Carlos Beltran Refuses To Slide To Avoid Injury: Should He Be Fined or Benched?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IApril 26, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 23: Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 23, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Mets 12-8.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Carlos Beltran has been an incredibly productive hitter so far this season, but his lack of hustle and unwillingness to slide for fear of injury needs to be dealt with, and soon. 

This is setting a bad example to the whole team, especially the younger players who do look up to Beltran and the other leaders on the team.

Beltran is a veteran worthy of respect, but his prima donna attitude of the last two years is getting old very quickly.  He has a $120 million contract and is enjoying the good life with his wife and daughter, but he will not hustle on the bases. This cannot remain unpunished.

Last year, he made no attempt to conceal his emotions about playing under Willie Randolph and begged out of a few games at the last minute with bogus complaints that not even his close friends on the team were aware of up until game time.

When Jerry Manuel took over in late June, Beltran seemed happy and was very protective of his new manager, to the point of continuing to argue with a home plate umpire about balls and strikes in the third inning of a game after Manuel had himself been ejected.  The umpire did appear to be baiting the Mets into an argument, but a true professional does not take the bait.

It may be just a coincidence, but that game was the first time that David Wright was rested in late June, and it would be very hard to argue that there may have been some jealousy.

Beltran has refused to slide twice in the past week: the second time being Saturday afternoon, when he was caught stealing and made a lame excuse about it, and the first time being when he claimed not to have realized how close he was to home plate but later admitted fear of injury.

Here is a link to one of the many articles written about this issue the past few days:

Injuries are a part of baseball and all players go out there and get banged up or worse, but when you are making close to $20 million, you do need to step up and show that you are willing to sacrifice your body for the good of the team.