Count Benigno: You would play your brains against mine. Against me who has commanded radio stations?
“When you talk about guys that, ya know in my mind here, you talk about guys that don’t care, you’re talking about Carlos Beltran“- Joe Benigno of WFAN.
Mets fans had the privilege of watching Carlos Beltran for seven years and they didn’t even appreciate it. When he signed his contract after the 2004 season, he was to be the crown jewel acquisition of a franchise that wanted to make itself over. The Mets’ finally were going to be a big market team in the mold of the Yankees and Red Sox. Over the next 12 months their new GM, Omar Minaya, promptly signed Beltran, Billy Wagner and traded for Carlos Delgado. When you added in the homegrown Jose Reyes and David Wright, you had the core of a championship team.
...When it’s all said and done, Beltran is probably the best Met during that period. He may be the best all-around player in team history when you factor his gold glove defense in centerfield. You wouldn’t have known it listening to the fans. Beltran will forever be remembered for that Game 7 strikeout. Talk radio types – like Joe Benigno- questioned his passion, this despite the fact he played on two bad knees through a majority of his tenure.
His 30.2 Wins Above Replacement ranks him third for offensive players in team history, behind David Wright and Darryl Strawberry. Eight of those win shares came in 2006, tieing him for most in a single season with Wright (2007). His 334 HRs, 306 SB and an OPS of .856 gives him a great shot at reaching the Hall of Fame. That resume is even more impressive when you factor in the postseason.
In 28 games postseason games Beltran has produced a line of .375/.488/.817 (1.306 OPS), 13 HR, 23 RBI, 37 R, 9 SB (0 CS) and 23 BB. His OBP and SLG are higher than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Friday night, Beltran’s double leading off the 9th set the stage for four runs and an historic comeback.