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SI Ranks Mets Tops in NL; Beltran Player of the Week

Mike SteffanosMonday, June 12, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Showing the Mets a little more respect than they've been finding among the national media, SI's John Donovan has moved the Mets up from sixth place to second in his MLB Power Rankings:

Carlos Beltran is playing like it's '04 all over again (.529, three homers, three doubles, 10 RBIs in a four-game sweep of Arizona), and the strutting Mets have opened up a 6½ game lead in the NL East. They begin a three-game set at second-place Philly on Tuesday. It all raises one question for GM Omar Minaya: Why didn't you dump Kaz Matsui sooner?

The Phillies are currently ranked eleventh while the slumping Braves have fallen from 16 to 21 in the rankings.

Beltran named NL Player of the Week
From the Press Release on Mets.com:

New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who led or was tied for the league lead in six offensive categories, has been named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for June 5-11, 2006. ... Beltran, currently one of the leading vote-getters among outfielders in National League All-Star balloting, led the N.L. with 12 RBI, 13 runs, 14 hits, 26 total bases and five stolen bases this past week. He also finished tied for the league lead with three home runs. The Puerto Rican-born center fielder hit .483 (14-29) with three doubles and compiled a .897 slugging percentage and a .545 on-base percentage. Beltran tallied five multi-hit games, including a four-hit, two-homer performance on June 9th at Arizona. The switch-hitter scored at least one run in every game he played to help lead the Mets to a 6-1 record over the team's seven-game west coast swing. This is Beltran's fourth weekly award and his second as a member of the National League.

Valentin Thinks Julio Franco is a great guy
Also on Mets.com, check out the Player Perspectives piece on Julio Franco by Jose Valentin:

Julio is not only a great baseball player, but he is also a great teammate and a great leader. It doesn't matter how well he's playing at the time, he's always the same person. When you see a guy like that, it makes you want to play even harder. Here he is at 47 giving a 100 percent, so why can't I, a guy much younger? Guys like Julio make the players around him better.

Milledge to stay with Mets?
MetsBlog is citing Ed Coleman from an appearance on WFAN that Lastings Milledge is likely to remain with the team after Nady comes back.

More Mets Stories:
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Comments (4)

As for that little vanity piece by Jose Valentin, where he states his hope that Julio Franco gets some love from the Hall of Fame voters some day:

I've always maintained a sort-of side wing to the HOF, reserved for players who had Hall of Fame abilities but didn't assemble HOF careers. It's not exactly an empty place, filled mostly with head cases and attitude problems; call it the Ceasar Cedeno Wing, perhaps.

Among current players I have two in mind for that distinction, both of them Cleveland alumni: Julio Franco and Kenny Lofton. And hard as it is to remember today, part of the reason why Franco is headed there and not the real HOF stems from his 'tude as a younger player; that, and the fact that he was a less than impressive shortstop. When a player leads the league in hitting and a few years after finds it necessary to seek employment in Japan, you can pretty much reschedule that weekend you were saving for his induction ceremony into Cooperstown. He didn't quite have the career, but he always had the goods, I thought. It's nice to see his persona matured into a grand old leader; would that Darryl Strawberry could have followed a like path.

Lemmie paraphrase a line that Bill James penned long ago, about Spike Owen. Remember him? Owen, I mean; of course you remember Bill James, he hasn't gone anywhere.

Anyway, in James's words: can't we arrange an exchange of names with Julio Franco, call this guy Julio Owen? It seems a shame to waste such a great baseball name on a guy who will be out of the league in a few more years.

If you can talk them into creating that special wing, Doc and Strawberry can be charter members. George Bell... Dave Kingman...

I remember the problems Franco had when he was with Cleveland. He really is a good story. Sometimes people take a while to get it. I don't I really got my own life in order until my mid-30s.

Watching Reyes run is exciting, but Beltran has caught my eye. He is like a racehorse, smooth effortless strides and yet is flying by. I am really loving this team. So many good things just coming together, It's fun again in Metsville. Do you remember ChoCho Colemen, I think he may have been the only catcher batting leadoff. He would hit the longest foulballs and then strike out. Those were L..O..N..G seasons, but I loved them then also. If it was up to me there would be a place for almost every one of them, just for the memories they gave us. Nevermind, I think I just found that place, yep.. they are all there.

Hey Rev, I started rooting for the Mets in 1969 when I was 11, so I missed some of the guys like Choo Choo and Throneberry from the early years. I didn't have a father, so I had to get into it on my own and figure it all out. My Italian grandmother became a huge Mets fan, but I always had to explain everything to her.

The Mets should honor more of their former players, have some kind of museum in the new park and pay tribute to all of those years. That would be really cool.

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