It’s not like Fred Wilpon wasn’t telling the truth.
Let’s face it, Carlos Beltran isn’t the player he thought he signed after the 2004 season. It’s true, injuries sapped his talent and forced him to move to right field in the final season of his $119 million contract, and the last two years have been a waste.
THE STRIKEOUT: Nobody forgets.
The contract and signing have looked more and more a bust as the team slid out of competitive status.
Wilpon called himself a schmuck for signing Beltran based on a strong playoff series while with Houston in 2004. Beltran had problems his first year getting acclimated to New York, but there was a toughness to him. Afterall, this is guy who played with a broken face after a gruesome collision with Mike Cameron in late 2005.
Beltran played hurt and for the next three seasons produced numbers, but no, they weren’t the numbers Wilpon had hoped for when opening his checkbook.
Beltran rebounded from his first year in New York to hit 41 homers with 116 RBI in 2006, but never reached that height again and slid to 33 homers and 112 RBI and 27 homer and 112 RBI in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Decent numbers, but more was expected for that kind of money.
And, as with most Mets, there was criticism about hitting in the clutch.
MILNER: Had big day vs. Expos.
Nicknamed “The Hammer,’’ because he could rake, John Milner is another whose career never lived up to its expectations because of injuries. In his case a succession of hamstring issues.
A left fielder and first baseman, Milner broke in with the Mets in 1971 and played through the 1977 season. He was traded to Pittsburgh (1978-81), played with Montreal (1981-82) and spent the latter part of the 1982 season back with Pittsburgh.
On this date in 1972, when he hamstrings were still fresh and had a lot of spring, Milner drove in five runs in a 12-2 rout of the Expos at Shea Stadium.
Milner finished with a career .249 average with 131 homers and 498 RBI.
Milner died Jan. 4, 2000, at age 50, from lung cancer.
UP NEXT: Tonight’s line-up against Florida.
BAY: He can't be smiling now.
I am not a big stats guy. They can be telling, but also misleading. With some numbers, you can twist them into meaning anything you want.
That’s not the case with Jason Bay, whose numbers have been fundamentally telling and just plain bad. He hit six homers with 47 RBI while batting .259 last season. I am aware of the injuries and having a slow start, but he had enough of a window – 401 plate appearances over 95 games – to understand that’s terrible.
An injury this spring has limited him to 11 games and 48 plate appearances, but has only .256, with one homer and three RBI to show for it. Not a great window, but one that says it can’t go on like this much longer.
Of all his numbers, his 14-5 strikeouts-to-walks ratio is most telling. There’s not much plate presence.
With tonight being the first pro sports event in NY since bin Laden was killed, it figures to be an emotional night at Citi Field.
The Mets donated 4,000 tickets to servicemen for tonight’s game. Marine Corps Sgt. Elizabeth Quinones will perform “God Bless America’’ during the seventh inning stretch. The Mets also booked a color guard for the pre-game.
Here’s tonight’s lineup against San Francisco:
Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Ike Davis, 1B
Lucas Duda, LF
Josh Thole, C
Jason Pridie, CF
R.A. Dickey, RP
NOTES: Jason Bay was placed on the Paternity Leave List to be with his wife, Kristen, for the birth of the couple’s third child. Replacing Bay will be Lucas Duda, who was hitting .257 (19-74) with four doubles, three home runs and nine RBI in 21 games for Triple-A Buffalo.
After winning four straight, the Mets have put themselves in position of possibly righting their season. There’s reaching .500 and climbing out of the NL East basement, both of which can be reached during this road trip to Washington and Philadelphia.
WRIGHT: Has been hot.
Who would have thought it after a dreadful stretch in which they lost nine of ten games?
The improved starting pitching has gotten a lot of attention for the turnaround, but don’t forget the offense, which has scored 27 runs powered by nine homers.
Keying the attack has been David Wright, who went 6-for-14 with three homers and six RBI during the streak. Also hot has been Ike Davis, who carries a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game. During that stretch Davis is batting .417 with three homers and seven RBI.
The Mets have also been getting consistent production from Jose Reyes and Jason Bay the past week.
Chris Young will be activated from the disabled list tonight to face the struggling Nationals, who have lost four of its last five games. Young is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA lifetime against Washington.
If you’d like to talk during the game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.