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I Don’t Think I Want Beltran Back (Really)

He’s running again. Actually, he’s jogging. Maybe he’s getting closer, perhaps he’s not. Game shape, definitely. Not even close. The ridiculousness surrounding Carlos Beltran and his health extends back seemingly forever. The reality is his knee is likely screwed. The rest of the buzz – including the talk of his pending return that has heated up today – I choose to defiantly ignore. When I see him in a Mets uniform, I’ll believe it. Here’s the thing, though. I’m not sure I want to…you know see him.

Now, before I begin, let me say this post – in its most basic form – has been sitting in my Blogger drafts for weeks. I sh*t you not. Truth be told, I couldn’t convince myself to post it. Logic got the better of me. As what I believe to be a somewhat educated Mets fan, how could I really post something with such a title. I’ve decided to chuck logic out the window. Angel Pagan’s four hits, four RBI and three runs so far through six gave me a little nudge too.

Here’s the short story. Ever since Pagan started to settle into his everyday center fielder role, I’ve become less and less comfortable with the prospect of Beltran coming back and completely f-in with Angel’s apparent maturation and unquestionable development as a player (in every aspect of the game). The rational side of my brain should be saying (maybe) that Pagan is what many might consider a poor-man’s Beltran anyway (at best). I should be contemplating what Beltran could add to a team that is now nine games over .500. Asking whether he could be the piece that helps put the Mets truly back into contention (with maybe another starting arm). That’s not what’s been going on in my head…and this holds true for the last few months.

You see, I’ll admit it. I’ve never been a Beltran fan. I was one of those who relentlessly booed him a few years ago, even though looking back I know it was wrong. Something about his demeanor never endeared him (to me). He also always gave the perception of being a bit soft. Again, this is what I felt. The stats, games played and talent helped tell a different story. And maybe he’s just not demonstrative…not everyone can be a vocal leader…he shouldn’t be penalized for that…right?

Well, package the fact that I was never fully “sold” on Beltran the Met with what’s going on with this team and Pagan’s outstanding play, and I’m seriously not too keen on Carlos’s return. Could it bolster the lineup, lift the clubhouse even higher and further ignite a lineup that’s finally looking as dangerous as it can be? Maybe. Maybe I’m just too fatalistic a Mets fan and don’t want any foreign elements thrown into a winning equation that always feels tenuous at best.

It’s not just one reason. There are many. Most of all, Beltran reminds me of the “old Mets.” The Mets that underachieved, lacked fight and appeared not to care a whole lot. I like the idea of keeping that team – and some of its prominent pieces – in the past. The bottom line is that I’m not that fired up about Carlos Beltran’s return. In fact, I don’t think I want it to happen. Somehow it’s going to mess up a good thing. It might be the .306-hitting Angel Pagan. It could be eliminating and mitigating the positives Frenchy brings to the dugout and lineup. It might be an unwelcome hint of this Mets team thinking they’re better than they are. I don’t know what it will be, and I hope I’m wrong. But something tells me the optimal outcome is not the likely one.

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