Saturday, December 21, 2013

Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson could cause a major upheaval within the Yankee-Met infundibulum

Long after Duke Carmel crossed over and became the Jackie Robinson of ex-Met Yankees, dozens of sick, tired and starving souls have escaped the Queens hellhole to find salvation in Fort Apache, the Bronx.

First and foremost: Joe Torre, who so mismanaged the Mets in an earlier incarnation that his best future bet might have been in designing and manufacturing duck calls. Don't forget Daryl Strawberry, David Cone and Dwight Gooden, and the Met double-agent Pedro Feliciano, who never threw one pitch for us. Ex-Met Jose Vizcaino delivered the winning hit in game one of the famous 2000 Subway Series.  And - for me -the greatest transition was Tom Seaver, a caring friend and broadcast partner for Phil Rizzuto. (Bill White signed with the New York Giants, but mostly was viewed as an ex-Card. and YES's Ken Singleton began as a Met, though he made his bones with the O's.)

Which brings us to Beltran. Yesterday, it was a bit weird seeing him take backhanded jabs at his former team. It's unusual in a guy's opening  news conferences to whack the old club, especially when you share the market with it. I'm not sure Beltran gained anything, and maybe he lit a fire under the p.r. happy talk machine that Beltran will be compared with for the next three years: Curtis Granderson.

We might end up viewing the Grandy Man and Beltan switcheroo as a de facto trade. And for the Yankees, it might not be a good one. I still can't understand why we sank so much money into a 37-year-old, gimp-kneed OF-DH, and the real danger zone comes if we trade Brett Gardner. No Yankee fans want to see Gardner go, but he's the only player anybody wants. Whenever we look at the holes at 3B or starting pitching, the talk inevitably turns to what we might get in exchange for Gardner. And for better or worse, it's because we have Beltran.

His signing may be the fulcrum point on which 2014 balances. An impending domino drop of moves stems from his presence.

Listen: I'm glad Granderson is gone. That's 190 strikeouts I don't have to watch - which are especially galling when the guy could hit .300 by bunting or swatting balls to the opposite field.

Beltran needs to outhit Grandy. As long as he does, nobody can draw a target on his back. Because his acquisition - and the moves still to come - will define the future of the Yankees in a way Pedro Feliciano could never touch. If Beltran gets hurt, if Grandy man puts it together, or if we trade Gardner for  another Michael Pineda - the Mets could own New York for the next five years. It's dangerous to tamper with the Matrix.

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