It's easy to dismiss the Mets as a bushleague operation that embarrasses their highly-paid starting pitchers and/or places personal vendettas above winning. You'd be right, of course, this is a third-rate operation. They do, however, employ some excellent baseball players. Johan Santana is one of the best pitchers of his generation, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Delgado are all stars of stage, screen, and tabloid.
One name conspicuously absent from that list is Carlos Beltran. Over the past three years, Beltran's performed as one the 10 best players in baseball, providing the Mets with more than 13 wins above replacement. Beltran knows how to make use of all five tools, hitting for power, stealing bases and playing excellent defense. In 2009, Beltran's taken it to a whole new level.
While teammates struggle with huge strikeout numbers and the ravages of age, Beltran has carried the Mets offense. While Johan Santana is constantly buried in a thick praise paste, Beltran sees to go about his business without much fanfare even though both players of provided the Mets nearly identical output (1.7 WAR for Santana versus 1.5 WAR for Beltran.) Beltran may be performing at a level greater than we see here thanks to his curiously below-average defense. I'll give him a break and chalk that up to 1) Tiny sample size for a metric that requires lots of reps and 2) The first year in a vast, funky ballpark may prove difficult to establish true fielding zones.
Carlos Beltran gets an inordinate amount of shit from casual fans for his first terrible season in Flushing and Adam Wainwright's curveball shaming him before a nation. It would be ridiculous to overlook the incredible contributions the man they call Voltron makes to the Mets spotty record of success for the past years.
One case of new Coke Satire headed towards the good people at the Onion for the image