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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

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Did He Really Once Call Them 'The New Mets'?

“I am totally surprised by the reaction to my recent knee surgery.”

Honestly, this is better than the Jay-Conan thing. I mean, yeah, I know, we don’t want to be without Carlos Beltran, and it won’t be the least bit funny come April 5 when Angel Pagan is waiting for a fly ball in left only to realize he’s supposed to be in center, but still…

“Any accusations that I ignored or defied the team’s wishes are simply false.”

First the Mets don’t know about the surgery. Then the Mets kind of know about it, but wanted to mull it over. And they need to talk to a lawyer.

“I also spoke to Omar Minaya about the surgery on Tuesday.  He did not ask me to wait, or to get another doctor’s opinion.  He just wished me well.”

Now the party of the knee part, Beltran, issues a statement saying, no, the Mets are a bunch of liars…either that or Omar Minaya should check with Drs. Steadman and Altchek regarding treatment for short-term memory loss.

“No one from the team raised any issue until Wednesday, after I was already in surgery.  I do not know what else I could have done.”

Maybe Minaya didn’t realize it was Carlos Beltran on the phone. Maybe he thought it was Rigo Beltran (I heard those two were tight). Maybe calling the GM doesn’t count as notification. Or maybe Carlos is just in this to cause trouble. Incidentally, I hope Carlos is feeling up to attending the Baseball Writers’ dinner next week to pick up his Joan Payson Award for community service.

“The most important thing here is that the surgery was a total success and I expect to be back on the field playing the game I love sooner rather than later.”

Let’s be clear on something: As much as we love the Mets, this is not, as I heard it referred to Wednesday night, a disaster. Haiti’s a disaster. This is just embarrassing and semi-professional. And if the fallout isn’t all that amusing from the standpoint of rooting for the Mets to win ballgames, well, it is pretty much par for what has become the course with this organization, and if you don’t laugh at it (in January, anyway), you might cry from it. John Ricco, whom I guess Carlos Beltran didn’t call before surgery, said the Mets were “disappointed” by the process and/or the player.

Disappointed? Gads, that’s so last decade. Or did the last one never end? In any event, as the man said, the most important thing here is that the surgery was a total success and he expects to be back on the field playing the game he loves sooner rather than later.

From Carlos Beltran’s mouth to Omar Minaya’s ear.

13 comments to Did He Really Once Call Them ‘The New Mets’?

  • Let’s be clear on something: As much as we love the Mets, this is not, as I heard it referred to Wednesday night, a disaster. Haiti’s a disaster. This is just embarrassing and semi-professional.

    True. But it’s ridiculously embarrassing and semi-professional.

    I wish I could add that it’s uncharacteristic. But, sadly, it’s par for the course these days.

    I’m just shaking my head….

  • John Isom

    “this is not, as I heard it referred to Wednesday night, a disaster. Haiti’s a disaster. This is just embarrassing and semi-professional.”

    bravo. keep these things, knees things, in perspective.

  • Andee

    What makes this even more bizarre is the fact that Minaya has apparently been gagged by the organization from talking about it, and Jeff Wilpon (who allegedly was with Minaya at the time he gave Beltran the green light) isn’t talking either.

    I’m pretty sure Beltran isn’t lying, but he’s about the only one I can be sure about here. It would be truly creme de la weird, though, if this wound up being Wilpon pere versus Wilpon fils. How else could Minaya sign off on something and his second-in-command having to be trotted out in a press conference to claim it didn’t happen, without letting Minaya himself have any input? And Jeff pulling a powder too? I must be on acid.

    In either case, this pretty much makes Omar look like the world’s most expensive envelope-stuffer. If he ever had any real say within the organization, those days are long gone. Which is why I kind of think firing him would be beside the point. In fact, they seem to be doing everything they possibly can to gaslight the shit out of him so he’ll resign.

    • This is one of the reasons I’m thinking Omar shouldn’t be fired. I actually think he’s a pretty smart GM, just, obviously, being undercut. It feels like this may have been a power play on his part. As he said way back when he got hired, he would be acting will full autonomy. He’s still acting with it (i.e. telling Beltran good luck as if he was the GM), he just doesn’t, if he even ever had it, have it. The Mets chose to undercut and make themselves look silly rather suggest a unified front behind Omar.

      It’s not a disaster, and isn’t deserved of Knick comparisons, because despite the drama, this is roughly what had to happen. Beltran had the surgery, successfully. Maybe he could’ve gotten it done a week or two ago, but that’s about it. He was healthy at the end of the season, in November, and then went through the process of referrals to Colorado and what not.

      Joel Sherman’s recent article mentioned a line that the Wilpons said they needed written, not verbal, notification. Could they really just be pissy about protocol and paperwork? If they had gotten that Tuesday would it not have been an issue? Would they have talked Wednesday and decided to go ahead with the surgery anyway?

  • pfh64

    No one should be surprised at any of this…but of course this is how screwed up the players association is…you must sign for the most money, no matter how screwed up an organization is…why is it that I can picture players begging the union, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE don’t make me sign with the Mets? Which of course, doesn’t begin to talk about how screwed up we all know the Mets are.

    • NostraDennis

      pfh64 – A player I met a few months ago was considering signing with the Mets two off-seasons ago. Without betraying his confidence, I can share only that he learned Omar was “not dealing in good faith” (his quote). How many other players who might have become Mets have had this same experience?

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Greg Prince. Greg Prince said: Did Carlos Beltran really once call his team "The New #Mets"? They seem pretty same old right now. http://wp.me/pKvXu-15r [...]

  • Dak442

    I have the feeling that, as in most disputes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Did Carlos just up and decide “Heck, I think I’ll have illicit knee surgery today”? Doubtful. Did he and Boras dutifully fill in the Met organization as is contractually stipulated or considered standard practice? Doubt that, too. I’m thinking two not-terribly-bright guys had a phone conversation. “Hey, Omar, it’s Carlos. Listen, I’m in Colorado and I’m gonna have this doctor take a look at my knee and see what he says.” “OK, good luck, let me know how it goes, you know what I’m sayin’.” In the real business world there are paper trails, saved emails and CYA memos. In baseball, or at least in Met world, there is this. If Boras can’t produce a written document stating Beltran plans to have surgery, this is on him; he’s paid to be the grownup.

    Whatever; what’s done is done. Hopefully this won’t really be the longest rehab from arthroscopy in recorded history, and hopefully the alarmist yesterday’s Daily News who voiced concern that Beltran might never be the same player again is off-base.

    To be totally honest, I wasn’t putting a lot of stock in playoff hopes for this season BEFORE Kneegate. So, whatever.

    • I keep telling people the same thing. They come to me yelling and whining and I say, “were we going to win the World Series this year? No. So what does it matter? It’s just another year of getting lemons and trying to somehow make lemonade. We’re good at that. We’ll be back in 2011 to give it another shot, don’t worry.”

      And good for Beltran. If he did indeed go behind the front office’s back, it was 100% the right move.

  • Danjson

    I just cannot believe how this team continues to exacerbate already-bad situations. Either they enjoy the controversy (as they say, any press is good press) or there is a desperate need for somebody to take the reigns of this organization and inject some much-needed professionalism. How long can this go on? How many more controversies and scandals involving off-the-field issues can arise. Is this team truly this incompetent??
    Either way, the bad news is that ON the field, this team does not look very good. They just lost their most irreplaceable and important offensive player for at least the first 2 months of the season, and the starting pitching staff (as currently constructed) is at best unstable and completely inconsistent. This is not a good sign for the upcoming season…

  • CharlieH

    I’m getting really tired of rooting for a brain-dead organization.

    PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD, SELL. THIS. TEAM.

  • Tom in Sunnyside

    So when will Omar Minaya blame this whole thing on Adam Rubin?

  • NostraDennis

    Metspeak translation – “sooner rather than later” means “much later”. Specifically, somewhere near the All-Star break. My Phillie fan friends are laughing at me already.

    Yes, I know. I shouldn’t have Phillie fan friends.