Carlos Beltran hasn’t had his introductory NY press conference yet and WFAN’s Chris Russo is already putting words in his mouth.
“DON’T TELL ME YOU’RE EXCITED BY THE NEW DIRECTION AT SHEA! ! DON’T TELL ME OMAR MINAYA WON YOU OVER! NOT WHEN WE ALL KNOW THAT THE METS WERE YOUR THIRD CHOICE!”
OK, perhaps the Mets were indeed, choice no.3 behind the Astros and Yankees, but what is the point of hammering Beltran (and Boras) for exhausting all the possibilities? When was the last time 3 (or even 2) different employers were battling for the services of Chris Russo?
Since they don’t keep old tapes of Mike & The Mad Dog broadcasts at WFAN, we’re not able to go back in time to see how much grief Big Poppa Pump Giambi caught for taking Steinbrenner’s money instead of staying in Oakland. As columnists from Jon Heyman to Murray Chass to Joel Sherman rightfully applaud the Mets for their boldest initiative to date, it’s fascinating to note how others seem to have a stake in knocking this deal. When Steve Phillips passed on A-Rod in 2001 (using the bogus “24 and 1” excuse), there wasn’t much sympathy from fans or media (especially considering Texas ended up bidding against Texas). When Jim Duquette passed on Vladimir Guerrero in 2004, the reaction wasn’t any better.
Omar Minaya has managed to sign the best available position player and best available starting pitcher of this off-season’s free agent class. That the Mets had to overpay to do so, is undeniable, but keep in mind that it’s the team in the Bronx that is still on the hook for Jason Giambi and Kevin Brown, and just committed $32 million to a 41 year old.
(they’ve really got that Photoshop thing down cold at ESPN.com)