs and 100 steals, wow…
But this move wasn’t about the here and now.
It was about looking ahead ; about el futuro
But he was an artist in the field, like Vincent Van Gogh.
If you didn’t realize Beltran was a community man,
Then you shouldn’t be able to call yourself a fan.
Five All Star Selections and almost an MVP in 2006,
I know he’s got a lot more thrills left in his bag of tricks.
He wasn’t the best, not even a HoFer, one could say
But I still liked the fact that he was ours at the end of the day.
They tell me – don’t get attached, personal feelings you shouldn’t compile…
But I can’t help it – I’m 17 and baseball’s not a game, it’s my lifestyle.
Farewell and good luck to a great man, icon, and player
To you, many of us will dedicate a sweet prayer.
Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough, once more, to hear and see…
Number 15: Carlos Beltran… a smile… and “El Esta Aqui.”
Thank you for everything, Carlos Beltran. Best of luck. –Satish Ram