Carlos Beltran, who was with the New York Mets for nearly seven years, hit the free agent market again this winter. Beltran, who was traded away for pitcher Zack Wheeler in 2011, left open the idea of a return to Flushing when addressing reporters in August. The Mets passed on a reunion this winter, inking former Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson instead. Beltran had his choice of suitors, but chose to sign a three year, $45 million contract with the New York Yankees. Beltran, who once offered the Yankees a discount prior to signing with the Mets in 2005, is not fondly remembered by Mets fans. The odds are that Beltran's latest comments won't leave Mets fans feeling all warm and fuzzy about him this winter.
Beltran, who was introduced as a Yankee at a press conference yesterday, didn't shy away from an opportunity to air his grievances about his time with the Mets. Beltran, who was speaking with a pool of reporters that included ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand, shared that he was still upset about being singled out for missing a team trip to Walter Reed Memorial Hospital back with the Mets in 2010. Beltran, who was reportedly attending a charity function in Puerto Rico that day, also had a few choice words about how the Mets handled his injury situation. Beltran told reporters,
"All the controversy about the Walter Reed," Beltran said. "The knee — the organization trying to put me as a player that was a bad apple. I was this, I was that. I can deal with 0-for-4 and three strikeouts and talk to you guys. But when someone is trying to hurt you in a very personal way, trying to put things out there … then we got trouble. Now, it's personal."
Beltran is clearly bothered by how the Mets, and to a lesser extent their fans, treated him. Beltran was one of the more productive players in Mets history, but he will always be remembered for taking a third strike curveball from Adam Wainwright to end the Mets' season in 2006. Beltran's comments are clearly different in tone from Granderson's comments about how he had heard true New Yorkers are Mets fans at his own introductory press conference. Granderson was clearly trying to stir up some excitement amongst Mets fans, while Beltran is bitter about how he was treated by the Mets. Beltran is not the first player to complain about the Mets' front office, but he is the first to take his shots while wearing Yankee pinstripes. It will be curious to see how Mets fans react to Beltran when the Yankees visit Citi Field this season.
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