Any highly-paid player who does not bring a championship to a bitter fan base is at risk of becoming a scapegoat. When the Mets signed Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119 million contract back in 2005, their fans immediately began thinking “World Series or bust.” They were almost treated to a World Series trip in 2006, but they fell just short in the NLCS and remained — well — the Mets. More than five years later, Beltran thinks it is time for Mets fans to get over that loss.
“I just want to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Beltran told the NY Daily News after signing with the Cardinals, the team that defeated the Mets in that 2006 NLCS. “What happened in 2006, you have to turn the page. That’s over. We can’t bring 2006 back to 2012. It has been six years. If they want to continue to think about that moment, then that’s their problem. Like I said, I have turned the page. I have really moved on.”
Beltran, of course, struck out to end that series. What he doesn’t realize is that New York fans don’t forget. Even worse, Mets fans have not been given a reason to forget anything since 1986. They are used to having high expectations each season and awaiting an inevitable meltdown. This is a fan base that needs something to harp on. Until Beltran makes his way into a disgruntled obituary, fans questioning his 2006 performance should be the least of his concerns.
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