Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 18, 2007
BASEBALL: All On The Big Man

After winning 2-0 on Friday night and at least putting up a fight on Saturday, the Mets just got steamrolled by Chien-Ming Wang last night. Which, even despite the game-and-a-half lead they still hold in the NL East, brings us to the core of the problem: Carlos Beltran. Yes, it's been (besides Wright) largely a team-wide struggle lately, and yes, the 35 year old Carlos Delgado and his surgically repaired wrist have been scuffling all year. But Beltran is THE guy who needs to step it up right now. He's still the team's best player, and by a fair margin its highest paid. He's a veteran but still in his prime. He had a monster April, and unlike two years ago there doesn't appear to be anything physically wrong with him (though you have to wonder). Yet since May 1, while Wright and Lo Duca are hitting well (.301/.589/.368 and .333/.420/.380, respectively), Reyes is at least getting on base (.294/.376/.376) and Delgado hitting for power (.247/.481/.307), Beltran is hitting like Rey Ordonez in a slump: .204/.299/.304. The Mets are going nowhere with a .299 slugging Beltran, period.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:49 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

As it continues I am growing more fond of inter-league play. I think it help with natural rivals like the Mets and Yankees as well as many others.

In that vane I would also like to note that my Royals, who have often been lampooned in post here are currently 8-4 in inter-league play so far this year. They ahve played well against the NL for the last several years, which makes you wonder what would have happened if they had accepted the chance to mave to the NL back in the mid 90's. A KC radio station used the Royals winning percentage for the last several years to project out a record for the Royals if they were in the NL and they projected 90-72. That may not an accurate accessment, but can you imagine the Royals in the NL Central? They domintated them in inter-league play last year.

Posted by: maddirishman at June 18, 2007 10:11 AM

"and unlike two years ago there doesn't appear to be anything physically wrong with him (though you have to wonder)"

From today's Times:

PLAYING THROUGH PAIN Carlos Beltrán said that his left quadriceps tightened when he had to run for balls in the gap and when he hit left-handed. But he said that he did not plan to ask for any time off or to hit right-handed exclusively.

For now, he said, he must play through the pain, even if it means that his struggles at the plate will continue. He entered last night batting .143 this month. Although Beltrán was quick not to use his injury as an excuse, he said that the discomfort had disturbed his stride.

“I’ve been trying to find a comfortable position,” he said. “I’ve been trying to avoid putting pressure on my leg, trying to protect my leg. To do that is affecting me hitting-wise.”

As of last Monday, when the latest results of the balloting for the All-Star Game were announced, Beltrán had the most votes in the National League. Asked if he would consider pulling out to give himself more rest, he shook his head and said that he would not because those three days off would not make much difference.

Willie Randolph said he was not concerned that Beltran needed more time off. “He hasn’t said anything to me about it,” Randolph said. “Everyone’s a little sore. Everyone’s banged up, no one’s 100 percent. No one’s going to say, ‘Skip, I’m 100 percent.’ You never hear that.”

But Beltrán did say that if Moises Alou and Endy Chávez had not been injured, he probably would have asked Randolph for a week off to see if that would have helped. “It’s just one of those things,” Beltrán said.

Posted by: Al at June 18, 2007 10:18 AM

If this is true (no reason it isn't), then several things must be looked at:

1. Who is available in the minors who can play outfield and bat over.200, which already makes an improvement. Maybe nobody,. You don't want to put that 18 year old kid into the fire. Bad enough Gomez is before he is really ready--which I think shows you just how good he really is.

2. Move Beltran down in the order. I'm not a major proponent of batting order as vital, but there is some validity to it. It does let you hit the other teams with your best weapons at least once, statistically closer to twice. Having Mark Belanger batting third only hurts you when you want to do early damage.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 18, 2007 11:05 AM

The problem is, someone has to bat up in the order, and after Reyes and Wright, they don't curretly have many appealing options.

Posted by: Jerry at June 18, 2007 2:29 PM

Beltran is leading the NL in All-Star votes. I guess that's one of the perks of playing in NY. At least Prince Fielder is also in right now. See more voting updates here: - Brad from The Sports Desk at

Posted by: Akhilleus13 at June 19, 2007 4:16 PM
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