Coming back off a record setting postseason in 2004 where he hit 8 home runs, Beltran was rewarded by the Mets with the highest contract in franchise history—seven years for $119 million. For this tidy sum, Beltran turned in the most dismal season of his career with statistical lows in home runs (sixteen), RBIs (seventy eight), runs scored (eighty three), and stolen bases (seventeen).
In fairness to Beltran, he started out playing very well in April 2005 until he injured his thigh. A gamer, Beltran tried to fight through the injury and played despite his speed game being nonexistent and much of his power sapped. And who will forget the horrifying collision Beltran had with Mike Cameron last August in San Diego? Beltran shocked most observers by coming back back just 5 days later despite full of vertigo.
A quiet man by nature, Beltran was ill equipped to be a vocal clubhouse leader, but he’s one who likes to guide by example. Despite playing through pain, Beltran picked up several doubters this off-season. His name, that previously topped several fantasy draft boards, was dropped down severalrankings. Native newspapers placed him on top of the “most overrated” lists.While it is obvious Beltran isn’t the player the state saw in the 2004 postseason, he could be a solid player who can contribute in several ways. His skills are most appreciated by watching him a day, where his defense and solid fundamentals are on display.
On gap day this year, New York fans shockingly booed Beltran when he stranded runners early within the game. Beltran, who really took one for the team enjoying injured last year, was noticeably stung by the fan’s venom. Of course, a few days later when he hit a game-turning home run, he refused to travel out for a curtain decision to acknowledge the now adoring crowd. It wasn’t till veteran Julio Franco coaxed him (a lot of than once) that Beltran gave a lukewarm wave. Franco understood it is not a good idea to urge on the dangerous aspect with of the fans. Clearly it is a war a player cannot win, notably in New York.
This year Beltran has again injured himself, suffering a hamstring pull early within the season. Whereas the MRI appears to indicate the injury was far from severe, Beltran took his sweet time getting back on the field. He is now not going to risk his reputation and health for the great of the team since it went clearly unappreciated last year.
Rest assured, Beltran can possibly manufacture solid numbers as he regains his health, but as he probably learned from Ricky Henderson, from now on Carlos play when Carlos ready.
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