Adjusting to Life Without Carlos Beltran
I know I'm supposed to write something poignant about Carlos Beltran, his trade to the Giants and his legacy (and I do have something longer ready to go in the near future on that last count), but I'm just not sure what to say right now.
Like many Mets fans, Beltran's departure is a strange, strange thing for me. Even aside from how great a player the guy is -- a fact which is somehow still under debate -- Beltran has represented something really rare for the Mets: Stability. There's a reason David Wright and Jose Reyes are already in the process of breaking every Mets career record (well aside from the fact they are both awesome): the Mets have had preciously few players who played for the Mets for long periods of time. Keith Hernandez played only six and half seasons here. Piazza: only seven and a half. Gary Garter? Five. John Olerud: Three. Edgardo Alfonzo? Eight. Even Daryl Strawberry only played eight seasons in Shea. Since the year of my birth, Beltran's 839 career games with the Mets are the ninth most of any player. Chop that down to guys whose entire careers I can remember, and only Alfonzo, Wright, Reyes, Piazza and Rey Ordonez took the field more for the Mets than Beltran did...and Rey Ordonez was terrible, so I don't want to count him.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you take the dim view of Carlos Beltran -- and I don't -- he's still been part of our lives in a way few other players have. But like I said, I don't take that dim view. In fact, I think Beltran is the best player I've ever seen in a Mets uniform. And watching him play these past six seasons and change has been one or the joys and privileges that make sports worth watching, even though they suck a whole lot of the time.
But more on that another time. Right now, I'm just going to try to adjust to life without Beltran.