What could have been a season-long controversy and distraction ended quietly in Port St. Lucie on Monday — Carlos Beltran ceded control of center field to his protege, Angel Pagan.
After two weeks of trying, it became clear to Beltran that he just couldn’t make it in center, and that his surgically-repaired knees would be better off in right. He approached Terry Collins in the morning and to make it official.
“In my heart, I still feel like I can play center field, but based on the situation with my knee, it’s better that Pagan be the center fielder,” said Beltran.
For his part, Pagan had mixed feelings about taking his fellow Puerto Rican’s spot.
“He’s a big mentor for me, and I wanted him to be 100 percent and be able to play center field,” Pagan said. “But now that he has given me that opportunity, I’m really grateful to be next to him. I feel really fortunate to be passed this torch to the player I have always looked up to.”
This does not mean all is well with Beltran. He’s still working on strengthening his knees, and isn’t scheduled to play in an exhibition game until next week at the earliest.
This could be the best news Mets fans have heard in a while — Bobby Valentine could end up in the Mets owners box.
ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that Valentine has spoken with financial backers and is considering a bid for the stake of the team the Wilpons are offering.
Valentine kind-of sort-of confirmed the report.
“I’ve talked to a number of people interested in purchasing part of the New York Mets, but I’m not formally with any group that is actively pursuing this venture,” Valentine said.
Even though he would be a minority partner and would not have final say, having Valentine’s voice in the front office can only help the Mets. He is one of the top evaluators of baseball talent you’ll ever find. Let’s hope this comes to pass.
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Date: February 28, 2011