May 16, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) turns a double play over St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) at Busch Stadium. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

#BringBackBeltran


That’s the hashtag I want spreading as we gear up for 2014.

Myself, like most Mets fan out there, I believe, do not want to see the Cardinals do well.

It’s not so much a hatred for a team as is, say, the Braves (a team I certainly HATE.)

What the Cardinals have going on is remarkable, admirable, and certainly envious. They have a consistency over the course of their history that you want your team to have. They are a fantastic franchise, and though annoying, the consistency they have had is not close to the annoying way the Yankees have been consistent (because, as everybody from our great grandparents to the youngest of the Mets adolescent can attest, the Yankees are the LUCKIEST team in the history of baseball, and probably in the history of modern team sports.)

And it’s crazy to think that Carlos Beltran, one of the best postseason hitters in the history of the game (just shut up about that curveball, folks…) has never made it to the World Series.

He started his excellent postseason trend in 2004, but the Cardinals beat the Astros to make it to the World Series against the Red Sox.

He went to the Mets in 2005, and the Astros made it to the World Series against the White Sox.

Blah, Blah, Blah…2006…Adam Wainwright….Blah Blah Blah….

No playoffs in 2007…

No playoffs in 2008…

No playoffs for the rest of his (first) Mets stint.

In 2011, he got traded to the defending champion Giants, who failed to make the playoffs. The Cardinals won the World Series.

He goes to the Cardinals in 2012, and they lose dramatically to the Giants after having a 3-1 lead. The Giants win the World Series.

Since I have written about the spirituality and superstitious elements of baseball before, I’d be a hypocrite to say there isn’t something to the idea that Beltran, though a great hitter and great postseason one at that, brings an aura of “you-will-never-make-the-World-Series-if-Beltran-is-on-your-team” wherever he goes.

Maybe he exorcises that this year.

Maybe the Dodgers come back to win this 2013 NLCS.

I certainly hope for the latter, because I don’t want Carlos Beltran to win his first ring with the Cardinals…or even get a chance to win it with the Cardinals.

I want him to lose to the Dodgers, then come back to the Mets and finish what we started.

The Mets are in the position where they need a proven run producer in that outfield. They may eventually have some arriving from the pipeline, but that will most likely not happen in 2014.

You look at the free agents on the market, and not a lot jumps out at you when it comes to proven run producers who won’t be asking for outlandish contracts (i.e. Jacoby Ellsbury.) I viewed Hunter Pence to be the best run-producing fit for the Mets via the free agent market, but the Giants have since locked him up.

So, who is the best fit, and one who will not be asking for an outlandish long-term deal?

Yes, you could include Marlon Byrd in there….but really…

It’s Carlos motherfreakin’ Beltran.

The best center fielder in the history of the New York Mets.

And arguably the best free agent signing they ever made.

People might be up in arms about such a statement, but please. Down in the comment section, name a long-term free-agent signing the Mets made that put up better numbers that Carlos Beltran did as a New York Met.

I could do the work and attempt to put a list together, but I’m writing this at 1 in the morning and don’t feel like it (yeah, yeah, it’s lazy, but this is an opinion post, and I can do whatever I want).

When you google “New York Mets Best Free Agent Signings,” the number 1 search hit is “New York Mets Worst Free Agent Signings.”

I think that says it all.

Even if you don’t believe he “ever lived up to the contract/hype/potential” as a Met, the Mets got the most bang for their buck with Carlos Beltran than they did in their entire free-agent-signing history.

Sure, we may be grading on a curve since the Mets have been rather inept in their 50-year history at that, but if Carlos Beltran is ever so lucky to finish his career with collective numbers that warrant Hall of Fame consideration, the Hall will certainly heavily consider putting him in as a Met.

And those chances will be increased if he finishes his career here, something he has been quoted as saying he wanted to do.

And something he’s open to considering once the off-season begins.

It could be argued that under other circumstances, Carlos Beltran would have stayed a Met for the rest of his career. Clearly, that’s an argument that could never be proven.

Maybe the Mets will analyze the situation and figure that enough people have #BlamedBeltran for 2006 that bringing him back would do more public relations harm than good.

A lot of fans, however, still hold Carlos Beltran in high regard, and would welcome the outfielder back with open arms.

How amazin’ would it be for Beltran to once again hit behind David Wright and finish what they started when Beltran was first signed?

What a story it would be.

Of course, it could all crash and burn…Mets fans have been used to that…

But that consistency that we’ve never had that the Cardinals have had for over a hundred years could very well be finally on its way with an eye on long-term success that the franchise has never really possessed.

You look at the team’s needs, you look at the young guys, and you look at Carlos Beltran’s track record and likely contract demands…it actually makes perfect sense.

#BringBackBeltran.

Hashtag that $*#!!

 

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Tags: Carlos Beltran New York Mets St. Louis Cardinals