Do you remember when Carlos Beltran was healthy? Do you remember when Beltran put the Houston Astros on his back with a postseason performance for the ages, carrying the 2005 'Stros all the way to the World Series?
Do you remember when Beltran failed to swing the bat with the based loaded, during bottom of the ninth of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS?
(But why talk about the past, when I can discuss the wonderful future of the Mets)
Willing to waive his no-trade clause or change positions, Beltran enters this season playing for a new contract, and looking to be the offensive spark the Mets desperately need.
They might have found it in new general manager, Sandy Alderson. And hopefully, the Mets will continue their positive outlook for the 2010 with the hiring of a manager who will have all the attributes and characteristics that former manager, Jerry Manuel, failed to display during his tenure with the Mets.
But in order for the Mets to be "somewhat" successful during the 2011 season, Beltran will need to get back to playing like his former self, and display his power and talent that he's shown in years past.
Being in the final year of his seven-year, $119 million contract that he signed in January of 2005, earning roughly $19 million in 2010, Beltran will need to prove that his surgically repaired knee is no longer a bother.
Beltran will need to prove that his seven home run, 27 RBI season was a fluke.
Beltran will need to prove he still has some power in his bat, and that he's still able to be the great defensive outfielder, three-time gold glove winner, that we were once used to seeing patrol center field.
Many have criticized Beltran for not being the outspoken leader the fans want him to be, but he has always excelled on the field.
If Beltran lasts the entire season with the Mets, this will most likely be his final season in a Mets uniform, as Angel Pagan is waiting in the wings to take over the reign of center field.
He might be traded during this offseason. He might be dealt during the regular season. He might not even get the chance to finish his contract as a Met, but wherever he goes, barring another injury, Beltran will rebound and will be a valuable asset for any team looking for a superstar.
It'll cost a lot to acquire him, and many of you will disagree with me, but even at the age of 33, Beltran will be worth every penny.