Carlos Beltran wasn't my first choice to replace Mickey Callaway, but he was my second.
Here are 5 reasons why I'm excited to have him back in the mix...
1) He's Carlos Beltran
Beltran is among my top five favorite Mets players of all time, which is a sentiment not shared by a lot of fans. He's often unfairly remembered for a single at-bat against one of the best pitchers in the league with the best curve ball in the game at that time.
To focus on that one moment ignores that in just seven years he peppered himself across most of the franchise's top-10 lists. He also has two of the franchise's best single-season WAR totals (2006, 2008).
By the way, for people still angry about his at-bat that ended the 2006 NLCS, know that he also hit .307 with 3 home runs and was on base 12 times in his previous 30 at bats.
2) He knows what's up
He may not have experience managing or even coaching at any level, but he's no rookie when it comes to thriving and surviving in New York.
Beltran has faced more fire than most people to ever put on the team's uniform. I mean, think about, after having the dumb luck of making the final out of the 2006 NLCS, he was ridiculed relentlessly for an entire winter and scapegoated for the team's loss. Did he cry about it? No. Did he wither and run out of town like so many other high-profile players have before him? No.
Instead, he played another 548 games for the Mets, hit .285, 90 more home runs, got MVP votes, won two Gold Gloves and made the All-Star team three times.
He stood at his locker and answered questions when the team was winning, losing, collapsing in the standings, or spraying champagne. He helped teammates and talked to reporters during 90-win seasons, 70-win seasons, during scandals, firings and hirings. He has seen it all in Queens from the good to the bad to the downright silly.
It'll be hard for anyone or anything to blindside Beltran, which - among the other reported candidates - is something that could only also be said of Joe Girardi.
3) His roster
He may be a rookie manager, but he'll be leading a team that is hardly made up of rookie players. And, his one player that will soon win Rookie of the Year - Pete Alonso - also hit 53 home runs. Beltran will hit St. Lucie and see the best pitcher in baseball, an elite starting rotation, a potential batting champion, a 24-year-old closer with 107 saves under his belt, and a future Hall of Fame second baseman, who is also one of his closest friends.
More important, he'll be taking over a team that -- after winning the second-most games in the NL after July 27 -- will hit spring training motivated by an amazing turnaround and the belief that they have what it takes to reach the postseason.
Beltran is respected across all of baseball, but more important he'll be respected by his roster and other players interested in joining the Mets.
The young men he'll be leading grew up watching Beltran be one of the greatest players in the game. Carlos wasn't a role player when these guys were falling in love with and learning the game. They watched him win Rookie of the Year, dominate a postseason, sign a nine-figure contract and make All-Star team after All-Star team.
More important, he elevated his game in New York wearing their uniform and representing their city.
5) The Hall of Fame
Beltran retired in 2017, which means he is first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2023. In other words, assuming everything goes well, it's possible he could be inducted in to the Hall of Fame wearing a Mets hat at the same time he's the team's manager. If this happened, it would be an amazing moment in franchise history and a unique sight to see...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!