Carlos Beltran was introduced on Friday as one of the newest members of the New York Yankees and, during his press conference, he addressed one of his disappointing moments as a member of the city’s other baseball team.
Beltran spent six and a half largely unappreciated seasons with the Mets. His time was marred by a sub-par first season, knee injury, conflict with the Mets over knee surgery in 2010, and an infamous called third strike in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Some Mets fans have come around and realized how good he was for the team, but the uneasiness over his time there lingers.
One of the big controversies surrounding Beltran’s time with the Mets was when the team launched a smear campaign against him in Sept. 2010. The Mets singled out Beltran to the media for missing a community service/outreach trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, even though Beltran had permission from the team to miss the event. Beltran missed the event because he was in Puerto Rico for a meeting to set up his academy in Puerto Rico, which recently helped him win the Roberto Clemente Award.
“The controversy about Walter Reed and the knee, the organization trying to prove as a player that I was a bad apple,” Beltran said, via the New York Daily News. “I was this, I was that. I can deal with 0-for-4s and three strikeouts and talking to you guys. I can deal with that. When somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble. Now it’s personal, you know what I’m saying? In that point, when they say all that about myself, of course I was hurt.”
Last year, ESPN New York Mets reporter Adam Rubin said the Mets launched a whisper campaign to make Beltran look bad for missing the event, which goes along with Beltan saying the organization was trying to prove he was a bad apple. They traded him to the Giants midway through the next season, and he went on to have success over his next three seasons, leading to him signing with the Yankees.
Beltran has every right to still be upset with the Mets over the issue. That was a low move by them, and it really helps explain why Mets fans were conditioned to dislike him.
H/T Hardball Talk