Sep 29

Would you extend Beltran’s contract now?

One of the core wants to stay. Carlos Beltran, 32, who returned from the disabled list earlier this month in an attempt to salvage part of his season, said he wants to finish his career with the Mets and told his agent to approach the team for an extension after the season.

That would be Scott Boras, who prefers to test the FA market.

Beltran, although not a great crowd favorite, has more than done his job with the Mets. He’s been productive and played hurt. He’s also performed in the clutch and has been an All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger winner.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.


His best season, by far, was 2006, when he finished fourth in the MVP voting. Beltran tied a club record with 41 homers, including walk-offs against the Phillies and Cardinals. Beltran also homered three times in the NLCS against the Cardinals, but will always be remembered for taking a third strike from Adam Wainwright to end the series.

That strikeout could be why he’s never been as appreciated as he should be.

What I like about Beltran, is with the season over from a competitive standpoint, he worked hard to come back from the DLwhen it would have been easy to shut down.

“Why not?’’ Beltran said. “I don’t feel obligated. This is my job.’’

Beltran is at an age where an extension wouldn’t be a terrible idea, because by the end of his current deal he’d be 34, and still a productive player.

BELTRAN: He's produced.

BELTRAN: He's produced.


However, if the Mets do this, I see it happening after next season and not this year.

My thinking is the Mets should be wary because of Beltran’s injury history the past two years. In addition, the Mets have so many holes to fill that their attention will be elsewhere.

However, there’s another reason why I see the Mets waiting, and that’s because they really don’t know what direction they are heading. Do they need a tweaking or an overhaul?

The story of this season has been the injuries, and if they return healthy and productive next year, then a case can be made that the Mets are not as bad as they appear. In that case, they’d be wise to bring back Beltran.

Of course, that includes Beltran having a good and healthy season.

However, if the Mets continue their downward spiral, and Beltran has another off-year, then it would be time to start over.

I like Beltran, but I’m not extending him this winter. There are too many variables.

Sep 17

This Day in Baseball History

Looking Back

Looking Back

When things are as bad as they have been with the Mets, one might as well look back at a good time. Last night’s loss was typical of how this season has gone, from poor managing to inept playing.

However, on this date in 1986, the Mets clinched the NL East with a 4-2 win over Chicago at Shea Stadium on a Dwight Gooden 6-hitter. The Mets went on to win 108 games that season, the most in the league since the 1975 Reds.

The Mets survived the NLCS with a dramatic Game Six victory over Houston, and used Game Six in the World Series to stay alive – “and the ball gets by Buckner” – to beat Boston.

Two years earlier on this date, Gooden struck out 16 batters for the second straight start, but balked home the winning run in the 8th inning in a 2-1 loss to the Phillies. It marked the fifth straight start in which Gooden struck out at least 10.

I saw Gooden pitch several times and there was such an electricity at Shea whenever he took the ball. Every start you wondered if this would be the one where he’d throw a no-hitter. He never did for the Mets, but did for the Yankees.

If you have a favorite Gooden moment, or memory of the 1986 team, let’s hear them.

Apr 21

Not buying St. Louis link ….

OK, maybe in 2007 it was plausible, that the collapse at the end of the regular season can be traced to the loss in the NLCS to St. Louis. Sure, I can see where there could be a carry over.

But not now.

If the Mets don’t have a killer instinct now it’s because their players lack it, not because they lost with Aaron Heilman’s pitch in Game 7. We’re a dozen games into the season, way too soon to spot any definable personality for this team.

However, it isn’t too soon to spot some definite trends.

The bullpen is much better than it has been in the last two seasons, BUT because of the starters’ inability to go deeper into games there will be an eventual breakdown due to stress.

Johan Santana has been terrific, but the rest of the rotation has been a pocket full of change, which is to say a bunch of Coin Flips. I have no inkling as to what kind of start we’ll see tonight from Oliver Perez. None. Good last time, but bad before that …. bad several times. John Maine has started quickly and faded. Livan Hernandez has had a good and bad outing. Eventually, three-plus innings a night for the pen will carry a toll.

Another inconsistency has been their inability to hit with RISP. Jerry Manuel keeps saying they should score more runs, but putting the pressure on is more than baserunners.

Pressure is defined as scoring. That’s one of the reasons why I want Daniel Murphy down in the order where he’ll get more RBI opportunities. For that matter, I’d like to see Ryan Church back in the line-up, too. They are leaving RISP at an alarming rate that only serves to put pressure on both facets of the pitching and the offense collectively.

The Mets are in St. Louis tonight which reminded me of the NLCS. I don’t think that loss is in their heads. What should be in their heads is how erratic they’ve played this season.

The Mets are a .500 club not because of bad luck or injuries. They are a .500 club because what they deserve to be.

Jan 26

Heilman: Takes high road when asked about NY.

HEILMAN: Change of scenery.

HEILMAN: Change of scenery.

Aaron Heilman could have ripped the Mets, but took the high road when asked about his time in New York when questioned by The Seattle Times.

“Playing in New York is the only existence I’ve known and I think you get used to it,” Heilman said. “You learn to accept the fact that you are dealing with a very passionate, very knowledgeable fan base. … New York’s one of those markets where unless you win the World Series, it’s not a good year.”

Clearly, Heilman wanted to start, but the Mets valued him in the bullpen. It was always presumed he would have left when he became a free agent. However, the Mets beat him to the punch and included him in the J.J. Putz trade.

“I certainly didn’t look at it as I really wanted to get out of New York,” Heilman told the paper. “I was kind of looking forward to going back and showing that last season was an aberration and to get back to what I normally can do.”

When he’s on his game, and he wasn’t for much of last season, he’s capable of getting hitters out from either side of the plate.

Heilman had productive stretches both in 2007 and last season, but didn’t come close to his 2006 effectiveness. Especially, when it came to keeping the ball in the park.

More than a few times he denied he was scarred by giving up the Game 7 homer in the NLCS.