Call it patriotism. Call it home country loyalty. Call it home passion. No matter how Whatchamacallit. In his heart, Carlos Beltran wants to play. And soon.
Especially in his own backyard. Puerto Rico.
Puerto Ricans since spring time are eagerly waiting for the Mets and the Florida Marlins series, a three-game set on June 28-30 at San Juan Hiram Bithorn Stadium. These games were orginally slated to be played at South Florida’ Sun Life Stadium.
This game has gotten considerable hype in Puerto Rico, mostly because they want to see their Mets locals such as upcoming Angel Pagan, Alex Cora and of course the star of the show Carlos Beltran.
Beltran even surprised his own team telling on an interview last Tuesday in WFAN in New York City that he could play in an extended spring training game as early as next week.
The 12-season outfielder has been on the disabled list all season following arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right knee since last January 13.
According to a report published by ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin, the five-time All-Star has been at their Port St. Lucie spring training camp hitting and jogging for roughly a month, but has not yet begun sprinting or making outfield cuts.
Immediately after that interview, the Mets brass including Manager Jerry Manuel jumped on the news letting everyone were not committed to his timeline.
Most probably they will not say it publicly but they well know Beltran desire is to be ready for the San Juan series.
Again, for all Puerto Ricans this is probably the best MLB news they have heard or read in a long time.
Two months are gone into the season and lately only good news is that two-time Gold Glover Yadier Molina is maintaining his lead in the annual All-Star Game fan vote, according to the second update released by Major League Baseball.
Other good news for the Islanders have been the progress made lately by Alex Rios.
The White Sox outfielder is the best Puerto Rican in the majors,hitting over .300 with 11 homers and 27 RBI’s.
Probably other helpful note is the return of Jorge Posada in the Yankees lineup and within a week should be back behind the plate.
Forgetaboutit the up and downs of local aces Yankees Javier Vazquez and Angels Joel Piñeiro.
According to an interview in San Diego, Manuel said Beltran is on “a nice track” in his recovery and also said it's "not out of the question" that Beltran will play right field when he finally is activated.
Angel Pagan has played well as the everyday center fielder in place of Beltran mostly since the start of the season. However, Manuel expressed that there is a concern about diminished range as Beltran deals with his arthritic knee.
For Puerto Ricans, they will not mind at all about Beltran range or anything like that. They would only love to see the Beltran-Pagan tandem in the same field.
Also, I bet New York Mets fans, wherever they are, will not mind either as long Beltran be back, ready and healthy.
A Beltran return could be the best news in June.