Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can Carlos Beltran's Yankee soul be saved?

In the last two years, underachieving Yankee stars have been blessed by the presence of Carlos Beltran, one of the great whipping mules in NYC history. From the moment he signed, Yankee fans wondered what form of brain oatmeal rationalized returning Beltran to a town where he was most famous for watching a called strike three, killing the Mets' last honest chance at anything. And from the day Beltran arrived, he became a poster boy for aging mediocrity.

Last year, he ran into the right field wall and somersaulted like Liza Minelli. He spent the rest of the season flailing at bad pitches and barely able to throw. It carried over into 2015. Three weeks ago, at age 38, he was hitting .181 with a bat that produced more Pop-Ups than Kellogg's of Battle Creek. Worst of all, he sat in the middle in the lineup, killing rallies the way Paul Reiser once killed sitcoms.

Yesterday, Beltran singled twice, continuing a 15-game hitting streak and lifting his average to - well, whoopie - .245! He has only three HRs, and is projected - according to stat gurus - to finish with 16. Certainly, he's not worth the money Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner will shell out over three years, but we fans should never concern ourselves with Hal's money. "I'm Not Cheap" excretes gold nuggets and wipes his butt with $500 bills. (Yoan Moncada now hitting .333 over 18 AB in Single A.)

The real question: Can Beltran help this team and save his soul?

A month ago, I'd say hell, no. Back then, Chris Young was viable. The Yankees had no place for a bad fielding, bad hitting, former Met. Now... I dunno. My fear remains that Beltran, just as his average approaches Jumbotron respectability, will tweak a corpsucle and miss eight weeks. The problem with 38-year-olds: They get hurt brushing their teeth. Also, it's maddening how long the Yankees go with them before cutting bait, always denying young players a chance. Yes, the hitting coaches know more than we do. But damn, it's tiring to always be watching the sad end of players' careers. It would be nice to watch a beginning, now and then.

If Beltran stars hitting with power, the Yankees could take this ridiculously bad division. (Though all five teams won't suck forever.) Beltran will never get a CF monument. But if he could put together two solid years, his career numbers would put him within striking distance of Cooperstown. Who knows? Dare we hope? Or are the juju gods just taunting us?


JM said...

Pray for an injury and Slade. Even a competent Beltran is not worth the outfield slot.

Parson Tom said...

"If Beltran stars hitting with power, ...."
And if Mickey Mantle is resurrected and Babe Ruth suddenly shows up, the Yankees will be Murderers Row again. Beltran got no pop.
And the Yankee lineup is four guys who can produce -- if you include the snakebit Ellsbury -- two or three who occasionally contribute, and two or three who deliver on a monthly basis. Stephen Drew!?!? So glad we got a solid pro for 2B. Sure wouldn't want a rookie out there, not under the white hot lights of New York.

Leinstery said...

Beltran covers about a 10 foot radius in right field, you can't preach defense and only play 8 of 9 positions. Beltran's finest moment as a Yankee came in 2006. Game 7 NLCS, struck out looking with the bases loaded to end the game.

The Sayonara Kid said...

Sat on the first base line when Mr. Beltran came to Washington a week or so ago. I swear he spent 90% of his time in right with his hands on his knees and staring at the grass between his feet, barely looking up between pitches. It was a 1 run game. Maybe it's time for some new blood.

Alphonso said...

Personally,I am lighting on fire wooden statues from Easter Island, hoping to invoke a Beltran hammy. I mean a tear. One that requires surgery, and is season ending.

If it helps, I will go to Haiti where there are other satanic rituals to invoke. We need to get this guy gone.

Any questions?

joe de pastry said...

The guy always wanted to be a Yankee. I feel bad for him because we didn't sign him when he was still good.