Within a five day span we’ve seen two examples of Carlos Beltran not sliding on plays that he clearly should have. You know what? I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me at all. The simple fact is that when you’re the best position player on the team with the highest payroll in the league you can make judgment calls.
On April 21st Beltran didn’t slide against the St. Louis Cardinals on a play at home. He stepped on Yadier Molina‘s foot and was tagged out. It was a bizarre play that Cards third baseman Joe Thurston made a great hustle play and throw on.
Yesterday Beltran didn’t slide on a steal attempt at second base because he thought that he heard David Wright hit the ball. He slowed up and was tagged out on the throw. Of course, the crowd boo’d him. He admitted after the game that he should have slid.
I’ve heard some people talking about how this is a bad influence on the younger players on the Mets. If any of the younger players on the Mets think that they’re the best position player on the team they should feel free to make judgement calls that are afforded to veterans like Beltran.
Of course, I’d like to see Beltran show the fire and go all out that everyone else wants from him. That’s not the way he is and I’ve accepted that along with his .406 batting average, outstanding defense, and 1.067 OPS. He’s kind of a soft player, not the kind that we like in New York. But he’s also an excellent player, maybe not one of the great ones, but very good.
Frankly, if he can avoid taking a few hits along the way this season he may be able to stay healthy enough to play 161 games like he did last season. That’s no small feat by the way. I’d rather see Beltran playing nearly every game this season than worry about one play and whether he slid or not.
In case you haven’t noticed, Carlos Beltran isn’t the problem with this Mets team. If you feel compelled to boo the home team, make note of every starting pitcher not named Johan Santana. Make sure that you notice Daniel Murphy stumbling around left field like a little leaguer and David Wright‘s .371 slugging percentage. Those are the problems with this team not Carlos Beltran.