Time to Find Matt Reynolds a New Number
Since Mike Piazza left the Mets in free agency, no Met had worn 31. The number was taken out of circulation until he made the Hall of Fame. Once that happened, the Mets announced his #31 was going to be retired this summer. The Mets were following their long unwritten policy of only retiring the numbers of Mets Hall of Famers.
It makes you question why the Mets have continuously issued Carlos Beltran‘s number 15 since he was traded away from the Mets.
They reissued the number to Val Pascucci the same year Beltran was traded away. The number was then worn the following year by Fred Lewis. Travis d’Arnaud tried it out for the following two years before switching to the number seven. At that point, former bench coach, Bob Geren wore 15 for the 2015 season. Now, Matt Reynolds has become the latest Met to wear Beltran’s number.
Make no mistake. It is Beltran’s number.
With Beltran hitting his 400th homerun this year, he had further cemented his Hall of Fame case. He’s only the fourth switch hitter with 400 homeruns. He’s only one of three players with 500 doubles, 400 homeruns, and 300 stolen bases. He’s been a true five tool player that has the WAR, WAR7, and JAWS score to deserve induction. All of this is before taking into account his postseason heroics. Make no mistake, he is a Hall of Famer.
For his part, Beltran has said he could see himself going into the Hall of Fame as a Met.
However, at this point, it doesn’t seem the Mets are interested in encouraging Beltran to enter the Hall of Fame as a Met. They say it loud and clear every time they reissue his number to other players. It was clear going into this year that Beltran was going to be a Hall of Famer. The number was vacated with Bob Geren’s departure. The Mets should’ve set the number aside until that day the Mets retired his number.
They’re not. Instead, the Mets are going to let their differences and acrimony get in the way of honoring a great Met.
Beltran gave his all with the Mets. He was the best baseball player on the planet in 2006 leading the team to the NLCS. He’s in the Top Six in WAR as a Met (seven spots ahead of Piazza). He’s in the Top Ten in runs (eighth), doubles (seventh), homeruns (sixth), RBI (sixth), OBP (sixth), and SLG (fifth). He made six All Star teams and won three Gold Gloves. He hit the final Mets homerun in Shea Stadium.
Beltran was a great Met. He will be a Hall of Famer. He should be in the Hall of Fame as a Met, and his number 15 should forever be on the LF wall. It’s why his number shouldn’t have been issued to Matt Reynolds.