You can be mad all you want at Carlos Beltran for not sliding home in the eighth inning last night against the St. Louis Cardinals, but you cannot deny he is not a great player.
I’ve been hearing quite a few fans complaining about the Mets not stealing enough, not playing with heart, and not getting the hits when they need it. With Beltran, you cannot say that.
Beltran is among the best, if not the best, centerfielders in the game right now. With the lack of great corner outfielders, Beltran catches almost everything that goes into the outfield. Both Ryan Church and Daniel Murphy look to him for leadership in the outfield. This is why he has three Gold Gloves, all with the New York Mets.
As for stealing bases, he has the highest stolen base percentage (.881) in the majors among active players. He may not be stealing right now, but he will. Beltran knows what he is doing. You have to trust that he will get it done. He’s been experiencing some pain in his quadriceps which is limiting him right now. You do not want him to mess with that again.
Now for hitting. Beltran’s batting average is currently at .354 with a slugging percentage of .458 and an on-base percentage of .456. What more do you want? He’s won the Silver Slugger’s award for two consecutive years (2006-2007). He’s just getting started.
Last night’s play at the plate was one that left us all scratching our heads. I don’t care what is going on, you always slide home, or at least barrel your way to the plate to try to knock the ball out of the catcher’s hands.
Beltran addressed what happened saying he was too close to the plate because he was watching the ball. When he realized how close he was, he tried to go over Yadier Molina’s foot, but instead stepped on it.
You know how coaches and announcer’s are always stressing to keep your eye on the ball? In this case, he should’ve kept his eye on the plate. If he was sent to go home, that should’ve been his only concern. Let the third base coach worry about where the ball is. That is his job and Razor Shines knows what he is doing. You just run and score.
Bottom line, do not question Carlos Beltran. While he may not be a gritty players, Beltran does plays with heart. He is very passionate about how he plays and the game in general. The man knows what he is doing…at least most of the time.